Patient's Complete Guide to Erectile Dysfunction

Overview of Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED) or impotency is a type of sexual disorder in men that is the inability to achieve or hold an erection during sexual intercourse. Generally, this is not a cause of concern however, frequent ED can be concerning indicating an underlying health problem.

The problem of ED is quite common and 1 out of 10 males suffer from this.

Signs and Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction

Some of the common symptoms of erectile dysfunction include:

  • Inability to get an erection
  • Difficulty to hold sustain the erection
  • Erections that are too not enough for sex
  • Low sex drive

Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

Several factors are involved when it comes to erectile dysfunction. These include:

  • Vascular Troubles: Sometimes reduced or interrupted blood flow to the penis can be the cause of erectile dysfunction. This could be due to blockage of blood vessels that can come from several vascular diseases such as atherosclerosis.
  • Neurological Problems: Sometimes the damage to nerves can also result in erectile dysfunction. Some of these include multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and spinal and nerve injuries.
  • Psychological Problems: People who suffer from psychological problems such as depression, stress, and anxiety can also suffer from problems like erectile dysfunction.
  • Chronic Conditions: Chronic conditions such as diabetes are associated with erectile dysfunction.
  • Injury/Trauma: Physical injuries are also an important reason behind erectile dysfunction. These injuries result in damage to the nerves and blood vessels that go to the penis.

Risk Factors of Erectile Dysfunction

Given below are certain risk factors that are associated with erectile dysfunction in males.

  • Body Weight: People who are overweight or obese are more likely to suffer from the problem of erectile dysfunction.
  • Diabetes: Suffering from diabetes can increase your chances of erectile dysfunction.
  • Lifestyle Choices: Unhealthy lifestyle choices are a significant risk factor for erectile dysfunction.
  • Stress: Stress is another risk factor for erectile dysfunction as it affects your reproductive hormones levels directly.
  • Medication: Certain medications such as antidepressants significantly increase your chances of suffering from erectile dysfunction.

Complications of Erectile Dysfunction

Some of the common complications associated with erectile dysfunction include:

 

  • Poor sexual perfromance
  • Anxiety
  • Low self-esteem
  • Pregnancy troubles in future

Prevention

You can prevent erectile dysfunction by following good lifestyle practices and taking care of your health. Here are some of the tips that however, you can delay the onset of disease and reduce symptoms severity with the following tips:

  • Management of body weight
  • Working out regularly
  • Get rid of stress
  • Eat healthy food
  • Quit smoking and alcohol
  • Avoid overuse of medications

Diagnosis

Your physician takes the following steps for the diagnosis of erectile dysfunction. 

  • Medical History: Your doctor can take your medical history into account to determine your risk of suffering from erectile dysfunction. Your family history, current lifestyle habits, and your existing medical conditions can help to predict your chances of suffering from erectile dysfunction.
  • Sexual History: Your past sexual experiences can also help your physician to diagnose the problem of erectile dysfunction. This includes questions regarding your sexual stamina, erection timing, and your self-esteem.
  • Psychological Examination: A psychological examination will depict a true picture of your existing traumas that could be resulting in erectile dysfunction.
  • Blood Tests: A variety of blood tests can help your physician in the diagnosis of multiple health conditions that could be the underlying cause behind erectile dysfunction. These blood tests include the ones for heart function, kidney function, diabetes, and other hormonal tests.
  • Urine Test: Just like a blood test, a urine test is also important for the identification of the root cause that could be leading to the problem of erectile dysfunction.
  • Ultrasound: Ultrasound scans targeting the surrounding area can visualization of blockage in any blood vessels that could be leading to the problem of erectile dysfunction.
  • Erection Test: These erection tests are an important part of the diagnosis of erectile dysfunction. Here are the common erection tests that are usually performed.
  • Injection Test:  An injection test generally involves the injection of an erection medicine into your penis that causes an erection that helps your physician to identify the problems with the erection.
  • Nocturnal Erection Test: This test helps to check if you get a nocturnal erection (while sleeping). Sometimes, the frequency and intensity of erections are also monitored using devices.
  • Reflex Assessments: Sometimes your reflexes are assessed to see if the nerve supply to your penile area is normal. Sometimes, these assessments involve the use of electromagnetic vibrations to see how well regulated is your nerve function.
  • Leakage Assessments: The problem of erectile dysfunction can be due to the excessive drainage of veins in the carnival tissue of the penis. To determine the extent of leakage, two types of tests are generally performed. This include:• Cavernosography: In this test, a dye is injected into your penis and the movement of this dye fluid is traced using an x-ray that reveals if there is any venous leakage.
  • Infusion Cavernosometry: Another way to see if there is any venous leak, simple dynamic infusion cavernosometry is used. In this test, fluid is simply entered into the penis and its movement is monitored.

Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction | When to Consult a Doctor

Some of the possible treatment options for erectile dysfunction include:

1- Medications

The use of medications is one of the easiest treatment options to get rid of the problem of erectile dysfunction. Medications that are generally used are the PDE-5 inhibitors that work by releasing the chemicals that are responsible for relaxing the muscles of the penis. In this way, these medications provide an effective solution to the problem of erectile dysfunction. These medicines are commonly available with the following brand names:

  • Sildenafil (Viagra)
  • Tadalafil (Cialis)
  • Vardenafil (Levitra)
  • Avanafil (Stendra)

Note: Consult your doctor before taking any medications as these medicines can bring along some effects.

2- Devices

Sometimes your physician can ask you to use devices that can help you with penis erection. One such device is the penis pump which is commonly used. These erection devices can also be paired with rings that can make you retain erections. However, these devices provide you with a temporary solution for erectile dysfunction.

3- Surgical Treatments

 

In certain cases, you may require surgeries to open the blocked vessels that are causing you the trouble. Another type of surgery is penile implants which also work well where other treatment options fail.

Healthcare Providers

Consult with Best Doctors for Erectile Dysfunction

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Dr. Farooq Hameed

Speciality for Erectile Dysfunction

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