Overview – Men Ed
The inability to keep an erection during intercourse is referred to as erectile dysfunction.
Experiencing erectile dysfunction is not always a big problem. It is normal though sometimes it can be a cause of concern because it can be resulting from an underlying health condition.
If you have doubts about the cause of the problem it is advisable to seek medical attention.
Some of the symptoms of the problem are:
- Difficulty in getting and keeping an erection.
- Reduced sexual desire.
Note: If you are experiencing premature or delayed ejaculation, any health condition like diabetes or heart disease, or if you have other symptoms apart from erectile dysfunction seek medical attention.
Causes of Ed
Erectile dysfunction can result from so many things, both emotional and health complications. Some of these things include; the brain, hormones, emotions, nerves, muscles, and blood vessels, emotional causes i,e. stress and mental health concerns can also cause or worsen erectile dysfunction.
Physical and psychological issues can also result in erectile dysfunction, I,e.a minor physical condition that slows your sexual response might cause anxiety about maintaining an erection. The resulting anxiety can lead to or worsen erectile dysfunction.
Physical causes of erectile dysfunction
Common causes include:
- Heart disease
- Clogged blood vessels (atherosclerosis)
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Metabolic syndrome – a condition that involves increased blood pressure, high insulin levels, body fat around the waist and high cholesterol
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Certain prescription medications
- Tobacco use
- Peyronie’s disease – development of scar tissue inside the penis
- Alcoholism and other forms of substance abuse
- Sleep disorders
- Treatments for prostate cancer or enlarged prostate
- Surgeries or injuries that affect the pelvic area or spinal cord
- Low testosterone
Psychological causes of erectile dysfunction
Emotions play a major role during sex, the feelings involved can affect erectile dysfunction in various ways. Several things can influence sexual feelings and cause an effect on your erection. These include; Depression, anxiety, stress, or other mental health conditions.
After maturity, your body changes thus for you to have an erection you might sometimes need a direct touch to arouse your penis.
Several factors can cause erectile dysfunction;
- Medical conditions, like diabetes or heart conditions
- Tobacco use.
- Being overweight.
- Certain medical treatments i.e, prostate surgery or radiation treatment for cancer
- Injuries, specifically if they damage the nerves or arteries that control erections
- Medications, including antidepressants, antihistamines, and medications to treat high blood pressure, pain or prostate conditions
- Psychological conditions, such as stress, anxiety or depression
- Drug and alcohol use, especially if you have used drugs for a long time or heavy drinker
Some of the complications that can be caused by erectile dysfunction include; unsatisfactory sex life, stress, or anxiety, embarrassment, or low self-esteem, relationship problems, inability to get your partner pregnant.
You can take precautionary measures to prevent erectile dysfunction. Some of these measures include;
- Manage your health conditions i.e, diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic health conditions.
- Go for checkups.
- Avoid using hard drugs.
- Exercises regularly.
- Avoid stress.
- Control your emotions, anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns.
Erectile dysfunction medicine and Ed Treatment / Ed medication
Depending on your erectile dysfunction cause and any underlying health conditions, you might have various treatment options. Your doctor can explain the risks and benefits of each treatment and will consider your preferences.
Your partner’s opinion also counts.
Oral medications / Erection or Ed pills / Over the counter Ed pills
Oral medications are the most suitable treatment.
- Sildenafil (Viagra)
- Tadalafil (Adcirca, Cialis)
- Vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn)
- Avanafil (Stendra)
All four medications enhance the effects of nitric oxide a natural chemical your body produces that relaxes muscles in the penis. This increases blood flow and allows you to get an erection in response to sexual stimulation.
Taking one of these tablets will not automatically produce an erection. Sexual stimulation is needed first to cause the release of nitric oxide from your penile nerves. These medications amplify that signal, allowing normal penile function in some people. Oral erectile dysfunction medications are not aphrodisiacs, will not cause excitement and are not needed in people who get normal erections.
The medications vary in dosage, how long they work, and side effects. Possible side effects include flushing, nasal congestion, headache, visual changes, backache, and stomach upset.
Your doctor will consider your particular situation to determine which medication might work best. These medications might not treat your erectile dysfunction immediately. You might need to work with your doctor to find the right medication and dosage for you.
Before taking any medication for erectile dysfunction, including over-the-counter supplements and herbal remedies, get your doctor’s OK. Medications for erectile dysfunction do not work in everyone and might be less effective in certain conditions, such as after prostate surgery or if you have diabetes. Some medications might also be dangerous if you:
- Take nitrate drugs — commonly prescribed for chest pain (angina) — such as nitroglycerin (Nitro-Dur, Nitrostat, others), isosorbide mononitrate (Monoket) and isosorbide dinitrate (Dilatrate-SR, Isordil, Bid)
- Have heart disease or heart failure
- Have very low blood pressure (hypotension)
Other medications for erectile dysfunction include:
- Alprostadil self-injection. In this, you use a fine needle to inject alprostadil (Caverject, Edex) into the base or side of your penis. In some cases, medications generally used for other conditions are used for penile injections on their own or in combination. Examples include alprostadil and phentolamine. Each injection is dosed to create an erection lasting no longer than an hour. Because the needle used is very fine, pain from the injection site is usually minor. Side effects can include mild bleeding from the injection, prolonged erection (priapism), and, rarely, the formation of fibrous tissue at the injection site.
- Alprostadil urethral suppository. Alprostadil (Muse) intraurethral therapy involves placing a tiny alprostadil suppository inside your penis in the penile urethra. You use a special applicator to insert the suppository into your penile urethra. The erection usually starts within 10 minutes and, when effective, lasts between 30 and 60 minutes. Side effects can include a burning feeling in the penis, minor bleeding in the urethra, and formation of fibrous tissue inside your penis.
- Testosterone replacement. Some people have erectile dysfunction that might be complicated by low levels of the hormone testosterone. In this case, testosterone replacement therapy might be recommended as the first step or given in combination with other therapies.
Penis pumps, surgery, and implants
The doctor may advise on the following if medication is not working;
- Penis pumps. A penis pump (vacuum erection device) is a hollow tube with a hand-powered or battery-powered pump. The tube is placed over your penis, and then the pump is used to suck out the air inside the tube. This creates a vacuum that pulls blood into your penis. Once you get an erection, you slip a tension ring around the base of your penis to hold in the blood and keep it firm. You then remove the vacuum device. The erection typically lasts long enough for a couple to have sex. You remove the tension ring after intercourse. Bruising of the penis is a possible side effect, and ejaculation will be restricted by the band. Your penis might feel cold to the touch.If a penis pump is a good treatment choice for you, your doctor might recommend or prescribe a specific model. That way, you can be sure it suits your needs and that it’s made by a reputable manufacturer.
- Penile implants. This treatment involves surgically placing devices into both sides of the penis. These implants consist of either inflatable or malleable (bendable) rods. Inflatable devices allow you to control when and how long you have an erection. The malleable rods keep your penis firm but bendable. Penile implants are usually not recommended until other methods have been tried first. Implants have a high degree of satisfaction among those who have tried and failed more-conservative therapies. As with any surgery, there’s a risk of complications, such as infection. Penile implant surgery is not recommended if you currently have a urinary tract infection.
- Moderate exercises can reduce erectile dysfunction. Increasing your level of activity might also further reduce your risk.
- If erectile dysfunction is caused by emotional instability visiting a counselor is advisable.