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A Guide For Erectile Dysfunction – Causes, Symptoms, & Treatment

Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction image - (Image Credit: Shutterstock)

Story At-A-Glance
  • At different points in their lives, many men have difficulties getting and keeping erections. This condition is known as erectile dysfunction, and it can have a tremendous psychological impact.
  • Men who experience this problem can end up with low confidence and self-esteem, and it could also lead to depression or anxiety.
  • The condition usually occurs because there is not enough blood flow to the penis. This can happen for many reasons, including diabetes, smoking, and clogged arteries.
  • There are several natural methods that you can use to treat the condition, such as following a healthy lifestyle and doing Kegel exercises. 
  • This article looks at the causes, symptoms, and treatment.

Overview

Erectile dysfunction is a common sexual health problem that can occur at any time in a man’s adult life, but it’s more likely to happen with age. When a man can’t get a hard-enough erection to have sex, it can lead to a decrease in confidence and may even create problems in his relationship.

Many men feel too uncomfortable or shy to seek medical treatment for erectile dysfunction, although it’s crucial to do so. Many cases of impotence arise due to medical issues. For this reason, it’s important to get to the root cause.

Erectile Dysfunction: The Facts

Erectile dysfunction occurs when a man is unable to get an erection strong enough to have sex. Many men suffer from occasional bouts of impotence in their lifetime, but the condition doesn’t always continue.

Factors like stress and fatigue can cause difficulty in getting erections temporarily. However, sometimes the issue persists and can become problematic. Once the difficulty has persisted for six months, it’s medically considered to be erectile dysfunction.

A summary of the Massachusetts Male Aging Study results published in Cleveland Clinic cited the global prevalence of erectile dysfunction as 52%. They found that it becomes more common with increasing age. At 40, approximately 40% of men have the condition, while at 70, about 70% of men suffer from erectile dysfunction.

While the problem of erectile dysfunction may be similar in many men, the causes are not. There are numerous reasons for the development of this issue, some physical and others psychological.

Why Does Erectile Dysfunction Develop?

There are many possible erectile dysfunction causes, but they can be generally divided into either physical or psychological factors. Mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, or stress can prevent men from getting an erection. Besides, concerns about sexual performance can turn into erectile problems, especially if there are also relationship concerns.

When it comes to physical issues, one of the possible erectile dysfunction causes is that the blood flow to the penis is weak. This can arise from physical conditions like diabetes, heart disease, or clogged blood vessels. It can also be caused by smoking cigarettes [1].

In some cases, blood flow is fine, but the blood doesn’t remain in the penis. This is a physical problem that doesn’t necessarily occur due to a disease or condition. It can happen at any time in a man’s life, including a younger man [1].

Conditions like diabetes, multiple sclerosis, or spinal cord injuries can cause nerve damage in the penis, which prevents erections because nerve signals don’t reach their destination. In some cases, this may be a permanent condition, while in others it could respond to treatment [1].

According to the Mayo Clinic, there are many other conditions which can lead to erectile dysfunction, including Parkinson’s Disease, high blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol, sleep disorders, alcoholism, low testosterone in men, treatment for prostate conditions, Peyronie’s disease, and metabolic syndrome.

In some cases, erectile dysfunction can be a reaction to medications or drugs. If you have this problem, go to your doctor and check this possibility. You may be able to change the medication and get rid of the problem more easily than you think. Excessive alcohol intake is also another cause of problems with erections.

erectile dysfunction causes and symptoms

Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction

The erectile dysfunction symptoms are the inability to get or keep and erection for long enough to have sex, and possibly a lowered sexual libido. This may go along with emotional symptoms, such as lower self-esteem and anxiety [2].

Erectile Dysfunction Treatment Options

Fortunately, treatment for erectile dysfunction is quite diverse and offers several different options. There are medication-based treatments, as well as some more natural and lifestyle-oriented methods. Take your pick based on personal preferences. Here are some of the more natural options:

1. Natural Supplements

An organic supplement like Virectin can do a lot to get rid of your erectile problems. Potent products like this increase levels of testosterone, elevate libido, and improve blood flow to the penis. They can also enhance sexual stamina and overall sexual performance.

2. Kegel

These are exercises which strengthen the pelvic muscles. They involve clenching the pelvic muscles for 5 seconds and then relaxing and repeating this 10 to 20 times. Do this several times a day.

If you have trouble finding the muscle, try to stop your urine in the middle of urinating. The muscle you use to do this is the one you need to exercise. A study published in the British Journal of General Practice found that pelvic floor exercises were effective in the treatment of erectile dysfunction.

3. Acupuncture

The practice of acupuncture has proven successful at treating erectile problems. It improves blood flow in the body, and the enhanced circulation to the penis strengthens erections. It’s also thought to regulate nerve sensitivity. A review of the research published in Medicine (Baltimore) found that acupuncture was an effective treatment for erectile dysfunction.

4. Get Therapy

Many of the root causes of erectile dysfunction are psychological. There may be feelings of lack of confidence, low self esteem, or even deeper issues causing the problem. One treatment for erectile dysfunction involves going to therapy to explore the root causes of the condition. Through the release of hidden emotions and discussion of issues, the problem will ideally resolve itself.

5. Don’t Drink Alcohol

There’s a strong link between alcohol and erectile problems. A study published in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry looked at the prevalence of sexual dysfunction in men with alcohol dependence. They found that 72% had at least one sexual dysfunction. Limiting your alcohol intake could do a lot to reduce impotence.

6. Stop Smoking

There’s evidence to show that smoking is one of the erectile dysfunction causes. It may disrupt the release of nitric oxide, which is important for healthy bodily circulation. The reduced blood flow to the penis makes it difficult to get an erection [3]. A review published in Andrologia examined the strong connection between cigarette smoking and erectile dysfunction.

7. Lifestyle Modifications

One of the best things you can do to help with erectile dysfunction is to follow a healthy lifestyle. This means a nutritious diet rich in vegetables and fruits and whole grains, and low in sugars and processed foods.

It also means exercising several times a week, to keep your body toned. Working out gets the blood flowing in your body, which can help improve the strength of erections. One of the significant erectile dysfunction causes is obesity. Keeping yourself at a normal weight can really help enhance erections.

8. Lower Your Stress Level

Stress can have a strong impact on the body physically, and one of the issues that can occur is erectile dysfunction. Work on lowering your level of stress by taking time for yourself and not overworking yourself. You may also try techniques like meditation and mindfulness.

9. Yoga

Yoga for Men

One effective treatment for erectile dysfunction symptoms is yoga. It improves circulation all over your body, including to the penis. It may also increase testosterone levels, which will raise libido. An article in the Journal of Sexual Medicine looked at yoga in male sexual functioning and found it to be an effective treatment for male sexual issues.

Trending Questions

At the age of 40, about 40% of men suffer from erectile dysfunction, compared to 70% at 70. You are much more likely to develop erectile problems as you get older, but it’s not always the case. This problem can develop for men at any age, especially if it’s based on psychological factors. However, younger men sometimes have physical problems as well.

There may be problems with circulation as a man ages, which leads to difficulty getting erections. However, what leads to impotence in older men is often a health issues or condition such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, or others. The medical issue may cause nerve problems or difficulty with blood flow.

It’s possible that it could be, yes. The root causes of impotence are either physical or psychological. If you’re experiencing depression, excess stress, or a lot of anxiety, for example, it could lead to physical manifestations.  Even sometimes just low self-esteem and doubts about your attractiveness could lead to difficulty getting erections. If you think the cause of your problem is psychological, it’s a good idea to meet with a therapist to talk through some of these issues.

Erectile problems do not lead to infertility or low sperm count in themselves. However, the root cause of the problem may go along with infertility issues, for example, if there are neurological difficulties. Also, impotence makes it very difficult to have sex, which makes it hard to get pregnant. Couples where there is a sexual dysfunction often have difficulty conceiving.

There are many different treatments for this condition, so there’s a good chance that with some help, your problems will go away. However, it does depend on the cause of the problem. If you have serious nerve damage, there’s a chance you won’t recover. In most cases, improving your lifestyle and seeking other treatments does work.

Aerobics can have a very beneficial effect on erectile dysfunction symptoms. It gets your heart rate going, your body moving, and it moves the flow of blood all over your body. This means the circulation to your penis increases, making your erections stronger. These are all good reasons to go sign up for some classes as soon as possible.

To begin with, it’s important to follow a healthy, nutritious diet that includes fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, lean meats, and fish. You should avoid oily or greasy foods, sugar, and processed foods. Try not to become overweight, as this is one of the erectile dysfunction causes. Besides, you should limit your alcohol intake. Some specific foods may help with erectile problems, including cocoa, watermelon, and pistachios [4].

The Final Word

Erectile dysfunction occurs when a man has difficulty getting an erection, usually because the flow of blood to the penis is somehow blocked. This can be a tremendous problem for many men and can lead to low confidence or even feelings of anxiety or depression. Although this issue can occur at any age, it’s more likely to happen as a man ages and develops health problems.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to solve this problem. You can go to your doctor and get medication, but not everyone wants to do that. Drug therapy has some uncomfortable side effects, which many men do not like. There are also natural supplements on the market like Virectin, which can help you get erections using organic ingredients. Also, there are lifestyle solutions, like getting therapy and quitting smoking.

Whichever remedy you choose, make sure you keep in touch with your medical team and let them know about your progress. With any luck, you’ll be back to having a great sex life in no time.

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A Guide For Erectile Dysfunction – Causes, Symptoms, & Treatment
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