Though erectile dysfunction (ED) is one of the most common sexual problems among men, there still seem to be tons of questions and misconceptions about it.
If you experience performance problems and you’re concerned that ED may be the issue you’re dealing with, the following article is the right one for you. We’ll try to shed some light on the most frequent questions about erectile dysfunction and give you the accurate information you need.
What Is Erectile Dysfunction?
Men often come up with a wrong definition for ED. The inability to get an erection every now and then due to stress or fatigue is not defined medically as ED.
This inability becomes a medical condition when it continues occurring in the long run, affecting a man’s sexual life in a negative way.
How Common Is It?
Nearly 18 million men in the United States suffer from erectile dysfunction. The prevalence of the medical condition is mainly linked to age. Men suffering from cardiovascular problems are also more likely to experience ED than healthy individuals.
According to Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health research, men aged 70 and older are the most vulnerable group when it comes to experiencing frequent erection problems. Only five percent of the men aged 20 to 40 have to deal with ED.
Researchers also found out that nearly 50 percent of the men who participated in the study and suffered from diabetes also experienced ED, making diabetes another common risk factor.
What Are The Causes Of Erectile Dysfunction?
The causes of erectile dysfunction can be both physiological and psychological. The most common physiological causes of the condition include:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Taking certain medications like beta blockers for high blood pressure
- Atherosclerosis and high blood pressure
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Peyronie’s disease
- The excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages or cigarette smoking
The psychological causes of erectile dysfunction can also be quite common. Perfectly healthy men may find it difficult or even impossible to get an erection because of the following:
- Depression and anxiety
- Chronic stress and mental fatigue
- Relationship problems and frequent fights with a partner
- A strict religious upbringing and viewing sex as a taboo
- Poor communication with a partner about sexual needs and preferences
- Excessive performance anxiety
How Is Erectile Dysfunction Diagnosed?
A physician will be capable of pinpointing the condition by taking the patient’s medical history. This information will usually be sufficient to determine whether erection problems are sporadic or if the problem is actually ED.
After the doctor asks questions about the patient’s sex life and determines the frequency of poor erectile response, some tests may be required. These will be needed to figure out if ED is caused by a medical condition that can be treated.
What’s The Treatment For Erectile Dysfunction?
ED is a treatable condition – men that suffer from it don’t have to suffer in silence and forget about having enjoyable sex ever again.
Most doctors will prescribe pharmaceutical products aimed at increasing nitric oxide levels. Nitric oxide is a vasodilator that allows more blood to pass through the smaller blood vessels in the body.
More blood entering the penis will contribute to harder erections and the ability to penetrate a partner.
Men who don’t want to take pharmaceuticals or who can’t rely on such products because of a medical condition should definitely consider a natural alternative.
Herbal supplements are an ideal choice. Many plants have aphrodisiac qualities and they contain compounds that are vasodilators. Horny goat weed, for example, has been called natural Viagra because the effect it produces is very similar to what the blue pill does.
Are There Alternative Treatments?
Penis exercises and the use of penis extenders or good creams can also be quite beneficial for the men suffering from ED. Their aim is to also improve circulation. Such techniques and devices work best when men are taking natural supplements at the same time.
Natural treatments deliver noticeable results but the amount of time needed to see improvements will vary from one individual to another.
Is There Anything Else I Can Do?
If a doctor doesn’t find a medical problem contributing to ED, chances are that the issue is psychological. Working with a psychologist or a sex therapist, especially if you’re dealing with relationship problems, can lead to serious improvements.
Some men simply don’t know how to communicate about sex. Others are so caught up in unrealistic expectations that they can’t perform with a partner (though they experience no problems when it comes to masturbation or getting a morning erection).
There’s nothing shameful about it and ED doesn’t make you any less of a man. If your partner is supportive and the two of you want to work on making things better, therapy would definitely be the best option to try.