Erectile Dysfunction, ED, Sexual Dysfunction, Male Sexual Dysfunction
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Impotence is the persistent inability to get or maintain an erection of the
penis that is firm enough to have intercourse. There may not be an erection
at all or the erection may be lost during intercourse. The word "impotence"
may be used to describe problems that interfere with sexual intercourse and
reproduction such as lack of sexual arousal or desire and problems with ejaculation
The are some requirements for a satisfactory erection:
- A responsive and healthy state of mind
- A normally functioning pituitary gland
- Adequate testosterone
- A healthy nervous system
- Adequate penile blood supply
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An erection requires the interaction of brain, nerves, hormones, muscles and
blood vessels. Anything that interferes with the normal process can potentially
cause erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction tends to be more common amongst
older men. Physical causes are more common in older men while psychological
causes are more common in younger men. A penis that won't rise to the occasion
could be a warning to something more serious or it could be a temporary malfunction.
Some diseases cause abnormal blood flow to the penis and hamper the person's
ability to have an erection. There are several
- Some diseases and health conditions including:
- Hypertension (High blood pressure)
- Heart Disease
- Thyroid conditions
- Poor blood circulation
- Atherosclerosis (the hardening of the arteries in the body)
- Low testosterone (can be caused by problems with pituitary gland, thyroid
abnormalities, the liver and the testes)
- Problem with the nerves carrying signals from the brain to the penis
- Spinal cord injury
- Nerve damage (from prostate surgery)
- Neurologic disorders (multiple sclerosis or Parkinson´s disease)
- Neuropathy (Nerve damage) caused by poorly managed diabetes
- HIV-induced Neuropathy (Either from the HIV or from the antiviral medications)
- Some medications like:
- Blood pressure medication (beta-blockers)
- Heart medications (digoxin)
- Peptic ulcer medications
- Sleeping pills
- Tobacco Smoking
- Alcohol abuse
- Substance abuse
- Stress and anxiety
- Sexual Performance Anxiety
- Fear or anger
- Poor communication with sex partner
- Vascular Surgery or other treatments for your blood vessels
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The repeated inability of a man to have an erection or keep an erection long enough
and firm enough for sexual intercourse. The man's sexual desire may be normal
or reduced. The man's ability to reach an orgasm and ejaculate may also be normal
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Impotence can be treated in most cases. Leaving it untreated can lead to social
withdrawal, anxiety, depression and stress in the marriage. It can even affect
one's self-respect and performance at work.
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|| These drugs
increase the amount of blood flow thereby creating an erection in response
to sexual stimulation. They do not automatically produce an erection. Physical
and psychological stimulation is needed. Many men experience improvement
in erectile function after taking these medications regardless of the cause
of their impotence. They vary in dosage, duration of effectiveness and possible
side effects. It is not yet known which drug is best for certain types of
men. Although these medications can help many people, not all men can or
should take them to treat erectile dysfunction. If you've had a heart attack,
stroke or life-threatening heart rhythm during the last six months, don't
take these medications. If you've been told that sexual activity could trigger
a cardiac event, discuss other options with your doctor. In addition, don't
take Viagra, Levitra or Cialis with nitrate medications, such as the heart
drug nitroglycerin. The combination of these medications, which work to
widen (dilate) blood vessels, can cause dizziness, low blood pressure, and
circulation and heart problems. Always consult your physician before taking
||Prostaglandin E (alprostadil)
||This is a synthetic version of the
hormone prostaglandin E. The hormone helps relax smooth muscle tissue in
the penis, which enhances the blood flow needed for an erection. With injection,
you use a fine needle to inject alprostadil (Caverject, Edex) into the base
or side of your penis. It normally produces an erection in 5 to 20 minutes
and lasts about an hour. Since the injection goes directly into the spongy
cylinders that fill with blood, alprostadil is an effective treatment for
many men and the needle is so fine that pain from the injection is usually
minor. Other side effects may include bleeding from the injection, prolonged
erection and formation of fibrous tissue at the injection site. Cost per
injection can be expensive. Injecting a mixture of alprostadil and other
drugs such as papaverine and phentolamine (Regitine) may be a less expensive
and more effective option.
||Prostaglandin E (alprostadil)
||This Self Administered method's trade
name is Medicated Urethral System for Erection (MUSE). It involves using
a disposable applicator to insert a tiny suppository, about half the size
of a grain of rice, into the tip of your penis. The suppository, placed
about two inches into your urethra, is absorbed by erectile tissue in your
penis, increasing the blood flow that causes an erection. Although needles
aren't involved, you may still find this method painful or uncomfortable.
Side effects may include pain, minor bleeding in the urethra, dizziness
and formation of fibrous tissue.
testosterone is the only cause of a man's erectile dysfunction, it can
be treated with testosterone replacement therapy.
||This treatment involves the use of
an external vacuum and one or more rubber bands (tension rings). To begin
you place a hollow plastic tube, available by prescription, over your penis.
You then use a hand pump to create a vacuum in the tube and pull blood into
the penis. Once you achieve an adequate erection, you slip a tension ring
around the base of your penis to maintain the erection. You then remove
the vacuum device. The erection typically lasts long enough for a couple
to have adequate sexual relations. You remove the tension ring after intercourse.
||This treatment involves surgically
placing a device into the two sides of the penis, allowing erection to occur
as often and for as long as desired. These implants consist of either an
inflatable device or semirigid rods made from silicone or polyurethane.
This treatment is often expensive and is usually not recommended until other
methods have been considered or tried first. As with any surgery, there
is a small risk of complications such as infection.
||This is usually reserved for men whose
blood flow has been blocked by an injury to the penis or pelvic area. Surgery
may also be used to correct erectile dysfunction caused by vascular blockages.
The goal is to correct a blockage of blood flow to the penis so that erections
can occur naturally. But the long-term success of this surgery is unclear.
||If stress, anxiety or depression is
the cause of your erectile dysfunction, your doctor may suggest that you,
or you and your partner, visit a psychologist or psychiatrist with experience
in treating sexual problems.
||If we nourish the body correctly, we
can alleviate or reduce the intensity of some causes of erectile dysfunction
(ED) and thus treat the condition or at least reduce the severity of the
problem. For example nutrition has a profound effect on diabetes, hypertension,
anxiety and depression. Naturopathic treatment of ED requires that we manage
the underlying causes of ED, remove irritating foods from the diet, add
nutritional supplements and use herbal extracts.
Although most men experience episodes of erectile dysfunction from time to
time, you can take these steps to decrease the likelihood of occurrences:
- Pay Attention to your Nutritional needs
- Eat healthy fresh foods, adequate proteins and nuts
- Limit or avoid the use of alcohol and other drugs.
- Stop smoking.
- Exercise regularly.
- Reduce stress.
- Get enough rest
- Take time to relax.
- Get adequate deep sleep in a dark room.
- Deal with anxiety or depression by psychological counseling and/or medication.
- Use safe sex practices if the problem is caused by fear of contracting a
sexually transmitted disease.
- Communicate openly to your partner about sex and your relationship.
- Counseling should be sought if open communication is not possible.
- See your physician for regular checkups and medical screening tests.
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