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What Is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile Dysfunction (ED), commonly referred to as impotence, is a common type of male erectile disorder. It refers to the inability of a male in attaining an erection firm enough to have sexual intercourse. This dysfunction among men is typically witnessed when their erection cannot be sustained during sexual intercourse.

Occasional erectile dysfunction isn't uncommon. Many men experience it during stressful times. Frequent erectile dysfunction can be a sign of health problems that need to be treated. There is a probability of it being a sign of emotional or relationship issues that need professional guidance to solve.

 Erectile Dysfunction Causes

There are many causes for erectile dysfunctions to occur. They can either be physical reasons relating to an ongoing complication or diseases in the past. Or it can be emotional issues. Below are the common causes of erectile dysfunction. 

Emotional Reasons For Erectile Dysfunction 

  • Stress: There are various reasons for an individual to take the stress. It can be due to financial issues, ongoing events, job-related issues and many other factors. Stress plays an important role in erectile dysfunctions. 

  • Guilt: A person may feel guilty and conscious if not performing well in bed to satisfy their partner. This guilt can lead to erectile dysfunctions. 

  • Anxiety: Once a person has experienced erectile dysfunction, they will be anxious and scared that it may happen again, which gives them performance anxiety and can lead to frequent erectile dysfunctions.

  • Depression: Depression affects the mind, body and a person's actions as well. A sexually comfortable and confident person can also face erectile dysfunctions if depressed.

  •  Apart from the reasons mentioned above, low self-esteem and indifference towards sex can lead to erectile dysfunction. 

Physical Reasons For Erectile Dysfunction

  • Heart Diseases: Prevailing heart conditions can lead to erectile dysfunctions. This is because the use of some medication to treat high blood pressure can lead to erectile disorder. 

  • Clogged blood vessels near the genitals can interrupt the blood flow to the required organs, and lack of blood flow will lead to erectile dysfunction. 

  • High Cholesterol: High cholesterol, just like heart diseases, leads to erectile dysfunction.

  • Diabetes: Some diabetic men have a hard time maintaining and getting an erection.

  • Obesity: Being obese brings many health complications with it, leading to high blood pressure and high or low insulin levels, which are known to cause erectile dysfunctions, as discussed above. 

  • Multiple Sclerosis: It is a disease that eventually disables the functioning of the nervous system and the spinal cord. This leads to problems in communication between the brain and the body.

  • Apart from the ones mentioned above, it is said that excessive alcohol usage and tobacco use may lead to erectile dysfunctions. 

Symptoms Of Erectile Dysfunction

Male sexual arousal is a complex process involving the brain, hormones, emotions, nerves, muscles, and blood vessels; the person must be in an appropriate physical and psychological state during intercourse. Erectile dysfunction can result from a problem with any of the aforementioned factors. It may be stated how the causes attributing to the male erectile disorder are very common in nature.

Furthermore, one needs to be aware of the symptoms of erectile dysfunction to take necessary actions to avoid or eliminate similar diseases. 

An individual might have erectile dysfunction if:

  • They have trouble getting an erection.

  • Difficult to maintain an erection during sexual activities.

  • If they become indifferent or have a reduced interest in sex.

  • Other diseases related to erectile dysfunction, including premature or delayed ejaculation or anorgasmia, can lead to erectile dysfunction. 

Types Of Erectile Dysfunction

There are mainly two types of erectile dysfunctions. Both are caused due to improper blood flow. They are erectile dysfunction and priapism. And are explained below:

Erectile Dysfunction: The case of erectile dysfunction is inhibited flow of blood and poor circulation. In this case, the individual cannot maintain an erection and even get an erection because of a lack of blood flow. 

Priapism: In this case, the blood flow is not normal either. A person might get aroused without any reason, and erections may last for around 4 hours. It is a very painful experience. This can occur to anyone at any age, from newborns to older people. There are two main types, explained below: 

  • Low-flow or ischemic priapism: In this type of priapism, blood tends to get trapped. There is no particular reason for this to happen. Still, it affects the individual in many ways, like one can get a sickle-cell disease, leukaemia (cancer of the blood), or malaria and erectile dysfunction if not treated on time.

  • High-flow or non-ischemic priapism: This type of priapism is uncommon compared to low-flow priapism but is to be dealt with the same amount of care, if not less. It usually happens when the penis or the area around it is injured, which leads to improper blood flow in that region. 

Treatment

Suppose one is having persistent trouble having an erection, and it's not just from time to time. In that case, consulting a doctor and talking about it will facilitate tapping the problem and solution.

In several cases, problems getting or keeping an erection have been attributed as a sign of underlying health conditions that need treatment and a risk factor for heart disease. In this case, treating the underlying condition is enough to reverse erectile dysfunction. In other cases, medications or other direct treatments might be needed.

With the increasing awareness of this dysfunction and its causes, several remedial measures have been taken into consideration and perhaps, have gained significant importance in terms of treatment. The treatments are discussed below:

  • Medicine: There are pills and injections to help people with their respective conditions. In the case of low-flow priapism, the doctor may inject your penis with alpha-agonists, which tends to shrink the blood vessel, which leads to less blood flow in the area and further eases swelling. 

  • Removing the blood: this is done in the case when your erection is not going down, or there is swelling in the region then, in that case, the doctor numbs the penis and uses a needle to puncture the area, drain out the blood to ease out the area of pressure and swelling.

  • Ice or cold packs: This is advised to people suffering from high-flow priapism as it is known to bring down swelling.

  • Blocking and tying off the artery: Doctors use both methods to treat people facing high-flow priapism. The procedure of blocking the artery is called arterial embolization. In this procedure, the doctor blocks the blood vessel that is causing the issue. And the method in which the doctor ties off the artery is called surgical ligation. In this process, the doctor ties off the ruptured artery that is causing priapism.


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