Erectile dysfunction is the condition that prevents popularly known by the name “impotence,” that a man can have erections so long as it hampers their ability to have sex. It should not be confused with other situations related to sex, such as lack of desire, ejaculation disorders, or orgasm disorders; erectile dysfunction refers only to the inability to prolong an erection. It is a prevalent condition among men, but it is usually a taboo subject for reasons of frustration or shame.
In this FastlyHealarticle, we will talk about the causes of erectile dysfunction as well as the risk factors that can also cause it; In the same way, we will talk about the treatments that are currently available that can help you enjoy full and satisfying relationships.
Table of Contents
Risk factors for erectile dysfunction
Before we start talking about the causes of erectile dysfunction, we want to discover the risk factors that can increase the chances that you suffer from this condition. Some people, given their conditions or life habits, tend to present this situation more frequently. Below we discover them:
- Age: over the years, the body does not work in the same way, and the blood flow and the strength of the muscles can be compromised. Erections occur because a large amount of blood collects in the area of the penis and, therefore, keeps it erect and taut; If the blood circulation is not flowing strongly enough, the penis may not maintain an erection and may become flaccid after a few minutes.
- Smoking: tobacco has toxic substances that penetrate the veins and arteries, preventing the blood from circulating normally. Therefore, at the time of having an erection, it may not last too long due to the toxins in tobacco.
- Drugs: substances such as cocaine, heroin, marijuana, or other narcotics also affect the proper functioning of our body, causing the blood supply to be involved and damaging the neural connections that send information to the brain so that the erection is maintained for longer. Weather.
- Drugs: there are some medications that, as a side effect, can cause impotence. For example, we can find cures for high blood pressure, antidepressants, opiate painkillers, etc.
- Psychological disorders: the emotional situation of each person also affects erections since factors such as anxiety, being in a depressive period, having low self-esteem, experiencing a moment of stress, or having suffered some sexual trauma can affect erections. In addition to physical stimuli, the brain also intervenes for an erection.
Causes of erectile dysfunction
But in addition to the conditions that can cause you to suffer from impotence, you should also know that some other causes can affect blood circulation and make it difficult for the erection to be maintained. Among the most common causes of impotence, we highlight the following:
- Arterial hypertension
It is one of the most frequent diseases in men and causes severe damage to the joints, thus causing dysfunction of the “endothelial” type; that is, it affects the vascular endothelium, cells that line the blood vessels, and that is the responsible for dilating the vessels.
With hypertension, this function decreases, and, therefore, the blood does not circulate correctly through the arteries, something that causes impotence or erectile dysfunction. Keep in mind that the streets of the penis are narrower than the coronary arteries; for this reason, they are more easily obstructed.
Diabetes can affect a male erection due to three factors. The first is that this disease can hinder the blood supply by causing the blood not to reach the arteries in the penis correctly and, therefore, prolonging the erection. The second factor is that diabetes can also affect the peripheral nerves causing a correct transmission of the nerve signal to the brain.
The third factor related to diabetes and impotence is that the disease can alter hormones, causing a decrease in testosterone production, which directly affects libido and, therefore, the functioning of the penis.
- High cholesterol
Another cause of erectile dysfunction is suffering from high cholesterol, a prevalent disease in our society. This condition damages our arteries preventing their proper functioning; in addition, one of the effects of cholesterol is, precisely, to block the blood, thus hindering the blood supply, something that, as we know, is essential to have good erections.
A person who suffers from obesity has a large proportion of fat accumulated in the body, which predisposes them to suffer from hypertension, cholesterol, and diabetes. For this reason, people who suffer from obesity have a higher risk of suffering complications with the blood supply and, therefore, suffering from impotence.
In addition, obesity is also related to testosterone levels since, due to excess fat, this is diminished and, therefore, decreases libido and the correct functioning of the penis.
- Neurological causes
It can also happen that the transfer of the message between the brain and the penis is interrupted due to an injury to the nerves that make this connection. This type of internal alteration occurs when a person suffers from a spinal cord injury, has undergone surgery in the pelvic area, or suffers from multiple sclerosis.
Treatment for erectile dysfunction
To determine that a man has impotence, he must go to a doctor to perform a series of tests, and based on the results; he can launch a diagnosis. In addition, a personal interview is also required to detect if any psychological factors may affect the erection. The specialist should also consult the patient’s medical history to see if any of the aforementioned causes (hypertension, diabetes, etc.) are present.
There are different treatments for impotence that a doctor must always prescribe; however, in general, it is always recommended to start treating it with psychological therapy and behavioral changes (stop smoking, drugs, etc.). If the situation does not improve, then it may be advisable to take some pills, and, in the latter case, you can opt for surgery, a more aggressive treatment that is only recommended as a last resort.
Among the drugs that are usually prescribed to treat erectile dysfunction, the following are recommended:
- Tadalafil: its trade name is “Cialis,” and it increases blood flow to the penis when there is sexual stimulation. It has to be taken 30 minutes before having sex, and its effects can last up to 24 hours after taking it.
- Vardenafil: It is known as “Levitra,” and it also increases the blood flow in the penis when you have sex. It has to be taken between 1 hour and half an hour before making love, and its effect can last up to 12 hours.
- Sildenafil: the commercial name is “Viagra,” It ensures that there is more blood in the penis, ensuring that the erection lasts longer. It should be taken 1 hour before having sex, but it cannot be taken by men suffering from retinitis pigmentosa or nitrates.
The medicine in question must be prescribed by a doctor, and you should know that all of them have side effects that can cause dizziness, nausea, pain in the head, and so on. Follow the specialist’s guidelines before taking any of them.
If this treatment does not work, the doctor may advise a revascularization surgery that involves the implantation of a prosthesis in the penis. However, as we have already said, it is an extreme case, and it is not always recommended; in fact, it can cause complications such as infection, mechanical failures, etc.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Erectile Dysfunction: causes and treatment , we recommend that you enter our category of Male reproductive system .
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.