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ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION

3 months ago | Medical

1 out of every three men you set aside is definitely unable to get or keep an erection firm enough to last him through sexual intercourse. These statistics was collated as far back as 2018.

This is enough reason to talk and raise awareness about Erectile Dysfunction (ED).

 

Erectile dysfunction is simply the inability of a man to get or keep an erection firm enough to have sex. A commonly known name for Erectile Dysfunction is Impotence.

The above statistics show that Erectile Dysfunction is not an uncommon problem. However, there are two forms of Erectile Dysfunction;

  1. Occasional ED: this form of ED is common especially because it is usually induced by stress. Many men experience this.

  2. Frequent ED: this form of ED is more serious and can be a sign of health problems that need treatment. It can also be a sign of emotional or relationship difficulties that may need to be addressed by a professional.

 

CAUSES OF ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION

ED can occur because of problems at any stage of the erection process. An erection is caused by the increased flow of blood into the penis. Blood flow is usually stimulated by either sexual thoughts or direct contact with your penis.

When a man is sexually excited, muscles in the penis relax. This allows for increased blood flow through the penile arteries, filling two chambers inside the penis. As the chambers fill with blood, the penis grows rigid.

An erection ends when the muscles contract and the accumulated blood can flow out through the penile veins.

 

There are many possible causes of ED, and they can include both emotional and physical conditions. Common causes include:

  • cardiovascular disease

  • diabetes

  • hypertension, or high blood pressure

  • high cholesterol and obesity

  • low testosterone levels or other hormone imbalances

  • kidney disease

  • increased age

  • Stress and anxiety

  • depression

  • certain prescription medications, such as those used to treat high blood pressure or depression

  • sleep disorders

  • drug use

  • consuming too much alcohol and using tobacco products

  • certain health conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis (MS)

  • damage to the pelvic area through injury or surgery

  • Peyronie’s disease, which causes scar tissue to develop in the penis

 

ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION SYMPTOMS

Symptoms of ED include;

  • trouble getting an erection

  • difficulty maintaining an erection during sexual activities

  • reduced interest in sex

  • premature ejaculation

  • delayed ejaculation

  • The inability to achieve orgasm after ample stimulation

It is important you speak to your doctor if you have any of these symptoms for 3 months or more.

 

TREATMENT METHODS FOR ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION

Treatment for ED will depend on the underlying cause. You may need to use a combination of treatments, including medication or talk therapy.
 

1. Prescribed Medications: Your doctor may prescribe medication to help you manage the symptoms of ED. You may need to try several medications before you find one that works. The following oral medications stimulate blood flow to your penis to help treat ED:

 

2. Talk therapy: A number of psychological factors can cause ED, including:

  • stress

  • anxiety

  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

  • depression

Talk therapy comes in handy for situations like these. Your therapist will walk you through the healing process. Relationship Counselling is also important if ED is affecting your relationship.

 

3. Vacuum pumps: This treatment uses the creation of a vacuum to stimulate an erection. Blood is drawn into the penis as the device is used and erection is achieved.

A vacuum pump device consists of a few different components:

  • a plastic tube, which you place over your penis

  • a pump, which works to create the vacuum by drawing air out of the plastic tube

  • an elastic ring, which you’ll move to the base of your penis as you remove the plastic tube

 

HOW IS ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION TESTED?

  • Physical exam: In a physical exam, your doctor listens to your heart and lungs, checks your blood pressure and also examines your testicles and penis. A rectal exam might also be recommended to check your prostate.

  • Psychosocial history: For this test, your doctor/therapist will ask you questions or request that you fill out a questionnaire about your symptoms, health history, and sexual history. The responses can help them evaluate the severity of your ED.

 

Additional tests

Your doctor may perform additional testing to help diagnose your ED. Tests can include:

  • Ultrasound. 

  • Nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT) test. 

  • Injection test. 

  • Urine tests. 

  • Blood tests. 

 

ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION EXERCISES THAT CAN HELP

1. Kegel exercises: There are simple movements you can do to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Here’s how:

  1. Identify your pelvic floor muscles. To do this, stop peeing midstream. The muscles you use to do this are your pelvic floor muscles.

  2. Now that you know where these muscles are, contract them for 3 seconds. Then release them.

  3. Repeat this exercise 10 to 20 times in a row, three times a day.

You may find that it’s easier initially to do Kegels while lying down. Eventually, you can start trying them when you’re sitting or standing.

2. Aerobic exercise: Exercises like swimming help stimulate blood flow.

3. Yoga: Yoga helps to relax your mind and body. 

 

ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION FOODS.

Take these simple steps to help reduce your risk of developing ED:

  • Focus on eating whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.

  • Limit your consumption of red meats, full-fat dairy, and processed sugars.

  • Drink alcohol in moderation.

 

HOW TO PREVENT ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION:

  • Keep medical conditions such as heart disease and diabetes under control.

  • Exercise regularly

  • Maintain a healthy weight and diet

  • Reduce stressors.

  • Quit smoking

  • Avoid using drugs that haven’t been recommended by your doctor

  • Drink alcohol in moderation.

Erectile Dysfunction is preventable and can be corrected. Ensure that alongside preventive measures, you keep up with regular checks-ups for an even healthier you.

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