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Definition of Erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction, more commonly known as impotence, can be defined as an inability to get and keep an erection firm enough for sex.

If an erectile dysfunction takes place once in a while, there is no cause for concern. However, if erectile dysfunction is recurring issue, it can not only cause stress but have an adverse effect on the marital relationship as well as the man’s self-esteem.

Symptoms of Erectile dysfunction

Most common signs and symptoms for erectile dysfunction include:

  • The inability to get an erection
  • The inability to keep an erection
  • Reduced sexual desire

There may also be other sexual problems such as:

  • Delayed or premature ejaculation
  • Condition related to erectile dysfunction such as heart disease or diabetes

Hence, seeking medical help is always advised.

Risk factors of Erectile dysfunction

There are a number of external factors which may put one at risk of developing erectile dysfunction such as:

  • Medical conditions such as diabetes or heart conditions
  • Excessive tobacco use
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Medical treatments such as prostate surgery or radiation treatment for cancer
  • Injuries which may damage the nerves or arteries that control erection
  • Medications such as antihistamines and medications to treat high blood pressure, pain or prostate conditions
  • Psychological conditions such as stress, anxiety or depression
  • Drug and alcohol use for many years
  • Prolonged bicycling

Diagnosis of Erectile dysfunction

For many men, details about symptoms and medical history are enough for the doctor to prescribe medication. However, to diagnose underlying conditions, the doctor may prescribe:

  • A physical exam to check the penis and testicles and check nerves for sensation
  • Blood tests to check for signs of any other conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, etc.
  • Urine test
  • Ultrasound
  • Overnight erection test
  • Psychological test

Treatment of Erectile dysfunction

Treatment for erectile dysfunction can be oral medication and IV medication, implants and surgery.

Oral medication

  • Sildenafil
  • Tadalafil
  • Vardenafil
  • Avanafil

Other medication

  • Alprostadil self-injection
  • Alprostadil urethral suppository
  • Testosterone replacement

Surgery and implants

  • Penile implants
  • Penis pumps
  • Blood vessel surgery

Psychological counselling

Other solutions that may help resolve an erectile dysfunction would be: making lifestyle adjustments such as quitting alcohol and smoking, having an exercise regimen, losing excess pounds, resolving relationship problems or anything that may be causing high levels of stress.

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