Erectile dysfunction, previously known as impotence, refers to ineffectiveness to sustain an adequate erection for satisfactory sexual pleasure. It is mostly common in men above 65 years of age, but can happen at any age. Once in a while, it happens to every man which is completely normal. As men grow old, it’s typical to experience alteration in erectile function. Erections may take more time to develop, may not be strong as before or need direct stimulation to be achieved. Men may also notice lower intensity orgasms, reduced ejaculations and increased recovery time between erections.
Such problems lead to loss of self-belief and failure, say sexologists. Approximately, 5% of men aged 40 or above suffer from this disorder and this percentage increases with the age. When erectile dysfunction becomes an enduring issue, it can hamper a man’s self-esteem, his image and partner’s sexual life. It may be a symptom of physical or emotional problem that require immediate attention.
Factors responsible for erectile dysfunction can be categorized into:
- Physical Causes: Physical causes are responsible for many cases of erectile dysfunction and may include:
- Long-standing diabetes leading to nerve damage.
- Heart ailments leading to restricted supply of blood to the pelvis.
- Some medications that have adverse side-effects.
- Injury to the spinal cord.
- Alcoholism, smoking or using other forms of drugs.
- Hormonal imbalance.
A visit to sexologist can prove beneficial as he will able to assess the situation from close monitors.
- Non-Physical Causes: Non-Physical causes may lead to impotence which can be a result of psychological problems and negative feelings. Stress, fatigue, anxiety, depression all can impact a man’s psyche which may lead to erectile dysfunction. Lack of interest towards partner may also play a role in causing this disease.
The big part: Treatment
Thankfully, a range of treatments are available today for erectile dysfunction. This includes advanced medicines, simple mechanical devices, surgery and psychological counselling. Sexologists are medically trained professionals who determine the actual cause and severity of the condition and then devise the best possible treatment.
Since erectile dysfunction occurs due to psychological problems, it is treated with utmost care. Generally, the problem arises due to fear of failure, performance pressure, guilt or depression. In the treatment, patient is given proper sex education which further corrects any wrong information and ignorance about normal sexual practice. It helps a sexologist to get to the root cause of the problem if married couples do not hesitate to discuss the problem between them.
Along with psychological treatment, medicines are prescribed that stimulate erection. The most popular of such medicines is VIAGRA. Other than this, some medicines are injected into the penis. For men with inferior levels of testosterone, this hormone may be injected. In some cases, surgery may be needed to clear any vascular blockages.
How can it be prevented?
Most men encounter erectile dysfunction sooner or later in their life. However, one can significantly reduce its occurrence:
- Avoid drugs.
- Indulge in physical activities such as aerobics.
- Think positively which helps in reducing stress.
- See a sexologist for regular check-ups.