Erectile Dysfunction: Symptoms, Causes and Tips For Prevention

By Dr. Gaurav Garg (Uro) in Urology

Nov 18 , 2022 | 1 min read

Erectile dysfunction or impotence is the inability to initiate or sustain intercourse hard enough for penetration. It is a common men's health problem worldwide. More than half of men above 50 years of age suffer from ED. People usually don't talk about ED. Having ED can lead to stress, low self-esteem, low confidence, and disturbed interpersonal relations. Moreover, ED can signify a more serious health condition like coronary artery disease (CAD).

Common Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

  1. Behavioural and psychological problems like performance anxiety, depression, stress, relationship problems, etc.
  2. Conditions that decrease blood supply to penile blood vessels- Diabetes, CAD, hypertension, dyslipidemia, smoking.
  3. Conditions that lead to low testosterone- Hypogonadism, injury to the testis, anti-androgens.
  4. Certain drugs- Antihypertensives, anti-cancer medications, antidepressants.

How to make a diagnosis of Erectile Dysfunction

Although you may feel a little hesitant to talk regarding ED, it can be diagnosed with the help of a few simple questions related to sexual desire, erections, hardness, climax, and ejaculation,  coupled with a physical examination. Simple blood tests to find secondary causes of ED like CAD, diabetes, atherosclerosis, testosterone deficiency, and chronic kidney disease are usually done. 

Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction

  1. Decreased sexual desire

  2. Decreased morning erections

  3. Unable to initiate intercourse

  4. Unable to sustain intercourse

How to Prevent Erectile Dysfunction

  • Eat the right food- Take a balanced diet and eat nutritious foods

  • Take adequate sleep

  • Avoid or quit smoking, use of tobacco, alcohol, and psychotropic drugs

  • Do regular exercise, yoga, and meditation

  • Meet your doctor for screening for CAD, diabetes, and dyslipidemia

How to Treat Erectile Dysfunction

ED is commonly treated by management of its cause, be it behavioural or a secondary condition like treatment of CAD (coronary artery disease), diabetes, and dyslipidemia. Most patients show improvement with oral medications, while others may require therapies like testosterone replacement, Low-intensity Shock wave therapy (Li-ESWT), vacuum erection devices, intracavernosal injections, and penile implants.

So if you're facing any symptoms of ED (erectile dysfunction), do change your lifestyle, and do not hesitate to talk and meet your urologist today for further guidance. Most cases of ED can be managed by lifestyle changes, behavioural therapy, and medications.