Erectile dysfunction is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection, which is necessary for sexual intercourse. In most cases, the disease is based on vascular pathologies, neurological, psychological and hormonal disorders. Also, the disease can be triggered by taking a number of medications.
Short information about erectile dysfunction
Short information about erectile dysfunction
Urology, andrology, neurology, endocrinology
Failure to develop and/or maintain strong erection when aroused
Age-related changes, obesity, diabetes, atherosclerosis, heart diseases, nerve damage, spine damage, mental disorders, stress, hormonal imbalance, and others
Obesity, tobacco smoking, alcohol abuse, sedentary lifestyle, age over 50
Based on symptoms, ultrasound, physical examination, test of penile blood vessels
Lifestyle changes, treatment of an underlying disease, PDE5 inhibitors (Viagra, Cialis, and others)
This pathology primarily affects the reproductive function of a man and his psychological state. Therefore, if the first signs of erectile dysfunction appear, you should immediately consult a specialist, since the beginning of the therapy at an early stage of the disease helps to avoid complications.
Classification of the disease
Erectile dysfunction (or ED) can be divided into:
- Psychogenic (about 40% of cases);
- Organic (up to 30% of cases);
- Mixed (about 25% of cases);
- Without an exact reason (about 5%).
Whatever the cause of the symptoms of erectile dysfunction, each condition requires a detailed examination, identifying the exact cause of the pathology and proper treatment.
For reasons of occurrence, erectile dysfunction is:
- Primary (the man has never had the opportunity to achieve an erection);
- Secondary (acquired during life).
Primary impotence almost always occurs against the background of psychological factors or anatomical disorders.
The secondary form of pathology develops in 90% of cases, has an organic etiology. Most men, with the disorder, quickly develop psychological disturbances that exacerbate the disease.
Causes of erectile dysfunction
The causes of erectile dysfunction that are not associated with physiological disorders in the male reproductive organs can be:
- Fear, depression, anxiety, severe stress;
- Situational psychological problems associated with place, time and partner;
- Vascular pathologies (most often - atherosclerosis);
- Neurological diseases (stroke, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, neuropathy, spinal cord injury);
- Taking drugs, alcohol, smoking;
- Taking medications of certain groups;
- Past injuries and operations in the groin, pelvic organs;
- Endocrine disorders (metabolic syndrome, diabetes mellitus);
- Aging associated with a lack of testosterone;
- Excess weight;
- Sedentary lifestyle;
- Pronounced vitamin deficiency;
- Painful sexual intercourse (both the patient and his partner can experience pain);
- Taking psychotropic substances;
- Taking anticancer drugs;
- Prolonged absence of sexual intercourse;
- Adverse external influences (chemical, radiation).
The onset and course of the disease
Erectile dysfunction can occur spontaneously or develop gradually. It often happens that impotence is of a periodic nature and disappears after the elimination of the external problem. However, if the problem persists or the frequency of unsuccessful intercourses increases, you should immediately consult a doctor.
Clinical manifestations of impotence
The main symptoms of erectile dysfunction are:
- Complete or partial absence of morning erection;
- Difficulty in the onset and maintenance of an erection;
- Weak erection.
In addition, discomfort during urination, which is a sign of inflammatory processes in the organs of the genitourinary system, is a symptom of impending erectile dysfunction.
Complications of the disease
Erectile dysfunction can cause the following complications:
- Dissatisfaction with intimate life;
- Severe stress and depression;
- Development of insecurities and a decrease in self-esteem;
- Problems in the family or in relationships with a partner;
With the development of impotence, it is important not only to immediately contact a specialist, but also to be frank with your partner. Silence is the worst choice. Honesty in a relationship and discussing a delicate problem will help reduce the negative consequences of impotence and maintain a healthy relationship.
The diagnosis of erectile dysfunction is made after a detailed examination and questioning of the patient.
Diagnosis of erectile dysfunction includes:
- Consultation of a urologist;
- Ultrasound diagnostics;
- Blood tests (hormone levels, complete blood count, biochemical analysis);
- Diagnostics of the vessels of the penis for the ability to expand;
- Analysis of urine;
- Testing the innervation of the penis;
- Diagnosis of nocturnal erection.
After accurately establishing the cause of the pathology, individual treatment for erectile dysfunction is prescribed.
Treatment of the disease
Therapy of the disease directly depends on the reasons that caused it.
If erectile dysfunction is caused by psychological factors, the patient is referred for treatment to a sex therapist and psychotherapist. In addition, the very presence of a violation requires psychological support in order to avoid the development of insecurities.
If impotence is medication-induced, erectile function is restored after drug withdrawal.
If the violation is based on other pathologies, it is necessary to undergo therapy for this disease.
For hormonal disorders, hormone replacement therapy with testosterone or other hormones may be recommended, depending on the disorder.
High efficiency in the treatment of erectile dysfunction was shown by:
- Shock wave therapy;
In difficult cases, when conservative methods of treatment do not help, surgical treatment can be prescribed, during which inflatable devices with semi-rigid rods are introduced into the penis, making it possible to achieve the appearance and maintenance of an erection.
An effective way of treating impotence is changing the lifestyle, giving up bad habits, losing weight, increasing physical activity, etc.
While undergoing therapy for the main disease that caused this sexual dysfunction, a man can use erection-promoting medicines such as Cialis, Viagra or Levitra and their generics. The drug temporarily improves blood flow in genitalia and ensures a strong lasting erection in arousal. However, the medication has contraindications for use. Make sure to read the guide we prepared for you based on Cialis FAQ before you start taking the pills.
After the treatment of erectile dysfunction, the patient needs to be monitored and controlled. If the pathology is caused by psychological factors, it is necessary to control the patient's emotional well-being in order to avoid a relapse of the disorder.
If the dysfunction is caused by concomitant diseases, the patient needs not only psychological support, but also control from the attending physicians (endocrinologist, urologist, cardiologist, etc.).
Prevention of pathology
The prevention of erectile dysfunction includes a number of measures that are aimed at the overall maintenance of a man's health.
For the prevention of impotence and other diseases, it is recommended:
- Proper and regular nutrition;
- Physical exercising;
- Healthy lifestyle;
- Timely access to a doctor in case of illness;
- Quitting smoking, drinking alcohol and recreational drugs;
- Refusal from drugs that can provoke erectile dysfunction (taking them is possible only with the agreement of your doctor);
- Avoid prolonged sexual abstinence, and if it occurs - resort to masturbation;
- In case of injury to the groin or perineum, consult a urologist immediately.
Remember that maintaining your health is much easier than treating already developed problems. Your wellbeing in your hands only!
Post by: Samuel Wrangler, M.D., Montgomery, Alabama