WHAT IS ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION?
Most men have erection problems now and then. But when erection problems are lasting, they can affect your self-image, sex life, and relationship. When you have erection problems often, “performance anxiety” can make the problem worse. If you cannot keep an erection that is firm enough for intercourse, or if you have an orgasm before or right after entering your partner (premature ejaculation), you may feel frustrated and believe you aren’t pleasing your partner. All of these things could affect how you view your relationship. Fortunately, many of the things that cause erection problems can be treated.
ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION CAUSES: PHYSICAL
About 90% of cases of ED are caused by physical factors, classified as vascular (related to load flow) and non-vascular diseases. It is estimated that 70% of all ED cases may be attributable to vascular diseases alone.
The penis requires a healthy blood flow to become completely erect, and even a marginal reduction in blood flow can potentially cause problems.
This condition is referred to as “vascular insufficiency” and is known to be caused by, or associated with, the following risk factors:
- High Blood Cholesterol
- Cardiac diseases
- Poor Overall Circulation
Furthermore, research indicates that more than 200 prescription medications can potentially cause, contribute to, or aggravate ED. However, it is imperative that you must not discontinue your medications unless otherwise instructed by your physician. Other associated physical conditions or causes are less common. These include:
- Hormonal deficiencies caused by testicular disease, liver disease, or thyroid problems.
- Neurological problems such as Multiple Sclerosis, Stroke, or Parkinson’s disease.
- Trauma to the pelvic area as experienced in certain types of surgery, radiation therapy or automobile accidents resulting in damaged pelvic nerves or arteries.
- Chronic illnesses such as chronic liver disease, chronic renal disease etc.
- Peyronie’s plaque or disease, a peculiar condition of excessive fibrosis in the penile tissue.
It is however, not uncommon to see ED in an otherwise completely healthy person, both physically and psychologically. It is postulated that the penile circulation is intrinsically precarious, being an end-artery. As men age, partial obstructions to the blood flow of the penis may become more common. While this may in inconsequential under normal conditions, it may be enough to cause insufficient blood flow to the penis when sexually aroused.
PROACTIVELY TREATING ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION
As with any medical condition, erectile dysfunction is often best treated promptly. The sooner it is diagnosed and treated, the better the outcome, for the following reasons:
- Identifying and correcting the underlying problem often helps prevent further deterioration, a natural progression of the condition.
- Disuse of an organ can cause progressive loss of function via progressive loss of healthy tissue. This condition is called “disuse atrophy” and is particularly important in the case of penile health.
- ED is more than just a sexual problem. A fulfilling sex life can lead to greater satisfaction in many other aspects of life, including social, family and work environments.
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