Erectile dysfunction is a common problem for men, especially as they get older. It’s also a topic many are embarrassed to talk about with anyone, including their doctors. This condition results in an inability to maintain or even achieve an erection.
Erectile dysfunction happens to all men from time to time, but when it becomes an ongoing issue, it’s likely to be a symptom of an underlying medical problem.
The causes vary but some possible illnesses include:
These are all quite serious medical conditions and erectile dysfunction could be one of the first symptoms.
The inability to achieve an erection may be a mechanical malfunction caused by prostate problems or a condition called Peyronie's disease, which is scar tissue formation inside the penis. It may also indicate low testosterone levels.
That’s another possible cause. Emotion and mood play a huge role in the physical events that trigger an erection. Someone depressed or feeling anxiety may find it difficult to achieve or maintain an erection. Regardless of why it happens, the first step requires a physical exam and discussion with a physician.
There are medical problems and daily habits that increase the risk. For example, smoking affects the circulation necessary to get an erection. Other risk factors include:
A person who undergoes prostate surgery may battle this problem, as well.
Treatment depends on the underlying cause. The initial goal is to deal with any medical problems that are interfering with the sexual function, such as heart disease.
There are also a number of medications available that can help men achieve and maintain a firm enough erection for sex. These medications enhance the chemical in the body that relaxes the muscles in the penis, allowing for increased blood flow. Along with lifestyle changes, drug therapy may ensure a better sexual life for men with erectile dysfunction.