Erectile Dysfunction

What is Erectile Dysfunction?

A man is considered to be suffering from erectile dysfunction if he regularly faces difficulty in getting or keeping a firm erection to be able to have sexual intercourse, or if the condition interferes with other sexual activities.While most men have experienced some difficulty with their penis becoming hard or staying firm but a case of erectile dysfunction is only considered if the sexual performance has not been satisfactory on multiple occasion for some time.

Men experiencing erectile dysfunction and having trouble with their sexual performance, find it difficult to communicate it with their doctors as they believe it to be an embarrassing issue. However, with ED being well understood now, there are a wide variety of treatments available to the issue.

Erectile dysfunction is a very common condition. It is estimated that about 15-30 million people suffer from erectile dysfunction. ED can range from complete impotency to unsatisfactory performance.

What Causes Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction can be caused by two main reasons – physical causes and psychological causes.

Physical Causes

If you have been experiencing erectile dysfunction persistently, it is worth consulting a physician. As erectile dysfunction in itself can be a serious problem. It does not matter if your condition is simple or serious, proper diagnosis can help in addressing your underlying medical issues and help resolve the condition. Here is a list of common physical or organic causes of erectile dysfunction:

  • Heart disease or narrowing of blood vessels
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • High levels of cholesterol
  • Metabolic syndrome and obesity
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Hormonal disorders which including thyroid conditions and testosterone deficiencies
  • Structural or anatomical disorders of the penis
  • Alcoholism, smoking, and substance abuse
  • Treatments taken for prostate disease
  • Any complications caused by surgery
  • Injuries suffered in pelvic region or spinal cord
  • Radiation therapy to the pelvic region

Additionally, atherosclerosis is yet another condition that can cause narrowing or clogging of arteries in the penis and prevent the erection. Erectile dysfunction call also be caused by various numerous prescription medications.

Psychological Causes

There are rare cases of erectile dysfunction where the man always has erectile dysfunction and may have never achieved an erection. This is called primary ED and the cause for this condition is always mostly psychological if there are no anatomical deformities. Psychological issues including guilt, fear of intimacy, depression and severe anxiety can lead to erectile dysfunction. However, it is very uncommon that psychological issues contribute to ED.

Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction

Men suffering from erectile dysfunction may experience difficulty in achieving an erection. However, if this happens rarely, it is not considered as medical condition.

ED does not just mean that a man faces complete inability in achieving an erection. Symptoms can also include a man’s ability to maintain the erection long enough to complete the intercourse or inability to ejaculate.

Symptoms may also be emotional where a man may feel embarrassment, shame, anxiety and decreased interest in sexual intercourse.

When these symptoms occur regularly, a man is considered to have ED.