Erectile dysfunction: causes and treatment

Erectile dysfunction: causes and treatment

Impotence or erectile dysfunction is the inability to obtain or to maintain the erection a sufficient time to permit satisfactory sexual intercourse for both partners.

There are different degrees of erectile dysfunction:

When it is impossible to achieve a full erection (trouble getting an erection).

When erection is achieved but lasts too short (problem maintaining an erection).

It is important to distinguish between erectile dysfunction caused by psychological reasons and impotence due to organic causes. Young people more often have erectile dysfunction of psychological origin. Chemical mediators released in the anxiety conditions (including adrenaline) have an important role in blocking the physiological mechanism of erection. In men who have exceeded 40 years organic factors begin to show a much greater importance in the origin of erectile dysfunction, but must keep in mind that the psychological aspect is present in all forms of erectile dysfunction.

The most common cases of organic erectile dysfunction in young individuals appear as a result of spinal or pelvic trauma which affects nervous structures that control the penis. These situations are frequently observed in men with paraplegia installed following car or motorcycle accident. Cases of erectile dysfunction with organic origin, caused by a dysfunction of penile veins are fortunately very rare; in these cases the blood is not very well blocked inside the corpus cavernosa and erections are incomplete or complete but very brief.

After 40 years erectile dysfunction appears frequently because of the presence of risk factors such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and arteriosclerosis due to increase in blood cholesterol and diabetes. Recent studies published in international scientific journals report erectile dysfunction as a symptom of some systemic vascular modification. This symptom may be followed by a more serious and acute myocardial infarction or cerebrovascular accident. There are also endocrine causes of erectile dysfunction: hypogonadism and hypothyroidism. Another reason can be a reduced capacity of pelvic muscle function. A “training” of this muscle group can increase the quality of erections.

If you are concerned about occasional impotence, remember that arousal is getting slower as you get older, and that satisfaction should not be considered equivalent with performance. If you have a serious and persistent erectile dysfunction, you should consult your doctor. The number of therapeutic options has increased in recent years.

Most specialists suggest that treatments for erectile dysfunction to begin with noninvasive methods. First it is recommended that all medication considered harmful to be eliminated. Behavior changes should follow and in the third place are vacuum devices, oral treatments, injections and local surgical implant devices. In rare cases it is necessary surgery of the veins or arteries.