About erectile dysfunction (ED)

About Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is a condition manifested in inability to achieve and maintain adequate erection enough for the sexual intercourse. This limits or makes impossible to perform a normal sexual intercourse. According to the last data, nearly 10 million of men in USA suffer from this disease. By estimates of the German scientists this number reaches 5 millions in Germany. The majority of men experience this problem at some age, usually these are men in their 50s and older.

The type of ED (erectile dysfunction) varies from mild to chronic and complete ones. However a man can get partial or brief erections but that does not mean that the problem has vanished. Permanent or frequent problems with gaining erection may lead to emotional problems in relationships of two persons and lower self-esteem of the man. However, a man should know that this disease is treatable. Once a man has decided to share his problem with a doctor, he may be sure he stepped on the right path of getting cured.

The Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

Sexual arousal in a man is not a simple process as it may seem. Gaining erection involves hormones, nerves, blood vessels and brain work. And it would be enough to negatively affect at least one of the components to lead to an erectile dysfunction.

Today there is no doubt that the occurrence of erectile dysfunction is associated with a range of causes that may lead to different men's problems including ED. All the causes of erectile dysfunction can be classified into several groups:

Human brain remains one of the most important chains for gaining proper erection and is also responsible for our psychological balance.

  • Psychological disorders include: depression, narcotic addiction, alcoholism, drugs abuse, psychopatological disorders: fear of the sexual frustration.

Hormone disorders rarely affect erection, but can result in loss of libido and as a result erectile dysfunction.

  • Endocrine disorders: decreased function of the sexual glands (hypogonadism), diabetes, prolactinoma (tumor of the pituitary gland), sarcoidosis.

Arteriosclerosis, the hardening and narrowing of the arteries, causes a reduction in blood flow throughout the body and can lead to impotence. It is associated with age and accounts for 50% to 60% of impotence in men over 60.

Arteriosclerosis is a disease that leads to narrowing and hardening of the arteries which in its turn leads to impotence. This disease is associated with age and affects more than 50% of men in their 60s.

  • Disorders of the cardiovascular system: atherosclerotic damage of the vessels in the penis associated with smoking, high blood cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure; congestion of the vessels in the small pelvis; disorders of the blood coagulation in the penis vessels as a result of taking some medicines and smoking; dysfunction of the venous system in the penis.

It is necessary to mention that in most cases erectile dysfunction is caused by a group of different causes. The scientists consider that in 80 percentage of cases erectile dysfunction is related to diabetes,high blood pressure and smoking. Psychopathological problems are common as well.

Erectile Dysfunction Diagnosis

The diagnosis of erectile dysfunction is made by a specialized health care provider. The doctor usually ask the patient about his problems, concomitant disease or additional therapy that the patient may receive. In some cases the doctor may suggest to pass some specific physical tests. In most cases these tests help determine the main cause of the disease. The most common tests that are used in diagnosis of erectile dysfunctions are:

  • Penile Doppler Ultrasound which is used in order to determine the response of ED to vasodilator drugs. Penile Doppler Ultrasound also lets the urologist analyze whether a patient has an inflow or outflow type of ED (erectile dysfunction). Erectile dysfunction may have various origins. Some heart diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure may affect seriously blood vessels and leave a negative imprint on men's potency.

  • Determination the function of the nervous system in the penis that is based on the penile reflex.

  • Nocturnal penile tumescence. Usually a healthy man may experience of 3-6 erections during sleep, especially in the period of rapid eye motions. Nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT) testing is a non-invasive and portable way of electronically monitor rigidity, frequency and possible changes during sleep. The lack of erections may indicate an organic etiology.

  • Biotensiometria of the penis. This test determines electomagnetic oscillation for the determination of the sensitivity and function of the balanus and body of the penis. Decreased sensitivity to electomagnetic oscillation testifies about the disorders with pelvic nerves. This may lead to erectile dysfunction.

Erectile Dysfunction Treatment

Erectile dysfunction treatment depends on its cause. Usually erectile dysfunction treatment includes a complex approach such as: lifestyle changes, medications. In some cases vacuum devices and implant devices are used. The most widespread medicines that are used are phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors or PDE5 for short (Viagra, Cialis, Levitra). These medicines work by increasing the amount of nitrogen oxide(NO) that widens blood vessels in the cavernous tissue and improves blood flow to the penis. These medicines are taken by mouth before the sexual intercourse. Injections such as Caverject and pellets(Muse) are used as well. These forms are used rarely.

Mechanical vacuum devices can also be used to improve erection. They work by creating a vacuum that helps to draw blood into the penis. They consist of cylinder, a pump and elastic band. In very severe cases a doctor may suggest a surgical interventions. Surgical interventions include implantation a devices that improve erection, reconstructing arteries(this helps to improve blood flow to the penis) and bock of veins through which blood leaks from the penis.

The treatment of erectile dysfunction is especially effective when certain lifestyle changes are followed. This includes: smoking avoidance, loss of excessive body weight and moderate physical activity. All of these will help improve the functional condition of the cardiovascular system.

Significant number of men experience ED from psychological causes. Once the psychological problem is treated, self-esteem of a man arises and a person can perform normally. Psychological treatment will be even more effective in combination with medical treatment. Such medications include selective enzyme inhibitors (Viagra, Levitra, Cialis). Herbal medicine has also taken its part in erectile dysfunction treatment: Excel, Yohimbe, Ginseng, Tribulus and many other types of herbals medications may bring you and your partner back to a normal and satisfied way of life.