Erectile dysfunction is when a man finds it difficult to get an erection, or when he does, the erection is not enough to enable him to have sex adequate for the satisfaction of both partners. It is also known as impotence. Erectile dysfunction has become very common amongst men of all age brackets. Any man can experience it, especially when stressed or due to an underlying health condition that requires immediate treatment.
Usually, those men with this condition find it hard to talk to people or even seek help due to embarrassment or feelings of shame. However, it’s good to seek a doctor’s help if it’s an ongoing issue because the condition often causes stress, leads to relationship issues, and affects self-confidence. It is advisable to see a doctor immediately when you notice changes in your erection.
This article is going to take you through the physical and psychological causes of erectile dysfunction, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment for erectile dysfunction.
CAUSES OF ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION.
An erection is always the hardening of the penis when its tissues get filled with blood. That starts from a man’s brain, what he sees, feels, and wants he anticipates. That is because a man’s arousal involves the brain, hormones, blood vessels, and muscles. Therefore, if a man experiences erectile dysfunction, it could be because of a problem with any of these. Physical and psychological conditions or a combination can lead to erectile dysfunction.
PHYSICAL CAUSES OF ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION.
1. Low testosterone levels
The main male sex hormone in your body is testosterone. Your testosterone levels, as a male, influence a variety of facets of your sexual desire and function, including your general level of sex interest. Many men with normal testosterone levels struggle to get and keep an erection during sex.
Many men with low levels of testosterone hypogonadism, on the other hand, have no trouble getting erections.
It is normal for a man’s total testosterone level to range between 300 and 1,000 nanograms per deciliter, while testosterone levels tend to fall as he gets older.
Not only does smoking harm your lungs, but it also causes erectile dysfunction. The effects of cigarette chemicals on the blood vessels of the penis increase the likelihood of erectile dysfunction. After receiving impulses from the penis’ nerves, the arteries in the penis expand and fill with blood, resulting in an erection.
According to research, men who smoked are more likely to have ED than guys who never smoked.
3. Frequent use of alcohol and other substance abuse
Frequent use of drugs, for example, Cocaine and tobacco, may result in Erectile dysfunction.
Recreational drug usage can change the way your body works and can sometimes result in serious harm.
Cocaine, for example, can cause blood vessels to narrow, preventing enough blood from reaching the penis. Marijuana may increase sexual desire but prevents smooth muscle in the penis from relaxing to allow enough blood to flow in, and heroin, which can lower testosterone levels and reduce your interest in sex, among other drugs.
The blood vessels and nerves that control erection can be damaged by diabetes. Erectile dysfunction becomes increasingly common as men with diabetes get older.
5. Some treatments.
Some treatments like for instance, prostate cancer or enlarged prostate treatment, can Cause Erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common side effect of many pharmaceutical medications. While these medications may be used to treat an illness or condition, they can have an adverse effect on a man’s hormones, nerves, or blood circulation, leading to ED or raising the risk of ED. Antidepressants, anti-ulcer medicines, tranquilizers, and diuretics are among the most prevalent medications connected to ED.
The following are some medications that can lead to erection problems:
- Chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
- Chlorpromazine (Thorazine)
- Amitriptyline (Elavil)
- Amoxapine (Asendin)
- Buspirone (Buspar)
- Clomipramine (Anafranil)
- Clorazepate (Tranxene) etc.
6. High blood pressure.
High blood pressure has been linked to causing erectile dysfunction in men. Because high blood pressure affects the lining of blood vessels and causes arteries to stiffen and narrow (atherosclerosis), reducing blood flow, is a significant cause of erection issues. This indicates that the flow of blood to the penis is reduced. Reduced blood flow makes it harder for some men to attain and sustain erections.
Because testosterone is the principal sex hormone in men and is a key element in encouraging optimal sexual performance, high blood pressure can lead to ED by making it more difficult to get an erection and decreasing hormonal sexual interest and performance.
7. You are watching hard-core pornography frequently.
Men who watch too much pornography get erectile problems. That is because seeing too much porn can alter your perception of normal sex. You could feel compelled to do what you see in intense porn films. This can have an impact on your thoughts, and softcore or even conventional sex may no longer intrigue you, resulting in erectile problems.
8. Frequent masturbation.
Watching pornography will stimulate you whether you want it or not. When this happens and your spouse is not there, you may feel compelled to masturbate in order to de-stress. Masturbation may become more frequent as a result of watching porn.
You may develop erectile dysfunction if you masturbate excessively, especially if you are expected to have sex with your partner and no pornography is involved.
9. Surgeries or injuries that may affect the pelvic area or spinal cord
Some surgeries may lead to erectile dysfunction in men. That can happen as a result of an injury around the pelvic area that may tamper with the reproductive system of men.
10. High cholesterol.
A deposit of cholesterol in the arteries can be caused by high blood cholesterol levels. As a result, these blood arteries may narrow. Hypercholesterolemia is the term for the relationship between ED and excessive cholesterol. As a result, lowering your cholesterol levels can aid in the reversal of erectile dysfunction.
11. Hormonal disorders such as thyroid.
You may have low testosterone if you have a thyroid issue. Both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can cause melancholy and exhaustion, and both of these conditions can lead to a lack of sexual desire. If your thyroid gland produces too many or too little thyroid hormones, it can cause a variety of health issues, including erectile dysfunction.
It may be difficult to get aroused and/or attain and sustain an erection if you have hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism symptoms.
12. Health conditions like multiple sclerosis.
Multiple sclerosis is a central nervous system demyelinating illness characterized by episodic and increasing neurologic impairment caused by inflammatory and immunological reactions. Sexual dysfunction in Multiple Sclerosis is caused by physiological impairment caused by lesions in the cortex and spinal cord, which can induce numbness or paresthesias that directly impact the genitals, resulting in erectile dysfunction owing to a loss of libido.
Erectile dysfunction can be worse by being overweight or obese. Obesity has recently been discovered to be an independent risk factor for erectile dysfunction in men. The onset of erectile dysfunction in obese patients is caused by a number of issues that are common in people who have a lot of fat on their bodies.
14. Peyronie’s disease
It is the development of scar tissue inside the penis. Peyronie’s illness might cause your penis to get shorter.
These plaques cause the penis to become less flexible and bend. If the curve is particularly severe, the guy may be unable to engage in sexual activity at all. Plaques in the penis may obstruct blood flow.
As a result, there is insufficient blood to maintain a firm erection, causing blood to exit the penis too quickly, causing the guy to lose his erection. Men suffering from Peyronie’s disease are frequently sad and fearful of sexual activity.
PSYCHOLOGICAL CAUSES OF ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION.
Stress has a significant negative impact on our life. Have you ever felt stressed?. How did it affect you? Stress not only disrupts our usual day-to-day activities, but it also has a significant impact on a man’s erection. Stress and anxiety can interfere with the brain’s ability to send information to the penis to allow for increased blood flow. Anxiety and stress regarding ED might also contribute to a recurrent ED cycle. ED can result in behavioral changes that contribute to anxiety and ED occurrences.
Guilt may be a great burden, regardless of the cause. It’s normal for erections to be inhibited when you’re unable to please a spouse, have previous concerns of infidelity or have other relationship issues on your mind. This, like performance anxiety, can contribute to an ongoing cycle of ED.
Depression, like stress, has a significant impact on a man’s erection. When people are depressed, they tend to withdraw from others or separate themselves. When a man is sad, it is extremely difficult for him to have an erection, and if this persists, he may develop erectile dysfunction.
When you are worried about your body image or your ability to please your spouse, you may have performance anxiety, which can contribute to erectile dysfunction. Negative thoughts are the primary cause of performance anxiety. Performance anxiety may be exacerbated by fear and worry about penis size and body image.
5. Sleeping disorder
A good night’s sleep is essential for optimum health. Sleep hygiene is becoming more widely recognized as critical to one’s physical and mental well-being. Your body recovers and recharges while you sleep. Not getting enough sleep can cause your body’s sleep-wake cycle, or normal pattern of sleeping and being awake, to become dysregulated.
Insufficient sleep, interrupted sleep, and sleep disorders have been shown to impair several facets of human health, including sexual function, according to recent study. People who suffer from sleep apnea have reduced testosterone levels, which is an important hormone for sexual activity.
6. Low self-esteem
Self-esteem is very paramount in a human’s life. It makes us confident. When a man knows that he has erectile dysfunction, his self-esteem tends to drop. That could be the outcome of past encounters of erectile dysfunction, characterized by feelings of inadequacy, or it could result from difficulties unrelated to sexual performance.
7. Relationship-related problems.
Relationship problems greatly affect the mood for sexual activities. For instance, cheating cases or lack of communication. When one cheats on their spouse it may lead to sexual issues.
8. Childhood sexual abuse
Sexual dysfunction is significantly linked to child sexual abuse. Sexual abuse can take the form of seduction by a close family or a violent act perpetrated by a stranger. The consequences of childhood sexual abuse differ from person to person and case to case.
Higher degrees of melancholy, guilt, shame, self-blame, eating disorders, somatic issues, anxiety, dissociative patterns, repression, denial, sexual problems, and interpersonal problems have all been linked to childhood sexual abuse. Erectile dysfunction is caused by depression, which has been discovered to be the most common long-term symptom among survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
SYMPTOMS OF ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION.
Inability to get an erection.
Reduced desire for sex.
Difficulties in maintaining an erection.
When you see a doctor for Erectile dysfunction symptoms, they’ll try to determine whether you have another health condition that could cause the problem. They’ll ask about your medical history, including questions about your sex life. An appointment with your doctor helps one find a solution to their condition. Your treatment might start by checking your heart health. Your doctor might also ask you to start working out or increase your exercise, ask you to stop smoking, and maybe ask you to change your diet.
It is possible to cure erectile dysfunction, however it is dependent on the cause. Some types of ED are less difficult to treat than others. However, with the correct diagnosis, support, and treatment, ED can be managed without the need of ED drugs.
The doctor may recommend emotional help. That could be if your healthcare provider suspects you are having emotional or psychological problems; it could be due to relationship conflicts, past problems, depression, among other issues. Usually, that is where talk therapy comes in. The truth is, there are many medications for erectile dysfunction.
SOME OF THE MOST TREATMENTS FOR ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION.
1.Oral medication– They include;Sildenafil[viagra] ,Avanafil[stendra], Vardenafil[staxyn, levitra] and Tadalafil[cialis].These are some of the medications that stimulate blood flow to the penis. These medications are administered orally. Normally taken a few minutes before sex;
2. Alprostadil (Caverject, Edex, MUSE] Is another type of erectile dysfunction medication administered in two ways: self-injection of the side or base of the penis and as a penile suppository.
3. Surgery to bypass penile artery damage for younger men.Although not recommended for older men with hardened arteries.
4. Testosterone Therapy– Erectile dysfunction can be reversed with testosterone therapy.
5. Vacuum Erection Devices– A vacuum constriction device is an external pump that can be used by a man with erectile dysfunction to get and keep an erection. The pump aids in the erection of the penis, and a band attached to the pump aids in the maintenance of the erection.
6. Intraurethral medication– are drugs that treat erectile dysfunction by boosting blood flow to the penis in order to develop and sustain an erection.
7. Penile implants- A penile implant is a small device that is implanted into a man’s penis to assist him in obtaining an erection. It helps the individual regain control of his body once implanted and can be used at any moment.
DIAGNOSIS FOR ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION.
- Physical examinations on the penis and testicles
- Blood and urine sample tests.
- Mental health examinations.
CAN ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION BE PREVENTED?
There are so many causes of Erectile dysfunction. Those at risk due to personal behaviors like anxiety can prevent that, but the truth remains that you may not prevent other causes. Some recommendations to avoid erectile dysfunction include;
- Eating a healthy and balanced diet.
2. Maintaining a healthy weight.
3. Regular exercises.
4. Reduce cholesterol.
5. Avoid watching pornography.
6. Quit smoking and substance abuse.
7. Avoiding masturbation.
8. Avoiding to use the blue pill for recreational purposes.