Erectile dysfunction is characterized by the inability to form an erection. Men with erectile dysfunction prefer to keep the condition a secret and avoid going to a healthcare practitioner for examination and diagnosis due to embarrassment. It completely shatters the confidence of the suffering individual, which directly affects mental health. Seeking help for physical and mental well-being should be encouraged, and people in their surroundings should console the individual.
Most men may experience trouble getting an erection at some point. It can occur more than once. However, erection-related trouble isn’t a cause for concern from time to time, but if the problem persists for a long period, it’s classified as erectile dysfunction.
What is the main cause of erectile dysfunction?
Various factors can affect a man’s ability to form an erection, either due to an underlying physical condition or emotional stress. Let’s have an in-depth look at the causes of ED:
- Restricted blood flow to the penis: Adequate blood flow to the penis plays an important role in an erection. If the blood flow is restricted or limited for any reason, it contributes to the inability to form an erection. Moreover, it could also indicate an underlying health condition.
- Side effects from medications: Medicines used to treat existing medical conditions can be a major factor contributing to the development of ED. Long-term use of a wide range of medications has ED listed as a side effect.
- High-stress levels: Emotions can often be a key element for erectile dysfunction. Research studies suggest that individuals with high-stress levels were more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction than those who were relatively more relaxed. The specific hormone secretion increases significantly when the body is under stress, directly affecting testosterone levels. Anxiety and depression have a similar effect on the body.
- Diabetes: Diabetes is associated with various long-term effects on the body, such as kidney diseases, atherosclerosis, and damage to the nerves. When the nerves endings and blood vessels are damaged, the blood supply and signal to the penis are disrupted, resulting in loss of erection and ultimately ED.
- Surgery or damage to the pelvic muscles: Any injury that causes damage to the pelvic muscles directly affects the erection. Furthermore, surgery can also play a significant role.
In rare cases, physical and emotional factors combine to cause ED in an individual. Treatment should be done accordingly.
The effect of erectile dysfunction on the mental health of an individual:
The negative aspects on the mental health of the suffering individual have been identified. A sudden wave of embarrassment is noticed upon the diagnosis at an early age, accompanied by low-self esteem and shattered confidence. Some men may face problems maintaining a healthy relationship with their partner as the disease affects their sexual life.
As stated previously, stress, performance anxiety, and depression can contribute to the development of this. Another perspective shows that ED can result in deteriorated mental health and higher stress levels, which further worsens the condition and minimizes the chances of recovery. Therefore, mental counseling can help individuals regain confidence and speed up recovery.
What are the treatment options for erectile dysfunction?
Because the disease is not life-threatening, a range of treatment options is available, starting from oral medications to injections and, in rare cases, surgery.
- Hormonal Therapy: In most cases, ED is due to low levels of testosterone in the body. Testosterone therapy is recommended in combination with other medications to combat the issue and recover normal penile erection.
- Oral Medications: Since the disease poses no harm to the individual’s life, the first line of treatment includes a list of oral medications. Typically, PDE5 inhibitors are prescribed to deal with the conditions. Medicines such as Viagra, tadalafil, and avanafil are usually given.
- Invasive treatment: If all other methods fail to produce positive results, the patient is recommended to resort to the last treatment option; invasive therapy. A variety of options are available, including self-injection, intrathecal route, or the urethra route. In all the previously mentioned invasive methods, the medicine Alprostadil is used. Self-injections should be started under supervision until the patient learns to inject himself safely.
- Surgery: Generally, the first line of treatment is enough to cure the condition. However, in rare cases, the patient does not respond to any treatment option, and the last option available is surgery. An implant is placed carefully inside the body, and the results are satisfactory.
How is erectile dysfunction diagnosed?
Even though the diagnosis of ED isn’t difficult as the symptom is pretty evident. Diagnosis still needs to be done by a healthcare professional to determine the underlying cause; is it due to stress or cardiovascular diseases? Furthermore, the doctor may ask questions related to your sexual history to determine a treatment method. The doctor may ask the following questions:
- Are you on medications for any co-current disease?
- Is your body under stress lately?
- Are you suffering from any psychological disorders, i.e., depression or anxiety?
- When did your erectile function start?
Can kegel exercises help in the management of erectile dysfunction?
Kegel exercises are designed to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and have shown significant improvement in the management of ED. It focuses on the bulb vascular and ischiocavernosus muscles which aid in the correction of the inability to develop an erection. People willing to opt for alternate methods of treatment should try kegel exercises. However, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional before getting started. Seeking guidance and acquiring adequate knowledge is essential.
What is rectal dysfunction?
Rectal dysfunction is another word for ED characterized by the inability to form an erection. Because both the words are synonymous, the causes, treatments, and precautionary methods are the same.
What is sexual dysfunction?
Sexual dysfunction is defined as any disorder or disease that prevents a person from having sex. Sexual dysfunction can be caused by a variety of circumstances, including sexually transmitted illnesses. In ED, the patient struggles to get an erection, making it difficult to have sex and maintain a sexually active lifestyle, resulting in sexual dysfunction.
What does impotent mean?
The word impotent can be used in various aspects. Particularly for men, the word impotent refers to the inability to achieve an erection. Precisely, we can say that ED is one of the major causes of impotency.
What is the corpus cavernosum?
The corpus cavernosum is an important muscle present inside the penis responsible for the trapping of blood, leading to an erection.
What is a boner?
Boner is an informal word used for erection. The process of getting a boner is an interesting one. Let’s dip deeper;
It’s a fact that the main reason men get an erection (or boner) is the sudden rush of blood to the penile blood vessels. When men are sexually aroused, the secretion of the related neurotransmitters increases, which send signals to the penile nerves and blood vessels for enhanced blood circulation into the corpus cavernosum.
The blood is trapped within the two chambers of the penis in the corpus cavernosum, a spongy tissue leading to the erection of the penis. Any disturbances within this process can lead to ED (or a soft penis)
Simple trick to cure erectile dysfunction:
Apart from the allopathic methods of treatment, numerous remedies and tricks are found in medicine systems of different traditions that claim to cure ED easily.
The most typical approach is to include kegel exercises in your routine to strengthen your pelvic muscles, which can help you treat ED. In addition, ginseng and ginkgo are advised. It’s critical to understand that what works for one person may not work for you. Please don’t get on the treatment bandwagon because someone’s grandfather treated their erectile dysfunction in the 19th century with a specific technique. Conduct research into any alternative tactic or remedy you intend to utilize, and only begin if all of the material is supported by research.
Vitamin D is marketed as the essential vitamin required for calcium absorption in the body. But what if I told you it’s crucial for proper penile function? Research supports the use of Vitamin D for increasing blood flow and maintaining an erection. However, extensive research is still required to prove it completely.
How to increase blood flow to the penis naturally?
When it comes to improving penile blood flow, the focus is always on eating a balanced diet. Diet has a significant impact on the blood circulation in the penis. As a result, a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains is essential. Giving up processed foods and a meat-heavy diet may seem challenging at first, but once the benefits start to show, you’ll be glad you made the commitment.
Exercising is also a great strategy to improve blood flow to the penile blood vessels. Exercise improves blood circulation to the penis by causing a surge in blood circulation throughout the body. It enables a person to overcome ED and regain normal erections. It may work in mild cases, but there isn’t enough evidence for severe cases.
Get rid of the booze. What if we told you that alcohol is a major cause of reduced penile blood flow? According to studies, most men who suffer from alcoholism have difficulty getting an erection. Do you want your penile function to be normal, or do you want to drink alcohol? The choice is yours.
How to lower the risk of suffering from ED?
Preventing Ed is probably the easiest yet the hardest thing to do as it requires the sacrifice of the most beloved (but harmful) habits.
The first and foremost thing that should be done is to stop smoking. It’s directly linked to the development of cardiovascular disease, which affects blood circulation and can ultimately play a role in ED.
Secondly, it’s essential to keep a check on the weighing scale. Research studies have come to the conclusion that men who are obese are at a higher risk of developing ED compared to individuals with normal body weights. Therefore, it’s time to let go of that fatty and unhealthy diet.
Stay away from steroids. If you are fond of working out in the gym, you’re already minimizing the chances of erectile dysfunction. However, if you combine your love for exercising with some steroids, you’re canceling the effect. Steroids used by bodybuilders can affect testosterone levels in the body leading to erectile dysfunction.
How to ask for support from the partner?
ED is a difficult condition that requires a lot of mental strength to not travel down to the dark and scary path. However, if you feel like your disease is impacting your partner negatively, sit down and talk. Let them know about your struggles and how it affects you more than anyone else on the planet. Asking for support is not an embarrassing thing rather, it should be encouraged.
Living with erectile dysfunction is a difficult task as society often puts down the men suffering from it despite it not being their fault. However, it’s important to stay strong and work your way to recovery. Many factors play a contributing role in this disease. If all the factors are eliminated and; lifestyle changes are made, curing ED becomes ten folds easier.
Before moving towards the route of recovery, it’s important to understand and diagnose the root cause behind this issue. If the root cause is unknown, all sorts of methods can be tried, but recovery is unachievable if the one specific method for the hidden cause is ignored. Take all the necessary precautions to protect yourself from erectile dysfunction and visit a physician as soon as you notice an increase in the frequency.