By Dr. Sudhir Khanna, Urology
The problem of not getting or not being able to retain an erection for a time span long enough to facilitate sexual intercourse is referred to as Erectile Dysfunction. It could hint at a problem in your genitalia or could even point at some other causal health problem.
Commonly noticed symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction can be summed up as under:-
- If you have had low libido for quite some time now, it could be a cause for concern. Problems related to erection can deter you mentally from having sexual urges.
- In many cases, a person is able to achieve an erection but fails to hold on to it for long.
- In most cases, patients find it extremely difficult to get an erection at all.
Factors leading to Erectile Dysfunction can be laid down in these many points:-
Men may suffer from erectile dysfunction due to a plethora of health issues. These issues need not necessarily be physical in nature; several instances record the existence and impact of psychological reasons as well.
The physical factors leading to Erectile Dysfunction are
- High blood pressure levels can impair your sex life.
- A person suffering from cardiovascular ailments is more prone to this condition. High cholesterol can also be an impediment in your otherwise healthy sex life.
- Since diabetes and obesity go hand in hand, both of these factors can result in low libido or impotence.
- If a male has undergone any surgery of the pelvic region or of the spine, he is at a greater risk of developing this condition.
- Use of tobacco can lead to sexual problems. In fact, smoking or consuming too much alcohol can also pose serious threats to your sexual health.
The psychological factors leading to erectile dysfunction are
- You may fail to attain an erection if you have been in stress for long.
- Men who suffer from General Anxiety Disorder are also prone to facing impotence or a lack of sex drive.
- Depression or a lack of communication can also cause the problem to occur.
ED: A Sign of Heart Disease?
In some cases, ED can be a warning sign of more serious disease. One study suggests ED is a strong predictor of heart attack, stroke, and death from cardiovascular disease. The researchers say all men diagnosed with ED should be evaluated for cardiovascular disease. This does not mean every man with ED will develop heart disease, or that every man with heart disease has ED, but patients should be aware of the link.
- Lifestyle Changes: Many men with ED are able to improve sexual function by making a few lifestyle changes. Giving up smoking, losing weight, and exercising more often can help by improving blood flow.
- Oral Medications: You have probably heard of Viagra, but it’s not the only pill for ED. This class of drugs also includes sildenafil, citrate and tadalafil. All work by improving blood flow to the penis during arousal. They require an OK from your doctor first for safety.
- Injections: While pills for ED are convenient, some men sustain stronger erections by injecting medication directly into the penis.
- Implants: In men with persistent ED, a penile implant can restore sexual function. An inflatable implant uses two cylinders that are surgically placed inside the penis.
ED: Reducing the Risk
Some tips to reduce the risk of ED include:
- Exercise and maintain a healthy weight.
- Stop smoking.
- Avoid alcohol and substance abuse.
- Keep diabetes under control.