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What is Erectile Dysfunction?

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Erectile dysfunction (ED) is one of the most frequent sex-related problems that men tend to face. Erectile dysfunction is a problem that affects men when they can’t get a firm erection or have difficulty maintaining it for the duration of sexual intercourse.

While it isn’t necessarily unusual, ED does require diagnosis by a medical professional and appropriate treatment.

The common factors that underlie performance issues and ED are:

  • An ailment such as heart disease or diabetes.
  • A restriction in the supply of blood to the penis, or injury to some nerves.
  • Psychological factors such as mental stress or emotional issues.

Identifying the source of your erectile dysfunction is critical to addressing the problem. Not only will it improve your physical health, but it will also be a psychological relief for you.  We often neglect the effects of mental health in relation to sexual health. The stigma associated with erectile dysfunction hinders many people from seeking treatment on time. This stigma may also cause one to overlook other, more serious, problems. 

Satisfying sex life is essential for a balanced life, and ED need not be allowed to become an unnecessary obstacle. The good news is, it can be treated. 

What is the first step in treating ED?

Consult your doctor and work with them to start a treatment plan for erectile dysfunction. The approach will entail looking at a variety of symptoms and underlying causes to determine the best solution for you.

It is entirely up to you to decide what form of treatment you should seek for your erectile dysfunction. It is recommended that you and your partner agree on the type of treatment that is suitable for both of you so that it does not disrupt the sex life.

Making deliberate lifestyle changes may also help treat erectile dysfunction. This approach helps treat some of the underlying problems by addressing them one at a time. Try the following changes in lifestyle:

  • Exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy body weight
  • Switching to a healthier diet
  • Not smoking
  • Decreasing or altogether stopping alcohol intake
  • Stopping all usage of illegal drugs

If you are above the age of 50, obese and live a sedentary life, you might also have diabetes and high cholesterol. These factors negatively impact sexual health, but it can be mitigated if you make the aforementioned lifestyle changes. 

How does sexual performance change with age?

Erectile dysfunction is a problem that might become more common as men age. Even though being older does not guarantee ED, it does make it more likely. Some men can have a healthy and active sexual life far into their eighties. If you’re young and have erectile dysfunction, it could be a sign of a more serious ailment, as previously mentioned. This is why determining the root cause of erectile dysfunction is vital before starting treatment.

Many age-related health conditions, such as heart disease, excessive blood sugar, and hardened arteries, can limit blood flow to the penis and cause ED. Moreover, diabetic patients may have unhealthy tiny arteries in the penis or suffer from nerve loss that may also contribute to ED.

Medications that treat ED

There are different kinds of oral tablets that are prescribed to assist in getting and maintaining an erection. The four most common medications are:

These drugs work by enhancing the production of the body’s chemicals. Nitric oxide, a molecule that relaxes the muscles in the penis, is one of these substances. As a result of this relaxation, blood flow in the area increases, allowing you to achieve a proper erection in response to sexual stimulation.

It is important to remember that using any of these drugs does not guarantee that you will get a long-lasting erection.

Medications that may cause ED

Although most medications do not cause sexual problems, there are yet a few that could. If you are taking any of the following medications, ED may potentially be a side effect:

  • Medicines for an irregular heartbeat
  • Antidepressants and antipsychotics
  • Anti-inflammatory medicines
  • Medications that affect the prostate
  • Medication for high blood pressure
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Medications for chemotherapy
  • Drugs for hormonal therapy

To make sure you get the proper treatment, be open and honest with your healthcare professional when you initially consult with them about this problem. You should provide the medical practitioner with as much information as possible to offer you the best treatment plan.

Your doctor will evaluate your situation to determine which medicine is best for treating your erectile dysfunction. The doctor will also tell you the suitable dosage, and you should follow it with precision.

Once you start your treatment plan, improvements will likely become noticeable in your sexual health soon.  

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