Erectile Dysfunction is a medical condition in which a man is unable to achieve or sustain a penile erection during sexual intercourse. While most men will experience difficulties in fostering or maintaining an erection firm enough to support sex at some point in their life – which could be due to several reasons including stress, it only becomes a problem when this happens consistently or too often, hindering a decent sexual performance. Without adequate treatment, Erectile Dysfunction can have a negative psychological effect on the patient’s self-esteem, and quite possibly his relationship.

Although most patients feel alone with this problem, Erectile Dysfunction is seemingly one of the most common health issues among men. The condition is reported in approximately 40% of men with varying degrees of severity. The risk of Erectile Dysfunction and the numbers increase with age to about 1 in 2 men of ages 50 and above, although age is not in itself a causative factor.

Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction

Occasional inability to attain sufficient rigidity or penile erection for satisfactory sex is probably nothing to worry about. Factors like stress, anxiety, or even tension in the relationship might hinder erections. However, the following symptoms might indicate a case of Erectile Dysfunction, and medical attention should be sought from a qualified healthcare provider.

  • Difficulties in getting an erection when you want to have sex: Erectile Dysfunction is generally characterized by a persistent inability to achieve sufficient rigidity to support sexual penetration. If this happens each time you want to have sex, it might be an indicator of Erectile Dysfunction.
  • Weak erection or difficulties sustaining the erection: Depending on the individual, some Erectile Dysfunction patients may be able to achieve an erection but experience challenges in maintaining a solid erection long enough to have decent sex. This might be in the form of an erection that is too weak for sex, and it is also an early symptom of Erectile Dysfunction.
  • Change in the angle of erection: The Healthy angle of erection should be about 100 to 120 degrees, and a change in the angle can be an early flag of erectile dysfunction, among other things. The angle of erection can be altered by several factors, including age and diseases.
  • A drastically reduced libido and inability to get an erection at all are also considered symptoms of erectile dysfunction.

These symptoms also vary from person to person, depending on their age, sexual activity, and health.

Whether you are experiencing some or all of these symptoms, Erectile Dysfunction should be taken seriously as it is sometimes a symptom of another underlying health problem. Some studies even indicated that the condition might be a signal of blockages in the vascular system, and such a patient might be at risk of heart attack or other circulatory problems.

Seeking Medical Attention

Medical attention should be sought from a qualified doctor as soon as possible upon identification of any or all of the symptoms stated. Diagnosis will be made based on the patient’s medical history or through a physical examination to identify the underlying cause of the problem if necessary.

A qualified medical doctor will help pinpoint the underlying cause in an appointment and should also help you to figure out the treatment that best suits you depending on the cause, severity, and your overall health.

Treatments of Erectile Dysfunction

Fortunately, an array of treatments is considered potent in treating varying degrees of Erectile Dysfunction. Treatment may involve simple lifestyle changes, medications, surgery, or even application of assistive devices. The doctor will help you understand and establish your preferences by considering the risks and benefits of these treatments:

  • Lifestyle Changes: According to research, erectile dysfunction may be reversible by making drastic lifestyle changes. This can be achieved by identifying and removing harmful lifestyle habits that might have been responsible for the condition in the first place. By eliminating habits such as smoking and alcohol intake, and replacing them with healthy lifestyle habits such as regular exercise, maintaining a healthy diet, and adequate sleep, patients can achieve a better sex life and rid themselves of Erectile Dysfunction.Another benefit of this approach is that it might prove useful in combating complementary health issues like heart disease and obesity, achieving better overall health all at once.
  • Medications: Several medications have proven effective in treating erectile dysfunction. These medications can be categorized broadly into Vasodilators and Hormones. Vasodilators operate by widening blood vessels to aid blood flow to the penis. Hence, enabling the patient to achieve an erection. Stendra, Cialis, Levitra, Viagra, Staxyn, and Alprostadil are some examples of well-known vasodilator medications for Erectile Dysfunction.
  • Vascular Reconstructive Surgery: In this treatment, the arteries in the patient’s penis are reconstructed by surgery to improve blood flow to the penis. During the operation, blocked arteries are improvised by introducing better arteries removed from other parts of the body. The procedure is often avoided owing to the difficulty and cost of successfully conducting the surgery.
  • Vacuum Erection Pump: the vacuum pump is another effective yet noninvasive method of addressing impotence on demand. The technique involves the use of a pump device which consists of a plastic tube and a pump. To use the device, the tube fits directly over the penis, and the pump which is either powered by a battery or operated manually draws air out of the cylinder. This draws blood into the penis, inducing an erection. A constriction band can be used to maintain the erection for up to 30 minutes while the intercourse lasts
  • Penile Implants: Penile implants or penile prosthesis is the last resort in the treatment of Erectile Dysfunction. The procedure is only considered if the underlying cause of the condition has no chance of natural recovery, and other methods have been tried out but proven ineffective. The procedure involves surgically implanting two (2) connected cylinders of malleable or inflatable composition. The patient can easily inflate or deflate the cylinders manually when erection is desired. Penile implant surgery takes about an hour and cannot be administered on patients that might not make it through that duration of operation for any reason.

Future of Erectile Dysfunction Treatment

There is ongoing research to discover better effective treatments for Erectile Dysfunction that can be applied conveniently with fewer side effects. There are also alternative treatments claimed to be effective in addressing the condition. However, it is essential to seek medical advice and guidance in the affairs of health issues before resolving to go for such remedies and procedures.

Author's Bio: 

Ghulam Mustafa is a blogger and entrepreneur dedicated to enlightening his readers on sexual health and solution to common health challenges facing men. He also facilitates importation of medications for Erectile Dysfunction from Pharmaceutical Companies in India. Ghulam is a passionate researcher. He is always on the lookout for solutions and better ways to achieve optimum sexual health. Check out his blog for more articles on Erectile Dysfunction and fitness of men