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April 10, 2017 | Urology
Erectile dysfunction, also referred to as impotence, is a man’s inability to get or keep an erection suitable for sexual activity.
While many men have occasional trouble maintaining an erection due to factors like stress or alcohol consumption, erectile dysfunction is an ongoing problem. This condition can lead to several complications—both mental and physical.
The symptoms of erectile dysfunction include:
Make an appointment with your doctor if you notice other signals of erectile dysfunction, such as premature or delayed ejaculation, or if you have diabetes, heart disease, or other health conditions that may be linked to erectile dysfunction.
Erectile dysfunction can affect your social and mental health just as much as your physical health:
Both physical and psychological factors can cause erectile dysfunction. In many cases, men experience a combination of factors that contribute to impotence. Physical causes of erectile dysfunction can include:
Psychological causes of erectile dysfunction can include:
Erectile dysfunction involves several other factors, which varies from person to person:
Treatment for erectile dysfunction depends on specific details that vary case by case. Factors in treatment decisions may involve both your preferences and your partner’s preferences. Medications used to treat erectile dysfunction include:
These medications are meant to strengthen the effects of nitrous oxide, a natural chemical that helps relax the penis muscles and increase blood flow to the penis to help you get an erection. These medications may have side effects, or may take a period of time to work correctly. They also don’t always work for everyone, and you should consult your doctor before taking them. Some situations, however, may make these medications dangerous if you:
Your doctor may also recommend other medications including:
Your doctor may recommend a different solution if medications aren’t the appropriate treatment for you:
In some cases, men find counseling beneficial to deal with the mental aspects of erectile dysfunction.
Preventing erectile dysfunction involves healthy lifestyle choices that help you manage current health conditions. Preventive methods include:
If you notice signs of erectile dysfunction, or have a condition that relates to it, speak to your doctor.
“What is Erectile Dysfunction?” Urology Care Foundation. http://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/erectile-dysfunction
“Erectile dysfunction.” The Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/erectile-dysfunction/basics/definition/con-20034244
The Live Better Team
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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.