Many men find it difficult to talk about erectile dysfunction (ED). One of the primary reasons for this is modern society has linked male sexuality with manhood. Hence, men with ED may reason that they are no longer real men. These thoughts may lead to intense feelings of shame which make it hard to open up about the issue.
While erectile discussion is rarely discussed publicly, the condition is very common. All men experience ED at some point in their life. If you have frequent ED, it may indicate that you have underlying health issues that require professional treatment. In most cases, men experience erectile dysfunction when they are under high levels of stress.
What is Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction occurs when a man is unable to get and maintain an erection during sexual intercourse. The condition is also referred to as impotence.
Common symptoms of erectile dysfunction include:
- Difficulty getting an erection
- Inability to keep an erection during sex
- Loss of interest in sex
- Strong feelings of shame when thinking about sex
If you have been experiencing these symptoms for more than 3 months it is recommended that you speak with your doctor.
What Causes Erectile Dysfunction?
A number of factors may contribute to the development of erectile dysfunction. These factors may be physical or psychological. Physical causes of erectile dysfunction include:
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular issues
- Low levels of testosterone
- Damage to the pelvic area due to surgery or injury
- Certain prescription medications
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Peyronie’s disease
- Kidney disease
Psychological factors that may lead to erectile dysfunction include:
- High levels of stress
- Childhood abuse
- Sexual trauma
- Post traumatic stress disorder
- Relationship problems
Risk Factors for Erectile Dysfunction
Men who are advanced in age are more likely to experience ED than younger men. Erectile dysfunction is also more prevalent among men who smoke tobacco, take illicit drugs, and drink alcohol excessively.
Therapy for Erectile Dysfunction
As mentioned earlier, erectile dysfunction may have physical or psychological causes. It is estimated that up to 20% of all cases of ED may have a psychological basis. Men with psychological ED may benefit from talk therapy. A trained therapist can help individuals with erectile dysfunction to reduce their anxiety, improve their mood, sharpen their relationship skills, and resolve sub-conscious conflicts that are affecting sexual well-being.
Medication for Erectile Dysfunction
Under normal circumstances, a man is able to get an erection when there is increased blood flow to the penis. When he is sexually aroused, the muscles in the penis relax and this causes blood to flow through the penile articles and fill the two chambers inside the shaft. The penis becomes erect as these two chambers are filled with blood. The erection goes away when the muscles in the penis contract and blood exits the penis via the penile veins.
Erectile dysfunction occurs when there is a disruption in the erection process. Men who experience ED due to physical factors may not benefit from talk therapy. However, medication may be able to help.
A vast variety of medications are available to treat erectile dysfunction. PDE5 inhibitors, as well as drugs from other families, may be part of an effective treatment. PDE5 is an enzyme found in blood vessels that aids in blood flow regulation. Drugs that block PDE5 have the benefit of boosting blood circulation and increasing the likelihood that an erection will be maintained.
Medications that have been approved to treat erectile dysfunction include Fildena 100, Cenforce 100, Vilitra 20, Vidalista 20, Sildenafil citrate, Tadalafil, and Vardenafil. PDE5 antagonists are most effective when taken by people who are sexually stimulated.
How to Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
The most effective way to prevent ED is to live a healthy life. This may include getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, and working with your doctor to treat any physical health conditions you already have. If you have high levels of stress or are experiencing mental health issues, talking to a licensed therapist can help. It is also highly recommended that you avoid smoking tobacco, taking drugs, or drinking large amounts of alcohol.