All about Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
Erectile Dysfunction or (ED), which is also called Impotence, is the inability of a man to have an erection long or hard enough to have a satisfactory sexual intercourse. ED happens when enough blood doesn’t flow to the penis.
Most men will experience it at some point—but long-term or chronic ED isn’t normal.
Erectile Dysfunction may not be same for all men. Its severity varies from man to man. It can be minimal, moderate or complete, depending on whether a man is usually, sometimes, or never able to get a proper erection.
ED is a very common problem. More than half of all men above 40 have some difficulty getting or maintaining an erection. The fact is, guys at any age can experience ED.
Even though it is a common condition in Indian males, but the exact figures may not be reported, because of social stigma or lack of knowledge.
Causes of Erectile Dysfunction:
Many body systems like the brain, nerves, vessels, muscles, hormones, and emotions are all key to male sexual arousal. A problem in any of these parts of the body can cause ED.
Various diseases, habits, or any other mental health problem are all possible contributing factors which could work singly or in combination.
Several health and psychological conditions can cause ED. These include:
Lifestyle factors include:
- • Blocked blood vessels
- • Nerve damage
- • Heart disease
- • High cholesterol
- • High blood pressure
- • Diabetes
- • Obesity
- • Depression
- • Metabolic syndrome
- • Prostate cancer or enlarged prostate
- • Low testosterone
- • Prescription medications or illicit drugs
- • Tobacco or alcohol consumption
- • Sedentary lifestyle
Symptoms of ED
The main symptom of ED is the inability to achieve or maintain penile erection sufficient enough for satisfactory sexual activity. This often leads to anxiety or depression, loss of self-esteem, diminished quality of life and sexual withdrawal, thus causing a negative effect on overall health.
Stress and Anxiety on Erectile Dysfunction
Stress, anxiety, and erectile dysfunction are very closely connected. Men facing increased stress may also have increased BP and cholesterol. Both these conditions increase a man’s risk for ED. It becomes a vicious cycle. ED can cause a man more stress and anxiety, which can cause further ED issues.
Treatments for ED
Too often, men are ashamed to admit they’re experiencing ED problems. However, the sooner you talk to your doctor, the sooner you’ll be able to return to normal sexual function. ED is a medical condition. So in most cases, erections will not improve without treatment.
The most common treatments for ED:
- • Prescription medicine
- • Injections
- • Vacuum erection device)
- • Testosterone replacement
- • Penile implant
- • Blood vessel surgery
Lifestyle modifications include:
- • Anxiety counselling
- • Sexual apprehensions counselling
- • Eeight management
- • Tobacco cessation
- • Cutting down alcohol
See Your Doctor if….
You are unable to attain erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual intercourse, or if you have any of the aforementioned symptoms which are affecting your sexual life and relationship. Bring up your ED problems with your doctor (Urologist), and talk openly about your overall health.
The good news is, in most of the cases, the cause of your ED can be quickly identified and treated. Treatments are often very successful, so there’s no reason to suffer in silence.
Your doctor can help you determine the cause of your ED and the best treatment plan.
Dr. Vikash Agarwal
Urology, Urooncology and Kidney Transplant
Director & HOD