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What causes erectile dysfunction, and what treatments can be found?

When our bodies don’t work the way in which we would like them to, it may possibly be hard to discuss. Erectile dysfunction (ED) is not any exception. However the frustration, embarrassment and stress that it may possibly cause aren’t things that you’ve got to place up with – because ED is extremely treatable.



Keep reading for a whole definition of ED, explanations of various causes and contributing aspects, and an summary of ED treatment options.

Understanding the symptoms of erectile dysfunction

ED isn’t limited to the whole inability to get an erection. While that’s one type of dysfunction, symptoms of ED may include:

  • Inconsistent ability to get an erection when you wish to have sex.
  • Erections not lasting long enough for satisfying sex.

Causes of erectile dysfunction

There’s a wide range of physical and mental aspects that could cause or contribute to ED, generally by doing considered one of the next:

  • Affecting blood flow to the penis
  • Affecting signals between the brain and the penis
  • Damaging nerves within the penis

Health conditions that could cause ED

Due to different ways in which ED could be caused, there are quite a few health conditions which might be related to it.

For instance, blood flow could be impacted by issues like blood vessel and heart conditions, high cholesterol and atherosclerosis. And nerve issues may result from conditions like diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and a few treatments for pelvic cancers.

Other health conditions that may contribute to ED include:

  • Peyronie’s disease
  • Low testosterone
  • Injury to the penis, other pelvic organs or spinal cord

Medicines that could cause ED

Erectile dysfunction could be a side effect of certain medicines. Probably the most common examples are blood pressure medicines, specifically diuretics (equivalent to chlorothiazide and furosemide) and beta-blockers (equivalent to metoprolol and atenolol), which might decrease blood flow to the penis.

Antidepressants are also commonly related to ED, as they’ll make it harder each to get erections and to succeed in orgasm. They’re also related to decreased sex drive usually. All antidepressants have a likelihood of causing ED, but selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Lexapro, Prozac and Zoloft are the almost certainly.

Other medicines that may contribute to ED include:

  • Antihistamines and H2 blockers – Along with allergic reactions and acid reflux disorder, histamine plays a task in erectile function.
  • Opioids – Long-term opioid use is related to low testosterone levels and ED.

Psychological causes of ED

Sex requires the cooperation of your body and mind. So negative emotions like stress, fear or guilt could make it hard to get and maintain an erection, even without some other underlying health issues. The identical goes for mental health conditions like anxiety and depression.

Worry about sexual performance is a standard example of a negative feeling that may contribute to ED. And if that worry comes from noticing symptoms of ED, it might create additional stress or anxiety. Nevertheless it’s necessary to notice that negative feelings don’t must be related to sex to interfere with it. It may well be harder to get and stay within the mood in case you work a really stressful job, for instance.

Lifestyle aspects that may contribute to ED

Certain lifestyle aspects are related to ED for similar reasons to some health conditions. As an example, smoking cigarettes negatively affects blood circulation throughout your complete body. And being obese or inactive means being at higher risk for issues like heart conditions and diabetes.

Finally, studies have shown that chronic use of alcohol or illicit drugs has negative effects on sexual function for each men and ladies.

Treatment for erectile dysfunction has two parts:

Treating underlying health aspects

Step one a physician will absorb treating ED is to handle any underlying aspects which may be involved.

  • Health conditions – Lots of the health conditions that may contribute to ED, equivalent to those related to blood flow and diabetes, could be improved by lifestyle changes like getting regular exercise and losing a few pounds. But treatment is dependent upon the condition. If you’ve got low testosterone, for instance, testosterone alternative therapy could also be advisable.
  • Medicines – In the event you take a medication that may contribute to ED, your doctor may recommend changing the dose or switching it for a unique medicine. All the time talk over with your doctor before doing either.
  • Psychological aspects – If an emotional issue or mental health condition appears to be playing a task in your ED, your doctor may recommend going to a counselor or taking other steps to support your mental health.
  • Lifestyle aspects – If appropriate, your doctor will encourage you to limit or give up smoking, drinking alcohol or using drugs. It’s necessary to be honest along with your doctor about your substance use, because it helps fill in the image of your overall health.

Making it easier to get or maintain erections

In some cases, getting underlying health aspects under control is sufficient to treat ED. But in case you proceed to experience symptoms of ED, there are additional treatments that may also help, equivalent to:

  • Oral medicines – Medicines like Viagra and Cialis increase blood flow to the penis and help it respond normally to sexual stimulation.
  • Alprostadil – Alprostadil and other similar medications could cause automatic erections. Alprostadil is either injected into the bottom or side of the penis, or is taken as a penile suppository using a special application tool.
  • Penis pumps – If medicines aren’t effective, your doctor may recommend a penis pump. Also often known as vacuum erection devices, penis pumps pull blood into the penis manually. A tension ring can then be placed across the base of the penis to take care of an erection.
  • Penile implants – Surgical implants could be an option for some people if medicines aren’t effective. These implants are rod-shaped devices which might be placed on either side of the penis. They will either be inflatable, or firm but flexible.

Take back control

Erectile dysfunction has a whole lot of possible causes and is continuously the results of a mixture of things. But with the fitting combination of lifestyle changes, medicine and other treatments, you possibly can remove it – and any related stress – out of your every day life.

In the event you feel such as you may be experiencing erectile dysfunction, talk over with your primary care doctor. They will offer you an initial assessment and refer you to a sexual health expert or urologist if mandatory.

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