What Exactly is Erectile Dysfunction?
Put simply, erectile dysfunction is a condition in which it becomes difficult to get or maintain an erection within the bounds of normal sexual activity. It can be caused by periods of stress, psychological trauma or emotional imbalance, physical ailments or illnesses that have recently occurred, or that are long-term issues for the patient.
This problem, while tending to be the reserve of the older man, can actually occur in much younger men too, particularly those who lead very stressful or busy lives with little time for rest and relaxation.
Diagnosing the SymptomsAn appointment with a qualified health practitioner or GP will include asking the patient what illness or condition he may already been suffering from, or is being treated for.
Common complaints that contribute towards erectile dysfunction include cardiovascular diseases, stroke, hypertension, obesity and diabetes. In some cases, this condition may arise because of other physical conditions, as well. However, according to recent researches, this condition usually arises due to improper use of tonic medications.
Other factors to be considered should be whether the patient consumes excessive amounts of alcohol, is a regular or heavy smoker and if illegal drugs are taken on either an infrequent or frequent basis.
Matters pertaining to past and present relationships whether heterosexual or homosexual are also important to discuss. Emotional as well as sexual matters can play an enormous part in the matter of erectile dysfunction and talking about these can help in deciding the best form of treatment to take.
Tests and Routine QuestionsSometimes, erectile dysfunction can be sign of other underlying health problems, so a series of tests may be prescribed first to rule out conditions such as hypertension, heart problems or issues with being over or underweight. Blood sugars may be measured to check for symptoms of diabetes and questions may be asked about general lifestyle and dietary habits. As with many health issues, a diet that is high in processed, fatty, sugary or salty foods may contribute to a variety of illnesses and conditions which will need to also be ruled out.
An examination of the male sexual organs will also be carried out. This should be done to eliminate the possibility of any anomalies or abnormalities with the penis or testicles, which may be causing problems. One further check that may be required is for something called a “Digital Rectal Examination”, in which the GP will examine the patient’s rectum. This is a useful test to carry out if concerns are prevalent about the condition of the prostate gland, as it can detect whether the said organ is enlarged or not.
Treatment of Erectile DysfunctionOnce the causes and symptoms have been discussed, treatment can begin. There are a few different branded drugs that can be taken to help with this condition, namely Cialis, Levitra and Viagra (which also goes by the generic name of Sildenafil). A tablet like this can be taken around fifteen minutes before sexual intercourse and can provide relief from the symptoms of erectile dysfunction. If one of these medicines does not work for any reason, another one can be prescribed and tried.
Other treatments that do not involve drugs include penile implant surgery, in which a small pair of malleable rods is placed into the penis via surgical implantation. This offers a permanent solution to the problem by keeping the penis semi-rigid at all times.
A product such as an Erectile Dysfunction Vacuum can also be prescribed, which uses an acrylic pump and constraining band, which allows the blood to flow to the penis and for it to maintain an erection.
Finally, there are herbal remedies that can be purchased such as Ginseng, Ginkgo Biloba or Yohimbe Bark Extract which can all help with such issues. These are worthwhile to experiment with, but must be discussed with a GP fully before being taken, in order that contra-indications with other medications or drugs for erectile dysfunction can be ruled out fully.
It is always better that a patient discusses these matter with a GP and gets an appropriate prescription, rather than attempting to buy Viagra or any other popular drugs available online, unless the supplier is well known and reputable in every aspect.
Image source: By studio tdes, CC-BY-2.0, via Flickr