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Erectile Dysfunction

Upset male | Healthier Me TodayHere you can find out more about symptoms, causes and Types of Erectile Dysfunction with Healthier Me Today! Erectile Dysfunction, or ED, is a condition that affects men. Also referred to as impotence, ED is the inability to get and sustain a firm erection during sex. ED affects about 30 million men in the United States. Your risk of ED increases as you get older, although young men are also at risk. Trouble getting an erection is usually not a cause for alarm. If it’s an ongoing problem, it may lead to stress and can affect your self-esteem. ED occurs due to:

  • Limited blood flow to the penis
  • Damage to the nerves in the penis
  • Emotional triggers such as stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Underlying conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease

Types of Erectile Dysfunction

Here are the different types of elective dysfunction and possible causes of ED:

  • Organic Erectile Dysfunction: This is one of the most common types of erectile dysfunction. It is due to abnormalities of the veins and arteries in the penis, affecting primarily older men.
  • Premature Ejaculation (PE): Premature ejaculation is another form of ED. The man ejaculates either before or about a minute into vaginal penetration. There are different types of premature ejaculation. They include lifelong PE, acquired PE, and anxiety PE.

Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction

Some symptoms of erectile dysfunction include:

  • Issues getting a strong erection
  • Problems maintaining an erection long enough to have sex
  • Reduced desire for sex due to fear of not getting an erection

Erectile Dysfunction Diagnosis

Erectile Dysfunction Diagnosis involves physical exams and going through your sexual and medical history.

  1. Physical Exam: The doctor listens to the lungs and heart and examines the penis and testicles. They also check one’s blood pressure and may conduct a rectal exam to check for prostate problems – this is usually the first step to erectile dysfunction diagnosis.
  2. Physiological Exam: The doctor asks questions about your symptoms and sexual history. Your responses will help them determine how severe your ED is.
  3. Ultrasound: The ultrasound examines the blood vessels in the penis. This determines if there are issues with blood flow.
  4. Injection Test: Medication is injected into the penis to stimulate an erection. The doctor will then examine the firmness of your erection as well as how long it lasts.
  5. Blood Tests: A blood test checks for underlying medical conditions. These include diabetes, thyroid issues, heart disease, and low testosterone levels.
  6. Nocturnal Penile Tumescence Test (NPTT): This makes use of a battery-powered device. You wear the device on the thigh to record the quality of nocturnal erections.
  7. Urine Test: Urine tests check for diseases like diabetes, which may increase your risk of ED.

How to Treat Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is manageable if you know the cause. Common treatment options include:

  1. PDE-5 Inhibitors: These are drugs used to treat ED through relaxing muscles and increasing blood flow. They include Sildenafil (Viagra), Tadalafil (Cialis), Avanafil (Stendra), and Vardenafil (Levitra or Staxyn). The most common are Viagra and Cialis. You can buy them at any licensed pharmacy as long as you have a prescription.
  2. Mechanical Aids: This involves the use of vacuum devices or constriction rings. A vacuum device is a cylinder placed over the penis. Air is pumped out, drawing blood into the penis and triggering an erection. The constriction ring is used alongside it and helps to keep the flowing blood inside the erection.
  3. Penile Injection Therapy: This is where medicine is injected by someone into their own penis. The drugs stimulate an erection by relaxing the blood vessels so that blood can flow into the penis. The three drugs used are Papaverine (Papacon), Phentolamine (Regitine), and Prostaglandin E1 (Alprostadil).
  4. Surgical Treatments: If everything else fails, surgical intervention is an option. Surgical procedures can include inserting implants into the penis. In rare cases, the man may also need vascular surgery. Surgery is only recommended when all other treatment options have failed to treat the ED.

How to Manage Erectile Dysfunction

erectile dysfunctionIf you suffer from ED here are ways you can manage the condition: 

  • Do Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles
  • Aerobics exercises, like swimming and running, to help increase blood flow
  • Find ways of minimizing stress, like yoga. Stress and anxiety can increase your risk of ED or worsen it
  • Eat healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains
  • Limit smoking and alcohol consumption
  • Limit your intake of red meat, processed foods, and full-fat dairy

FAQ

  1. Is ED unavoidable as you get older? No. ED doesn’t have to be a part of your life when you get older.
  2. Is ED treatment covered by insurance? This depends on the type of ED and the treatment recommended. You will also need to find out if your insurance provider covers ED treatment as a whole.
  3. Is erectile dysfunction preventable? Yes. Reducing certain risks can help prevent ED, especially if you are older.

Healthier Me Today is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment, always consult with your healthcare professional. Stay healthy!

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