The hard truth about erectile dysfunction

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The pressure to perform in the bedroom can be immense for many men. Sex is the glue which holds relationships together and as we age it can become a challenge to rise to the occasion.  

If you suffer from ED (Erectile dysfunction), it is important to know that ED is a very common condition, especially for men over the age of 50. As we age, our sexual potency can reduce with time. Thankfully, with the right medication most men can have a healthy sex life well into their old age. There is no reason to have a poor on non existent sex life. 

Usually, a man can be said to suffer from erectile dysfunction in the event he finds it hard to maintain or successfully achieve an erection for long enough to engage in satisfactory intercourse.

Many men, unfortunately, who discover a problem with their sexual performance might be reluctant to talk with their physicians since this can be quite an uncomfortable issue. Luckily, the condition is now much better understood, and several treatment options are available.

In this article, you will learn more about this condition, as well as how you can cope with it.

Let’s get started.

WHAT CAUSES ED?

Typically, several factors can cause erectile dysfunction, including physical and psychological causes. Here are some of the common causes of erectile dysfunction: 

Physical causes

Physical causes generally account for 80 % of all ED cases and some of the most common such causes include:

diabetes

  • heart disease and blood vessels’ narrowing
  • high blood pressure
  • high levels of cholesterol
  • obesity 
  • Substance abuse including alcoholism, smoking, and use of cocaine
  • Surgical complications, among other factors

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Similarly, several prescription medications can result in ED including:

  • heart medications like digoxin
  • high blood pressure drugs
  • anticholinergics
  • hormone drugs
  • opioid painkillers
  • antidepressants such as tricyclic antidepressants
  • several cancer drugs like chemotherapeutic agents
  • Psychological causes

Although in rare cases, an individual might always have ED and might never have actually achieved an erection. Such a case is known as primary ED, and in most cases, it is usually psychological, particularly if there is no apparent physiological or anatomical deformity issue. 

Some of the psychological factors can include:

  • Depression
  • Guilt
  • Fear of intimacy
  • Severe anxiety

More often than not, ED cases are usually ‘secondary’. This is to say that erectile dysfunction has been rather normal, but gradually gets problematic. The causes of new and persistent issues are normally physical.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF ED?

Several symptoms can indicate that an individual has ED. An individual is considered to have erectile dysfunction when these symptoms happen regularly. Some of the most common symptoms include:

Difficulty maintaining an erection for long enough to complete sexual intercourse

Inability to ejaculate, or premature ejaculation

Additionally, there can be other emotional symptoms including:

  • Shame
  • Anxiety
  • Embarrassment
  • Lack of interest in sexual intercourse

TREATMENT

The positive news is that ED can be treated courtesy of several forms of treatment, and most individuals will usually get a solution that suits them. The commonest treatments include:

Drug treatments:

You can take some distinct drugs known as PDE-5 (phosphodiesterase-5) inhibitors. Usually, these pills are taken between 30 and 60 minutes before intercourse-the most popular one being Viagra/sildenafil (a blue-colored pill). Some other options include: Tadalafil, Avanafil (Stendra), and Vardenafil (Levitra).  These medicines can be expensive, which is why many people choose to buy the generic version of the products.

While the PDE-5 are the most common and effective drug treatment options, a physician will usually assess for any heart conditions as well as to inquire whether the individual is taking any other medications before prescribing.

Vacuum devices

Another option is the use of vacuum devices. Usually, a vacuum pump is sealed around the penis and makes it rigid by drawing up the blood. The blood is barred from subsequently leaving by using an exclusive accompanying band.

Surgical treatments

Finally, although it is another viable option, it is however used as a final resort and is mostly utilized in severe cases. While the recovery time may vary with surgery, the success rates are however significantly high.

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