What is it?
Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is the inability to get and maintain an erection long enough to finish intercourse. It can cause psychological effects on both the man and his partner. Some relate ED with infertility; however, this isn’t true. Just because a man has erectile dysfunction doesn’t mean he is infertile. A man can have a normal erection, ejaculate, and still be infertile. ED is usually associated with older men, but young men can experience it too. It is normal for a man to not have a sexual desire or keep an erection due to attraction, anxiousness, or exhaustion. However, some symptoms can persist, indicating erectile dysfunction.
- Trouble getting an erection
- Difficulty keeping an erection
- Reduced sexual desire
- Premature or delayed ejaculation
- Anorgasmia (unable to orgasm even after plenty of stimulation)
Can be physical or psychological issues. Some physical factors include
- Heart & blood vessel disease
- High blood pressure
- Kidney disease
- Sleep disorder
Some psychological factors include:
- Excessive tobacco smoking & alcohol
- Certain medications
Doctors usually ask detailed questions about sexual, medical, and psychosocial history to narrow down possible causes. Doctors will also do a physical examination, focusing on the genitals, urinary tract, arteries, and brain. This will further narrow down the diagnosis. In addition, blood and urine tests are taken to check for other health conditions that can cause ED.
If erectile dysfunction was caused by certain medications taken to treat health conditions, then the doctor will switch them with ones that won’t cause ED. Other treatments include medications (injections, pills, suppository, or testosterone replacement), and surgery. Lifestyle changes are also required, including stopping smoking & drinking, starting exercising, eating healthy, and counseling to reduce stress, anxiety, or depression.