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Erectile Dysfunction- causes, effects and treatments.

Updated on April 21, 2010

Erectile dysfunction is the inability of a man maintain a firm erection long enough to have sex. Though, it is more common among the older men, this common problem can occur at any age. Having trouble maintaining erection from time to time is not necessarily a cause for alarm, as all men experience erectile dysfunction at time point in life. However, if the problem persists, it can cause stress, relationship problem and affect self – esteem.

Causes of Erectile Dysfunction.

Erectile dysfunction results due to diseased blood flow to the penis and due to nerve damage. Under lying conditions associated with erectile dysfunction include the following:

Vascular diseases: these causes 50- 60% of cases of erectile dysfunction in men > 65 years. The predisposing factors include diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, high dyolesterols, and smoking.

Drugs: more than 200 commonly prescribed drugs cause or contributed to impotence. For instance antihypertensive, antidepressants, tranquilizers, and sedatives. Long term use of alcohol and elicit drugs may cause erectile dysfunction.

Hormonal diseases: low level of testosterone can result to loss of libido. This may be seen in excess prolactin.

Neurological disorders: these include brain and spinal cord injuries multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Venous leak: inability of the veins to return blood during erection will cause erectile dysfunction. This may result from injury and disease.

Peonies diseases: this is inflammatory condition that causes scaring of the erectile tissues resulting in curvature of the penis which can interfere with sexual function and cause painful erection.

Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction

Treatment of erectile dysfunction depends on the cause and ranges vacuums from life changes, use of impotent drugs, erectile dysfunction vas and surgeries.

Herbal supplements are not affective therapy for atherosclerotic induced erectile dysfunction (mostly for men). However it may work for persons with psychological problems in which case it acts as a placebo.

In conclusion, I encourage patients to talk to their doctors about this issue, since most times men are reluctant to bringing it up. It is important to bring it up as there are good strategies now and even better ones evolving to restore normal erectile function in men.


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