Erectile Dysfunction is not the end of it all
Unfortunately, when a man experiences erectile dysfunction he takes it as a sign of his virility going down the drain. Visions of sleepless nights without satisfying sex charge through the brain like a runaway train. But it doesn’t have to be like that.
What is Erectile Dysfunction?
This condition is described as the lack of an erection or the inability to sustain and erection for intercourse. This can be a very depressing occurrence in a man’s life and it can be distressing to his sexual partner as well. The good news is that it is treatable and men can find sexual satisfaction with their partners once again.
What causes ED?
Some common causes are related to other illness a man may have such as diabetes, heart or thyroid conditions or nervous disorders like multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s. High Blood pressure or poor blood flow in the penis can also result in ED. Depression can result in lack of sexual interest that may make it difficult to achieve a full and firm erection for intercourse.
Some medications can affect the ability to achieve a full erection. Blood pressure meds such as beta blockers, digoxin for the heart, meds for peptic ulcers, sleep aids and anti-depressants can effect erections.
Past surgeries or injury to the genitals, or spinal cord injury can result in ED. One’s emotional state or lack of effective communication between partners can result in problems with achieving an erection as well.
You may be able to solve the issue at home
Lifestyle changes may help you get your mojo back if you prefer to do that before heading to the doctor’s office. If you smoke you should quit. The same applies to recreational drugs and excessive drinking. Stop the rec drugs and reduce the drinking. Any one of these habits can result in the inability to achieve an erection.
Other changes that will help would be to exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet so that your blood will circulate better. Practice safe sex to avoid damaging diseases like HIV/Aids or STDs. Not only are these diseases physically disruptive to your sex life, they are also emotionally damaging to your confidence.
You should also talk to your sexual partner about your problems with erections. If there is a problem with sexual practices that make you uncomfortable, you partner should know this. If you have high expectations that may be unrealistic for you or your partner, you both can discuss this and come up with more realistic expectations. If talking to your partner is not something you feel comfortable doing, you should seek counseling to help you think your issues through and come up with a solution.
If lifestyle changes fail, get checked out
If none of the lifestyle changes help, your doctor can do a complete work up to find out what is happening to your body. The doctor will perform several tests to check your system, including:
• Blood flow check with an ultrasound
• Examine penis and rectum
• Check your nervous system
• Sexual history Q & A
He may also do some lab tests that will likely include:
• Blood count
• Hormone profile
• Metabolic panel
• Prostate Specific Antigen ( check for cancer)
• Nocturnal penile tumescence ( night time erections)
• Rigidity monitoring
There are more tests doctors may use depending on the results of other tests to verify possible causes. Along with the Sexual history Q&A you will discuss any heart conditions that may have occurred in your life of if there is a family history of heart conditions. It is important that you be clear about your heart history because certain medication taken for the heart should never be taken along with medications used to treat erectile dysfunction.
Treatment plans that might help you
The treatment most men are familiar with is in the form of pills thanks to television and magazine ads. There are other treatments that are just as effective and one that is even more effective than the pills. In addition to the familiar pills specifically designed for ED, hormone therapy such as testosterone replacement for men with low T, which comes in different forms such as pads, gels, or injections.
The most effective treatment may be scarier than the pill only because men tend to be quite squeamish about their penis meeting with sharp objects. Injections of Alprostadil in the penis or urethra actually help to improve penile blood flow far more effectively.
Another treatment option is a surgical penile implant or prosthesis. A doctor may also recommend a vacuum device to essentially pump blood into the penis to create a firmer erection. After the penis is filled, a special rubber band is put in place to help retain the erection during intercourse.
Keep it in perspective
Sexual virility is very important to men who have been told all their lives that sexual prowess makes a man more attractive to his mate. And this may even be true, but there are other attributes that make a man attractive such athleticism, intelligence, humor, leadership and being a strong role model.
One must also be open to alternative sexual activity to penile penetration. Oral sex is perfectly okay as is manual stimulation with other parts of the body. The penis does serve a purpose for reproduction and it doubles as a particularly sensitive organ for sexual relations, but there are options men can and should experiment with a sexual partner.
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