Inability to achieve an erection is embarrassing and worrisome. While most of the patients are bothered by the inability to perform sex there are many issues that go beyond the bed. Here are some points about Erectile Dysfunction that will be worth considering:
What is Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile Dysfunction is the inability to produce an erection or the inability of the penis to be engorged with blood upon adequate sexual stimulus which is strong enough to produce an erection.
Why does Erectile Dysfunction develop?
The penis is a spongy organ which when given the adequate stimulus engorges itself by filling up with blood. When the inflow of this blood is insufficient or the blood keeps leaking out of the penis, there can be development of erectile dysfunction. Nerves mediate the dilatation of the vessels and the sinusoids and failure to stimulate these nerves through the brain centers also causes erectile dysfunction.
There are thus three mechanisms which when affected can cause Erectile Dysfunction to develop:
- Lack to stimulation of the nerves that control the tone of the penile vessels so that they can dilate to accommodate more blood, or a physical damage to these nerves such as during surgery or with diabetes.
- Decrease in the lumen of the artery to the penis so that the blood cannot completely fill the penile spongy tissue such as by deposition of atherosclerotic plaques in the penile artery
- Increase in the venous outflow of blood from the spongy tissue of the penis which leads to rapid clearing of blood thereby not allowing the penile spongy tissue to fill.
What is the most common reason for Erectile Dysfunction to develop?
In young patients anxiety and fear are the most common reasons for erectile dysfunction. Pain, previous bad sexual experiences and aversion towards a particular partner or lack of attraction can be some important causes of erectile dysfunction. In the elderly, erectile dysfunction can result from atherosclerosis, diabetes, endothelial dysfunction and is a part of many neurogenic diseases. Chronic backache can also commonly lead to erectile dysfunction due to compression of nerves.
What are the options for treatment of Erectile Dysfunction?
Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction depends on the cause of dysfunction. Psychogenic erectile dysfunction requires simple counseling and therapy. Use of few medicines can help in faster recovery. In patients who suffer from organic causes like those mentioned above, drug therapy is the initial mainstay. Depending on the response to tablets the therapy can be further tailored. Injections in the Penis can also be used for treating this problem. A Doppler study of the penis can help decide the cause of impotence and subsequent therapy. If the problem is not curable by drugs, injections or vacuum devices, penile implants are the surest way of cure.
What are penile implants?
In patients with refractory erectile dysfunction, penile implants can be a treatment that ensures high success. Two cylinders filled with fluid are placed in the penis which can be inflated at the touch of a button which is placed in the scrotum. There are also cylinders which are very inexpensive but which always remain erect. Cost of surgery can be brought down significantly by choosing non inflatable implants over inflatable ones.
How can one prevent Erectile Dysfunction?
It is possible to delay erectile dysfunction by regular physical exercise, balanced diet with low fats and keeping lifestyle diseases like diabetes, hypertension and heart disease at bay. A good fantasy in your find with your partner is the key to a good erection. It is that mind that produces an erection not the penis.
Do not delay the treatment of sexual dysfunction. Meet a specialist today and act early for optimal results. Here’s wishing you a healthy and happy sexual life.