Everything you need to know about Erectile Dysfunction (ED) and what are the symptoms of it

Erectile dysfunction is a condition in men that causes them to be impotent and unable to have sex. More specifically, erectile dysfunction is the inability for a man to achieve and maintain an erection. While many men may experience problems with erection from time to time, it is not really a cause for concern. If it becomes an ongoing problem though, it can be an indication of some underlying health problem that requires treatment, and it is also considered a risk factor for heart disease.  Erectile dysfunction can cause stress, loss of self confidence and put strain on relationships between sexual partners. Men who are concerned about erectile dysfunction should discuss this with their doctor, even if they are embarrassed.

It is possible that treating an underlying condition can reverse erectile dysfunction

In other cases, more direct treatments or medications may be required. Men who have concerns about erections, or other sexually-related issues such as premature, or delayed ejaculation, should see their doctor. Also, men who have diabetes, a heart condition, or other known health conditions that are linked to erectile dysfunction, should consult with their doctor, as well.

The brain, hormones, emotions, nerves, muscles and blood vessels are all part of the complex process of male sexual arousal, Erectile dysfunction can arise from a problem with any of these processes. Also, stress and mental health issues can play a large part in causing, or worsening, erectile dysfunction. For example, a combination of both physical and psychological issues can sometimes cause erectile dysfunction. A minor condition that might slow the sexual response can lead to anxiety and make things worse.

There are many common physical causes of erectile dysfunction:

Such as heart disease, clogged blood vessels, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple sclerosis, some prescription medications, tobacco use, Peyronie’s disease (which is the development of scar tissue inside the penis), alcoholism and other types of substance abuse, treatments for prostate cancer, or enlarged prostates, sleep disorders, and surgeries that affect the pelvis or spinal cord areas.

Since the brain plays a key role in triggering the processes that result in an erection, starting with the feelings of sexual arousal, or excitement, mental issues or conditions can also interfere with achieving and maintaining an erection. Depression, anxiety, stress, relationship problems, poor communication, or other mental health conditions can all play a role.

Also, as men become older, it can take longer for them to get an erection and the erections may not be as firm

Some men might require more direct contact with the penis to get and maintain an erection. The best way to prevent erectile dysfunction is to make healthy lifestyle choices and carefully manage and treat any existing health conditions. Men should work with their doctor to manage diabetes, heart disease, and any other chronic condition. Regular medical checkups and medical screening tests should be part of a healthy lifestyle. Men should stop smoking, limit or avoid alcohol, and refrain from using illegal drugs. They should also exercise regularly and be pro-active about reducing stress, as well as seek help for any problems with depression, anxiety, or any other mental health conditions.

When men become sexually aroused, the muscles in the penis relax

This relaxation allows more blood flow through the arteries in the penis. As the chambers inside the penis fill with blood, the penis stiffens and becomes rigid, resulting in an erection. When the muscles contract, the accumulated blood flows out and the penis becomes flaccid, ending the erection. Erectile dysfunction can happen because of any problem during the erection phase. For example, the arteries in the penis may be too damaged to open properly to allow blood to flow in. Erectile dysfunction increases with age and affects 22 percent of men in their sixties, and 30 percent of men 70 years of age, or older. About twelve percent of men younger than sixty are affected by erectile dysfunction.

About one million Australian men are affected by erectile dysfunction. Australian men tend to be physically fit and men are living longer than before. A South Australian study, which recruited men from the general community, confirmed that age is the strongest contributing demographic factor for erectile dysfunction.