Erectile dysfunction (ED)

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is when a man can no longer get or keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse.

Erectile dysfunction is a source of emotional stress, diminishes self-confidence, and may cause relationship problems. If you can no longer get or keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse, talk to your doctor or healthcare provide. You are not alone! Do not feel awkward to talk with your doctor or healthcare professionals about erectile dysfunction. It is a medical condition and the good news is that there is a solution.

Difficulty in getting and/or keeping an erection can be a sign of a health condition that needs treatment, such as heart disease or poorly controlled diabetes. Treating an underlying problem may be enough to reverse your erectile dysfunction. Most often, medications such as Honnihil® will be all that you need to keep going.

Symptoms of ED

Erectile dysfunction symptoms may include persistent:

  • Trouble getting an erection
  • Trouble keeping an erection
  • Reduced sexual desire

 Causes of ED

Male sexual arousal is a complex process that involves the brain, hormones, emotions, nerves, muscles and blood vessels. Erectile dysfunction can result from a problem with any of these.

Physical stress, mental stress, and subtle mental health problems can cause or worsen erectile dysfunction. Sometimes a combination of physical and psychological issues causes erectile dysfunction. For instance, a minor physical problem that slows your sexual response may cause anxiety about maintaining an erection. The resulting anxiety can lead to or worsen erectile dysfunction.

Physical causes of ED

Most often, erectile dysfunction is caused by physical ailments, such as existing medical disorders. Some common physical causes include:

  • Heart disease
  • Clogged blood vessels (atherosclerosis)
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Metabolic syndrome, a condition involving increased blood pressure, high insulin levels, body fat around the waist and high cholesterol
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Low testosterone
  • Peyronie’s disease, development of scar tissue inside the penis
  • Certain prescription medications
  • Tobacco use
  • Alcoholism and other forms of substance abuse
  • Treatments for prostate cancer or enlarged prostate
  • Surgeries or injuries that affect the pelvic area or spinal cord

Psychological causes of ED

The brain plays a key role in triggering the series of events that cause an erection, starting with feelings of sexual excitement. A number of issues can interfere with sexual feelings and cause or worsen erectile dysfunction. Some of these psychological issues include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Obvious or subtle mental health conditions
  • Stress
  • Relationship problems and marital stress,
  • Poor communication or other concerns

Risk factors in ED

A variety of risk factors can contribute to erectile dysfunction. The risk factors include:

  • Age– as you get older, erections may take longer to develop and may not be as firm. You may need more direct touch to your penis to get and keep an erection. This is not a direct consequence of getting older. Usually it is a result of underlying health problems or  side effects of some medications, which is more common as men grow older.
  • Medical conditions-particularly diabetes or heart diseases.
  • Tobacco use- which restricts blood flow to veins and arteries. Over time tobacco use can cause chronic health problems that lead to erectile dysfunction.
  • Overweight- especially if you are obese.
  • Certain medical treatments- such as prostate surgery or radiation treatment for cancer.
  • Injuries-particularly if they damage the nerves that control erections.
  • Use of some drugs-including antihypertensive medications, antidepressants, antihistamines, pain killers, or medications for prostate cancer.
  • Psychological conditions-such as stress, anxiety or depression.
  • Alcohol use-especially if you are a heavy drinker.
  • Prolonged bicycling- which may compress nerves and affect blood flow to the penis, can lead to temporary erectile dysfunction.

 Complications of ED

Complications resulting from erectile dysfunction can include:

  • An unsatisfactory sex life
  • Stress or anxiety
  • Embarrassment or low self-esteem
  • Marital or relationship problems
  • The inability to get your partner pregnant
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