Erectile dysfunction is also known as impotence. Unable to get and maintain an erection. It is a very common problem and affects more older men. At least half of men age 40-70 years of age will have it at some point in their life. It can be devastating to the self esteem of men and their partners. If erectile dysfunction is an ongoing issue it can cause stress, contribute to relationship issues and affect your self- confidence. Problems getting or keeping an erection can also be a sign of an underlying health issue that will need treatment and a risk factor for heart disease.
The causes of erectile dysfunction are because erections primarily involve the blood vessels. So, the most common problem in older men are conditions that block blood flow to the penis such as diabetes or atherosclerosis. Doctors used to tend to blame erectile dysfunction on psychological problems or with older men the normal aging process. Although arousal in a man older can take longer, erectile dysfunction should get medical attention. Another vascular cause can be a faulty vein which lets blood drain too quickly from the penis. It is important to look at physical disorders as well as hormonal and certain operations which may result in erectile dysfunction. Erections are controlled by the nervous system and some prescription medication may have the side effect of interfering with the necessary nerve signals. Some of these could be sedatives, antihistamines, drugs to treat cancer, depression and high blood pressure. You should never stop your medication unless advised to do so by your doctor. Also, alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs may contribute to erectile dysfunction.
Erectile dysfunction in younger men the likeliest reason is psychological problems. Anxiety and stress may arise also contributing to the factors.
Improving your lifestyle such as your diet, exercise, and smoking, maintaining an active lifestyle and excessive alcohol can show an improvement in men suffering from erectile dysfunction. Therefore, there will be a lesser chance of having to take tablets and enjoying the benefits of a healthier lifestyle too. If you already suffer with diabetes or heart problems which are also likely to benefit from a healthier lifestyle.
Over the last decade medications have revolutionised in the treatment of erectile dysfunction. These medications will work by enhancing the natural reaction to stimulation opening up the blood flow needed for erections. They include a number of prescriptions such as Viagra tablets. Other treatments include injections into the penis, counselling, surgical devices and topical applications.
If you are taking medication it is best to start with a lower dose tablet and build up, but always consult your doctor before taking anything.
Erectile dysfunction can be extremely upsetting and distressing, so counselling can help you too. It can lead to relationship problems, anxiety and depression. This may help resolve the cause of the erectile dysfunction. In some cases, a problem of performance anxiety can be overcome by breaking the cycle of failure with some other treatments. Always consult your doctor with any problems you may have.