The term Erectile Dysfunction (ED) refers to the inability of a man to sustain erection of the penis long enough for him to have sex. Erectile dysfunction can be a symptom of a psychological or physical condition that may be hampering the male’s ability to maintain to consistent erection repeatedly. Studies have found that at least one of five men experience this condition and becomes increasingly common with age. As a result of an unsatisfying sexual experience, ED can lead to relationship strain, cause stress, and low self-confidence.
Since many people wrongly equate the inability to have an erection with “lack of masculinity”, those were suffering are often reluctant to talk about it openly, even to the doctors.
Standard age group of people experiencing erectile dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction is a lot more common than you may believe, and many men in their midlife have come across this embarrassing situation. Most men who are above 40 years of age have experienced inconsistency in maintaining erections, and sometimes get only brief erections. Over 50% of men ranging between ages 50 and 70 experience widely varying degrees of ED, which they think is an inevitable consequence of growing older, but that is far from the truth.
Mechanism behind erectile dysfunction?
The penis comprises of two important cylinder-shaped chambers known as corpora cavernosa , which runs along the entirety of the penis’ length. These chambers contain arteries that are responsible for the transfer of blood flow in and out of the penis. During sexual stimulation, be it physically or mentally, our brain sends a signal to the nerves of the penis that cause the penile arteries to relax. This, in turn, leads to increase in blood flow to the penis, causing it to get hard and thus achieve an erection.
There are specialized muscles located in the penis that contract simultaneously, compressing the veins and reducing the rate of blood outflow, thereby helping the male to sustain an erection. So, in the case of erectile dysfunction, there is some cause that interferes with the nerve impulses either in the brain or down to the penis. Any limiting factor that contributes to the lack of blood flow can lead to erectile dysfunction.
Common physical causes of erectile dysfunction
Vascular diseases: Any vascular disease that can impair the flow of blood to the penis will lead to difficulty in getting an erection. Some common diseases are high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and atherosclerosis.
Neurological disorder: Another common cause of ED is improper functioning of our nerves. Any disorder similar to Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, or stroke may interfere with regular functions of the brain or nerves, causing ED.
Diabetes: The ED caused because of diabetes can be attributed to the damage caused to the nerves as well as blood vessels due to lack of optimum sugar control. People suffering from diabetes mellitus experience ED at some point in their life or the other.
Medications: Heavy medication that is used to treat high blood pressure, depression, etc. can also lead to failure of maintaining an erection. So, if you suspect that your problems with erection are due to a particular medicine, contact your doctor immediately.
Common psychological causes
Since the brain is primarily responsible for sending the signal is that achieve an erection and other sensory functions, any issue that may interfere with regular brain functions may cause ED. However, it has been found that psychiatric conditions like anxiety, depression, stress, low self-esteem only constitute about 10 to 15% of reported ED cases.
“Prevention is better than cure” is an age-old saying that still holds true to this day. Erectile dysfunction is not a consequence of aging, and you should not live your life thinking that it is inevitable. By leading a physically active life with good eating habits, you can maximize your chances of not having ED. Taking preventive measures is not only safer for health but also more plausible than treatment because the latter may involve a significant amount of expenditure.
So how can you prevent erectile dysfunction from happening?
Follow this simple guide:
- Stop indulging in alcohol and recreational drugs: The point itself is pretty obvious, and almost everyone knows about the harmful effects of alcohol and drugs on the human body. Drugs like cocaine, opiates, excessive alcohol and marijuana consumption, may lead to severe side effects like performance anxiety and erection failure.
- Exercise often: As a part of healthy living, you should always dedicate a particular time of the day to cardio workouts, resistance training, recreational sports, or anything that makes you feel good and contributes to lowering cholesterol level. This would improve blood circulation throughout the body, which includes the penile tissue.
- Get a good night sleep: Distress and anxiety are two extremely common causes of ED and performance failure. So, to refresh your mind and body after a hard day’s work, get a good night’s sleep.
- Avoid fatty food: It has been proven that men suffering from obesity are much likely to experience ED than men who are of average weight. Obesity brings a lot of health problems such as type II diabetes that may cause damage to the penile tissues. Since one of the leading causes of obesity is excessive consumption of fast food with a lot of calories and fat content, cutting down on it will lead to a healthier lifestyle.
- Relax: When it’s time to have sex, it’s important that you do not have performance anxiety. Relax, take a deep breath, and communicate with your partner about what makes her happy. Concentrate on plenty of foreplay and get her completely aroused before going for penetration. Ease into the action and never let false expectations get in the way of an amazing sex life.
By now, you probably understand that ED is a common occurrence that may be a symptom of living and unhealthy life. There is nothing to be embarrassed about this condition because lots of people experience it, and most of them can cure it with simple remedies. But you would want to make sure that it doesn’t happen to you; so focus on living a healthier from now on.
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