General Article

Managing Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is a sensitive topic for the men who are affected by it and for the loved ones with whom they’re intimate. This issue has a variety of different causes. Visiting a clinic for erectile dysfunction may be able to help diagnosis and treat the issue that’s affecting you.

What Is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) may affect as many as 30 million men in the U.S. alone. Doctors define erectile dysfunction as an inability to sustain an erection that’s firm enough for penetrative sex. Its specific physiological cause is an insufficient flow of blood into the penis. This can be related to emotional stress or to injuries to adjacent anatomical structures and nerves. ED can also be a harbinger of an underlying medical condition such as high blood pressure, multiple sclerosis or diabetes.

Risk Factors for Erectile Dysfunction

As men age, the nature of their erections changes. Erections may not be as frequent as they once were; once achieved, they may not be as firm as they once were.

In addition to age, there are other risk factors for ED. These include:

• Tobacco use: Nicotine, which is found in tobacco, constricts arteries. This can reduce the amount of blood into the penis. Additionally, over time, tobacco use can lead to serious medical complications such as heart disease that are associated with ED.

• Obesity: Obesity is linked to low testosterone levels and the development of cardiac conditions, both of which can lead to erectile dysfunction.

• Injuries: Injuries that damage abdominal nerves and blood vessels can precipitate ED.

• Medications: ED is a known side effect of a host of medications, including antidepressants and hypertension drugs.

• Alcohol: The overuse of alcohol can lead to impotence.

Dealing With Erectile Dysfunction

In many instances, ED can be successfully managed. Making healthy lifestyle choices is often the key to combatting erectile dysfunction.

• Take steps to reduce the stress in your life, and if you feel as though you may be affected by psychological conditions like depression or anxiety, see a health care provider.

• If you smoke, stop; if you drink alcohol to excess, modify your consumption.

• Visit your physician regularly for screening tests.