Erectile dysfunction is otherwise known as impotence and is an issue for 1 in 2 men during their lifetime.
The condition makes it difficult to either experience an erection, or at least maintain one.
This can lead to a wide range of other complications such as psychological issues, a lack of self-confidence and, essentially, the inability to have sexual intercourse.
As erectile dysfunction can affect men in so many different ways, the treatment of it really does require specialist advice and guidance to diagnose and treat correctly.
Causes of erectile dysfunction
The process of achieving an erection involves an intricate process involving signals from the brain to the muscles and blood vessels located within the penis.
When this process works properly an erection occurs, but in some cases men can’t achieve or sustain an erection.
Physical causes of erectile dysfunction include:
- Vascular disease
- Diabetes mellitus
- Hormone abnormalities such as hyperprolactinaemia
- Certain prescribed drugs
- Hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol)
- Diseases affecting the erectile tissue of the penis
- Neurological diseases
- Severe chronic diseases such as kidney and liver failure
- Alcoholism and drug abuse
- Surgery (especially radical prostate and bladder surgery)
- Injury to the penis, spinal cord, pelvis, prostate or bladder
- Heavy smoking
- Being overweight
Drug induced causes of erectile dysfunction include:
- Antihypertensives (medication for high blood pressure) e.g. diuretics, beta blockers, methyldopa
- Marijuana, heroin, methadone
- Major tranquillisers
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- Oestrogen, anti-androgens
Psychological causes of erectile dysfunction:
- Stress and anxiety from work or home
- Relationship conflicts and dissatisfaction
- Depression and other psychiatric conditions and their medications
- Sexual boredom or unresolved sexual orientation
Other issues related to erectile dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction can be linked to a number of other health issues such as diabetes or heart disease (plus many others), so ensuring you are seen by a specialist is essential.
Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction
Fortunately, erectile dysfunction is something that can be treated.
Through specialist advice and guidance provided by our team at London Andrology, something as simple as making a change to your lifestyle or through addressing workplace stress can help to resolve the problem.
However, if these changes are found to be unsuccessful then there are further options available such as injections or surgical implants. And remember, it is always best to seek professional advice before commencing any treatment for erectile dysfunction. This is to ensure underlying causes have been adequately investigated.