Erectile dysfunction is something that affects millions of men all over the world. Men who suffer from erectile dysfunction disorders usually suffer from low self-esteem and shy off from engaging in sexual intercourse for fear of ridicule.
Men associate the ability to sexually satisfying a sexual partner as a sign of vitality and masculinity. It is what defines their self-worth and identifies them as men. To view a complete program on erectile dysfunction that I recommend, click here.
This left me wondering, what it is like to have erectile dysfunction? Having erectile dysfunction is akin to stripping a man down and rendering him irrelevant in the eyes of society. A man loses his confidence and the stigma associated with erectile dysfunction severely affects his quality of life within the society.
What Is Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction is defined as the inability of a man to get or keep an erection firm enough to engage in sexual intercourse.
Many men occasionally experience erectile dysfunction a couple of times during their active sexual period, and it usually happens during those times when they’re stressed or just having too much going on with their lives at that particular moment in their lives. However, frequent episodes of erectile dysfunction may be a sign of health problems that may require treatment with medication or therapy if its causes are psychological.
Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction
There is usually some warning signs or indications that give you clues that you may have erectile dysfunction such as:
- Ability to get an erection but can’t make it last long enough to have sexual intercourse
- Not able to get an erection at all
Experiencing any of these symptoms would require seeking proper medical attention.
Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
A man’s sexual arousal is a complex process that involves a myriad of elements such as emotions, hormones, brain, nerves, muscles, and blood vessels. Erectile dysfunction can result from a problem arising from one of these elements or all of them.
Psychological issues, such as stress and mental health issues, have been reported to cause or worsen erectile dysfunction disorders. Below, I have outlined a couple of causes of erectile dysfunction.
The following list provides the most common physical or organics causes of erectile dysfunction.
ED is usually caused by those diseases that cause the narrowing of blood vessels. These diseases such as Peyronie’s, Diabetes, Heart, Parkinson’s, Multiple sclerosis, and Atherosclerosis obstruct the smooth flow of blood into the penis.
High blood pressure, High Cholesterol, Obesity,
Smoking, Alcoholism, Cocaine, etc
Medication for treating certain ailments
Prostrate disease, High blood pressure, Anxiety, sleeping disorders, antidepressants, Cancer
- Body Injuries to the Spinal cord and Pelvic areas
Psychological causes of erectile dysfunction arise from the mental and emotional state of a person. Serve psychological trauma such as child abuse, emotional, physical and sexual abuse suffered while as a child may affect a person’s ability to have a fulfilling sexual experience and is a significant cause of erectile dysfunction. Other psychological causes that affect erectile dysfunction are:
- Depression, stress and a wide range of mental health conditions
- Low self-esteem
- Anxiety by the person, which puts more pressure on the individual, worsening the condition
- Relationship and poor communication problems
Preventative Measures of Erectile Dysfunction
Leading a healthy lifestyle that involves performing regular exercises and eating healthy and nutritional foods is a sure bet of keeping erectile dysfunction disorders at bay. Below are a couple of other ways you can prevent erectile dysfunction:
- Avoid drug abuse such as alcoholism, cocaine, smoking, etc
- Regularly visit your doctor for medical screening tests and tips on how to manage diabetes and heart diseases
- Regularly perform Kegels and cardio exercises
- Seek therapy on how to deal with stress, depression and mental health issues
Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction
There is a wide range of treatment options available for men who have erectile dysfunction.
A group of medicinal drugs referred to as PDE-5 (Phosphodiesterase-5) inhibitors, taken 30 to 60 minutes before sexual intercourse has proven to quiet effective in controlling ED disorders. Examples of these drugs include:
- Vardenafil (Levitra0
- Tadalafil (Cialis)
- Avanafil (Stendra)
The group of drugs is only available on prescription. They’re quite effective. However, they have a couple of side-effects such as Flushing, affects your hearing and visual capabilities, headaches, and indigestion.
Vacuum Constriction Device (VCD)
A vacuum constriction device (VCD) is a device that consists of an acrylic cylinder with a pump attached to the end of a penis. A constriction ring or band is placed on the cylinder at the other end and the pump and used to create a vacuum inside the cylinder which then forces the penis to become erect.
Recent studies done on a group of men suffering from ED showed that between 50% – 80% of them were satisfied with the results of VCDs after using them for a couple of weeks. VCDs are generally safe to use, and for many patients suffering from erectile dysfunction disorder such as the ability to have an erection, a VCD is a good bet to get the blood flowing again into their penis.
There are generally two main surgical treatment options available:
Penile implants are devices placed inside the penis suffering from ED dysfunction who are unable to get an erection. Usually, it’s recommended as a last resort after all other treatments have been tried and failed. There are only two types of penile implants: Semirigid and Inflatable.
Vascular surgery is generally performed on damaged blood vessels such as arteries, veins, and lymphatic vessels with a view of enhancing blood flow by removing any obstructions to the smooth of blood into the penis.
Pelvic Floor Exercises
One of the best alternatives to medication is doing exercises. Well, not just any exercises but those exercises that are geared towards strengthening the pelvic floor muscles such as Kegel and Pelvic floor exercises.
Kegel exercises involve the tightening and holding of the pelvic muscles for at least 5 seconds then releasing them. After doing at least 10 to 20 repetitions per day for a month, you’ll begin to notice some improvements in your ability to have and sustain firm erections.
Pelvic floor exercises which involve stretching your pelvic muscles, aerobic, and cardio exercises which make your heart beat faster such as jogging, brisk walking are incredibly useful in improving blood flow to your genitalia.
A doctor treating someone for ED performs several tests on them to check for medical ailments such as diabetes, and low testosterone, among others. The tests would also include a physical examination on the person’s genitalia. There are three main tests done for this purpose: postage stamp test, Poten test, and Snap-Gauge test.
Natural and Herbal Treatments
Many natural treatments use a combination of herbs, roots, and leaves. All of which have a proven track record of controlling and even reversing ED disorders.
Commonly referred to as the herbal Viagra, Panax Ginseng is supported by credible research confirming its potency in treating erectile dysfunction. This herb contains anti-inflammatory action, improves lung function, and enhances blood flow in the body, which results in blood flowing into a man’s genitalia.
In a study carried out involving 35 men, 26 of them were given 150 to 200 mg of this herb to take for three months and evaluate their results. Every single one of them said that they had experienced a significant boost in their sexual performances. Initial tests carried out on the herb indicated that it is incredibly useful in reducing fatigue and boosting one’s energy levels.
L-arginine is an amino acid that is produced naturally by our bodies. It is used in the development of Nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is the element that relaxes blood vessels such as veins and arteries, making it possible for blood to flow into your penis and get a firm erection quickly.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese treatment method which involves the inserting of needles into a person’s body at specific body points, each at varying depths. Studies carried out worldwide have reported full restoration of sexual activity to men who have erectile dysfunction after going from acupuncture treatment. A licensed acupuncturist is recommended to reduce the risks of damaging your nervous system.
Therapy is generally the most viable treatment solution for men suffering from ED caused by psychological factors such as stress, Anxiety, depression, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), etc. Both you and your therapist will work closely together in navigating and addressing your feelings towards sex and any mental health issue that you may be experiencing.
Lifestyle changes and Diet
Simple changes to your diet and lifestyle choices can have positive effects on preventing erectile dysfunction disorders and in some cases, even reversing them. Some of the lifestyle changes you can incorporate are:
- Exercise regularly, especially those exercises that increase heart rates such as cardio and those that push blood into your pelvic areas and strengthen your PE muscles; Pelvic exercises and Kegels exercises.
- Avoid stressful situations and those activities that would trigger a rise in your blood pressure
- Eat healthy, balanced and nutritious meals all day
- Avoid drug and substance abuse such as alcoholism, smoking, cocaine, etc
- Maintain a reasonable weight and strive for your optimal Body Mass Index Ration (BMI)
Side Effects of Erectile Dysfunction
There are both psychological and physical causes of erectile dysfunction, and both of them require the use of medication to treat them. Many of these medications are well known to the general public such as Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra and are incredibly useful in treating ED.
These drugs work by increasing the levels of nitric oxide in your blood, making your blood vessels widen, making it easy for blood to flow into your veins and arteries that feed blood into your penis, resulting to firmer erections. However, these drugs have side effects, and below are the most common of these side effects:
The sudden increase of nitric oxide levels in your blood is what causes the headaches. Changing the brand of your ED medication usually doesn’t’ help as headaches are a common side effect for all ED medications.
Body Aches and Pains
A few people report feeling pain throughout their bodies while taking ED medications, while others report the pain occurring in specific areas such as in their lower back. Consult your doctor about other possible causes of this pain, and also your doctor is better placed to prescribe to you an Over-the-counter (OTC) medication that is safe to take with your current ED medication.
Digestive System Problems
Several men taking ED medication have reported experiencing discomfort in their digestive tract such as indigestion and in some cases, even diarrhea. A couple of dietary changes such as substituting alcohol, caffeinated beverages with water usually does the trick. However, if changing your Diet doesn’t work, consult your doctor for the way forward.
ED medications can cause vision loss or decrease your ability to see. ED medications aren’t recommended if you have previously had a retinal disorder known as ‘Retinitis Pigmentosa.’ A complete loss of vision that doesn’t go away would be an indication of a more severe issue with your ED medication and seeking emergency medical care is your best bet to save your eyesight.
Erectile dysfunction is a condition that affects millions of men all over the world. The good news is that it can be prevented and it is treatable using medication and other lifestyle changes as indicated in my article. Don’t suffer in silence. There is hope for you to lead a healthy and fulfilling sexual life. Click here to see the program on erectile dysfunction that I highly recommend.