Erectile dysfunction, commonly referred to as ED, is a distressing condition that is caused due to several underlying physiological as well psychological factors. Sometimes a combination of both these factors can aggravate the condition further. It is estimated that about 1 in every 10 adult males undergo erectile disorders on a long-term basis and is considered common among men irrespective of their ages.
What Is Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction (ED) or Impotence in men is defined as the persistent inability to attain or maintain the natural erection sufficient for experiencing a satisfactory sexual performance. Insufficient flow of blood to the penile affects the quality of erections. It happens due to the clogging and narrowing of the blood vessels in the penile shaft after some enzymatic action.
The enzymes known as Phosphodiesterase type-5 (PDE5) are found in the blood vessels of the penile and excessive production of them hinders normal blood flow. The PDE5 enzymes negate the synthesis of cyclic Guanosine Monophosphate (cGMP) enzyme which is responsible for carrying out different functions including vasodilation, managing constriction, and initiating a flow of abundant blood throughout the penile shaft. The penile shaft is composed of three erectile columns, the corpora cavernosa, corpus spongiosum, nerves, lymphatics, and blood vessels, all covered by skin.
The PDE5 enzyme clogs and narrows the blood vessels that circulate blood throughout the penile shaft and causes blockages. These blockages stop the normal blood flow to the penile chambers which ultimately affects the quality of erections. It prevents them from achieving the natural erection for indulging in sexual activity despite attaining absolute sexual arousal after adequate sexual stimulation. Some factors such as injuries, drugs, smoking cigarettes, tobacco, drinking excessive alcohol, or medicinal side effects can impede the proper blood flow towards the penile causing erection failure.
Factors Affecting Erections
Though many things can lead to erectile dysfunction most cases boil down to inadequate blood flow to the penile organ. Erection troubles, particularly in young men, should be regarded as a warning sign of heart diseases. Several inherent physical as well as emotional or psychological conditions or at times a combination of both can be a reason behind impotence conditions.
Generally, men forget to inquire what causes erectile dysfunction and tend to avoid these conditions due to our fast-paced lifestyle or social stigma, which in turn becomes extremely bothersome and causes unnecessary stress, anxiety, and loss of self-confidence, problems that can affect some relationships.
Several psychological problems like stress, low self-esteem, fear, anxiety, guilt, relationship concerns, depression, and others can intensify sexual conditions. In addition, some physiological conditions such as obesity, hormonal disorders, diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure are responsible for exacerbating the impotence conditions.
Frequent incidences of erectile troubles can be a result of smoking, excessive drinking, tobacco, injuries, hormonal imbalances, and medicinal side effects. The occasional encounter with erection failure is nothing to worry about as it can be managed by controlling our daily habits. However, if it becomes an ongoing issue, it can cause stress, lower self-confidence, and add to relationship problems. If it happens regularly and persists for more than a few weeks or months. It should be discussed with a medical professional for taking appropriate action in alleviating these sexual struggles.
What Are The Symptoms Of Erectile Dysfunction?
The primary symptom of erectile dysfunction is not being able to get and keep an erection for having sexual intercourse. Impotence condition prevents men from getting an erection even after adequate sexual stimulation. As a result, men may suffer due to a lack of sexual desire on grounds of low libido levels.
Libido is nothing but your baseline interest in sex. It may also be referred to as sexual desire. Arousal is responsible for fueling desire and it is a physiological response to sexual stimuli. In addition, arousal is a complex process involving the brain, muscles, hormones, nerves, emotions, and blood vessels. Hence erectile dysfunction can happen due to an issue with any of these. However, one can easily take the aid of potent medications to relieve themselves from these frustrating conditions that limit their pleasure. These ED medications increase an abundant flow of blood to the penile by overcoming blockages of blood vessels to trigger a robust erection that sustains for a prolonged duration throughout the entire sexual interaction session.
Is Erectile Dysfunction Common?
Erectile dysfunction is absolutely common and it has nothing to do with age and it does not necessarily have to be part of getting older. However, it is evident that as a man ages, he may need more stimulation via stroking and touching for attaining complete sexual arousal. Moreover, he may also require more time between erections. Regardless of age, older men should still be able to get an erection and enjoy sexual pleasure.
What Are Substances Responsible For Worsening Erectile Dysfunction?
Numerous medications and recreational drugs are known to degrade men’s sexual performance by affecting their arousal. The reasons for erection problems and their causes may vary from person to person. It is essential to inform the healthcare provider in case of a debilitating effect. Some medicinal interactions can lead to life-threatening reactions if taken with negligence without consulting a medical professional.
A list of medicines comprising antidepressants, psychiatric medicines, antihistamines, high blood pressure medicines, diuretics (water pills), Parkinson’s disease medicines, chemotherapy, hormonal medicines, opiate analgesics (painkillers), and lastly some recreational drugs like alcohol, amphetamines, barbiturates, cocaine, marijuana, Heroine, and nicotine can cause and contribute to erectile difficulties.
How Is Erectile Dysfunction Diagnosed?
One must inform the doctor exactly what the difficulties they are being faced concerning their sexual struggles. Ask your doctor some detailed questions and what causes erectile dysfunction. Their first and foremost step would be to examine in case of medical history and recommend an appropriate treatment. In the case of a chronic health condition. Or if your doctor suspects a possibility of involvement of an underlying condition. You might require to get some tests done followed by a consultation with a specialist.