What is Erectile Dysfunction?
Commonly termed as impotence, erectile dysfunction or ED is related to sexual dysfunction in males. The most prominent characteristic of this disorder is the inability of males to either develop or maintain a constant erection of the penis during any sexual activity. Diabetes or cardiovascular diseases are perhaps the most important causes of impotence or erectile dysfunction. However, sometimes neurological problem or hypogonadism or hormonal insufficiencies and drug abuse can also result in erectile dysfunction. This disorder has many psychological consequences, even leading to relationship difficulties and loss of self-image.
What is the Symptom of Erectile dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction symptoms, as the name suggests, are more often characterised only by the inability of the person to either develop or continuously maintain an erection during any sexual activity. Usually, this happens repeatedly and regularly and does not improve with time. Sometimes the erection is developed but cannot be maintained, while in the more chronic cases, an erection is not even developed in the first place itself. Other broad symptoms include a reduced sex drive and sexual dysfunction. Soft erections, coupled with anxiety, are also some of the common symptoms.
What are the Risk Factor of Erectile dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction has many risk factors; however, the most important risk factor is medications for treating conditions such as depression, prostate enlargement, male pattern baldness, and high blood pressure. Some other risk factors include:
- Neurogenic and cavernosal disorders can lead to erectile dysfunction
- Kidney failure can also cause erectile dysfunction
- Conditions like diabetes and multiple sclerosis are also quite significant contributors to erectile dysfunction
- Ageing is an apparent risk factor as the age of sexual activity is lost when this disorder occurs
- Psychological factors such as stress or mental disorders coupled with performance anxiety can lead to erectile dysfunction
- Unhygienic and unhealthy lifestyle, including but not limited to smoking, can contribute quite a lot to this dysfunction
- Some surgeries, whether they are successful or not, can often lead to erectile dysfunction
How is Erectile Dysfunction Diagnosed?
There is absolutely no formal medical test that can be used to diagnose a case of erectile dysfunction. However, specific blood tests can be done to determine any underlying disease that might have resulted cumulatively to this disorder. Poor physical health, dietary habits, and an unhealthy lifestyle are often the underlying causes of erectile dysfunction.
Duplex ultrasound, nocturnal penile tumescence, dynamic infusion cavernosometry, magnetic resonance angiography, penile nerves functioning, and penile biothesiometry are some ways to diagnose erectile dysfunction.
How is Erectile Dysfunction Treated?
When it comes to erectile dysfunction treatment or ED treatment, the most important thing to remember is that the treatment depends on the cause of the disorder.
- If the reason for erectile dysfunction is psychological, then psychological treatment is the way to go.
- For patients, where the reasons for erectile dysfunction are physiological, the doctors will recommend aerobic exercises, quitting smoking and alcohol consumption
Vacuum erection devices, as well as oral pharmacotherapy, are also used in treating erectile dysfunction. Surgery is conducted in cases where the patient does not respond to medications or other treatment options.