Erection problem is the failure to attain or maintain an erection that is firm enough for a man to have satisfactory intercourse. In medical terms, it is referred to as erectile dysfunction or ED. It can occur in men of any age. Sometimes, the situation is temporary and corrects itself without any treatment. But when you face this problem more than 25 percent of time, then it is a concern and you need to consult a doctor. Ignoring the disorder can lead to loss of self esteem and a strained relationship.
Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
Common physical causes of erectile dysfunction are:
1. It can be due to diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid problem, or neurological disorders.
2. Poor blood flow in penis or excessive drainage of blood from the veins of the penis.
3. Deterioration or hardening of the arteries.
4. Side effects of medications of diseases like high blood pressure, heart diseases, or thyroid.
5. Major nerve damage due to surgery in abdomen or prostate gland.
6. Due to some kind of hormonal disturbances. Like in some rare cases there can be an excess secretion of pituitary hormone called prolactin.
7. Excessive smoking, drinking, or abusing of drugs like cocaine.
8. Damage to the brain or spinal cord.
Common psychological causes of erectile dysfunction include guilt, depression, and exhaustion.
Diagnosis of Erectile Dysfunction
The tests that may be done are:
1. Blood test to diagnose complete blood count, hormone levels or any other infections.
2. Penile ultrasounds to check the flow of blood in the penis.
3. Urine test.
4. Neurological testing to examine any nerve damage due to any surgery.
5. Nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT) to diagnose for night time erections.
6. Psychometric testing to diagnose any underlying psychological cause of erection problems.
Self Measures for Erection Problem
1. Avoid smoking, alcohol, and drug abuse.
2. Maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly for enhancing blood circulation.
3.Take proper rest and adequate sleep.
4. Adopt safe sex habits to avoid risks of HIV and STDs.
5. Go for counseling if you are facing any psychological difficulty.
Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction
The treatment depends on the cause of the disorder. Consult your doctor to see which treatment option is best for you.
1. Many medications are available, which are referred to as phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors. These drugs are viagra, vardenafil and tadalafil. But these drugs should be taken with caution and after consulting a doctor.
2. Alprostadil injections into the penis improve blood flow.
3. Men with low blood testosterone levels should opt for testosterone replacement therapy.
4. Vacuum pumps, rings, vibrators and external splints are some aids which can help to achieve a better and prolonged erection.