Related articles

Understanding Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction affects over half of men over 40, and although it is easily treatable, it’s usually swept under the carpet, with only 10% of sufferers seeking treatment.

More than 2.3 million men of all ages in the UK experience difficulties in achieving or maintaining an erection sufficient for sexual performance, according to The Sexual Dysfunction Association.

Contrary to popular belief, erectile dysfunction (ED) is caused by physical problems in the majority of cases. For example, it can be a sign of underlying medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. But it can also be caused or worsened by other external factors such as stress, tiredness and anxiety. ED that appears suddenly in men who can achieve erections under some circumstances but not others may mean there is a psychological problem at the root.

One in two men over 40 are likely to suffer erection difficulties at some point in their lives. And since ageing does increase your chances of experiencing ED, many older men accept the condition as a ‘normal’ part of the ageing process without realising it can be treated effectively.

Recent research shows that men with ED wait, on average, 17 months before consulting their GP about it, if at all. In this time, their ED can have a significant psychological impact, as well as social impact affecting all areas of life; relationships, confidence and even work life are all known to be affected.

In addition, these feelings may be compounded if a treatment does not work for them first time – which happens for about a third of men and is easily rectified by switching to a different or higher dose medication.

Possible physical causes of ED:

• Diabetes
• Smoking
• High cholesterol
• Spinal injury
• Not enough blood flow to the penis, sometimes resulting from blocked arteries
• Excessive drainage of blood from the penis (also known as a venous leak)
• Damage or diseases affecting the nerves that go to or from the penis
• Hormone problems – e.g. following removal of the prostate gland (prostatectomy)
• A side effect of prescribed drugs
• Alcoholism and drug abuse
• Neurological conditions, stroke
• Severe chronic diseases such as kidney and liver failure
• Medications for other conditions (i.e. some treatments for high blood pressure)

Possible psychological causes of ED:

• Stress and anxiety from work or home
• Marital conflicts and dissatisfaction (as can also occur with premature ejaculation)
• Depression

Possible Treatments for ED:

• Pills such as Levitra, Viagra and Cialis have revolutionised treatment for men with erection problems of all severities and aetiologies. These treatments are called PDE5 inhibitors and are generally prescribed as a first treatment option. Men with ED should consult their GP to discuss which one is best for them as different treatments work best for different people
• Vacuum pump (constriction) devices
• Intracavernosal injection therapy – whereby an injection of drug is administered via a syringe to a man’s penis before he wants to achieve an erection
• Transurethral therapy – whereby a drug pellet is inserted into the end of a man’s penis through his urethra (the opening through which a man passes urine)

There are also a number of other therapies, such as relationship counselling, which may help. Further tests, such as more in depth testosterone level checks, can also be carried out if there is no success after perseverance with several treatment options.

To read more about the link between ED and diabetes, Click Here.

To find out how stress can have an effect on your sex life, Click Here.



Comment on this Article
Email: (this will not be made public)  
© Copyright 2008 KeepTheDoctorAway - Member of the UK Association of Online Publishers  | Terms & Conditions  | About Us