What is Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction can be defined as inability of a man to achieve or maintain erection, sufficient to introduce penis into vagina and perform satisfactory sexual intercourse. Such common sexual disorders as decrease in sexual desire, rapid ejaculation and infertility do not apply to erectile dysfunction symptoms. Violation of erection significantly affects quality of life of most men who suffer from it.
How Common is Erectile Dysfunction?
Frequency of erectile dysfunction varies with age. If in the age group from 20 to 40 years it is at average 3 – 7%, then at the age of 40 to 60 years it occurs in 15 – 40% of men. At the age of more than 70 years, erectile dysfunction can disturb up to 50% of men. By itself age is not the cause of erectile dysfunction. However, with age, various diseases often arise or progress (atherosclerosis of vessels, diabetes, etc.), which can become the direct cause of erectile dysfunction.
How does Erection Occur, What is its Mechanism?
To better understand why erectile dysfunction occurs, it is useful to know how erection occurs. Tension of penis or erection is provided by cavernous bodies, which are located inside penis and have structure of cellular sponge. When a man experiences sexual excitement, impulses from brain through spinal cord and further along peripheral nerves into cavernous body trigger excretion of vasodilating substances in them. As a result, arterial blood flow to cavernous bodies is significantly increased. Simultaneously there is a narrowing of penile veins, which reduces outflow of blood. Combination of increase in blood flow to penis with decrease in its outflow leads to complete erection.
What can Cause Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction can be triggered by two groups of causes: psychological (psychogenic) and somatic (organic). Studies of the last 20 years have shown that erectile dysfunction is rarely caused by purely psychological causes (stresses, depression, behavioral patterns, etc.). At the same time, it became known that about 80% of all cases of erectile dysfunction appear due to some physical (somatic, organic) conditions. These include diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and arteriosclerosis of blood vessels, renal and hepatic insufficiency, thyroid disorders, hormonal disorders, consequences of surgery on prostate and rectum, trauma and diseases of spinal cord and brain (blood stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, etc.), consequences of pelvic injuries, Peyronie’s disease. Erectile dysfunction can also be caused by taking certain medications. Persistent erectile dysfunction can develop due to such harmful habits as alcohol use, smoking and taking drugs. Common not only among population, but unfortunately among doctors, opinion that causes of ED may be sexual infections and chronic prostatitis has nothing to do with reality and is erroneous. Waiting for significant improvement in impaired erection after treatment of chronic prostatitis or sexually transmitted infections is completely useless.
Is Erectile Dysfunction Curable?
Modern medicine has achieved impressive success in treatment of erectile dysfunction and has made this problem successfully solvable. Therefore, if you suffer from erectile dysfunction, you should not live with this problem and do nothing to overcome it. Consult qualified doctor, specialist in diagnosis and treatment of erectile dysfunction. After careful examination, taking into account individual characteristics, optimal method of treatment for you will be prescribed, which will bring back to your life all joys of full sex. Erectile dysfunction risk factors will be corrected, which can significantly improve erection. Modern therapeutic arsenal for erectile dysfunction includes medicinal treatment with pills and preparations (Viagra, Cialis, etc.), vacuum-erectile therapy, injections of drugs stimulating erection into penis, therapy using biofeedback method. In those cases when conservative methods of treatment do not help, problem is best solved by means of falloprosthetics.