Erectile dysfunction (ED), more commonly known as impotence, affects around 30 million men in the US alone. It is a condition where a man cannot gain or maintain an erection during sex, and it may also mean that they have reduced sexual desire.
It is common for men to experience periods of time where they struggle to maintain an erection or where they do not have their usual sexual appetites, often caused by factors like stress and relationship difficulties. A lot of the time, the issue resolves itself; however, if it continues then it is worth a visit to your doctor to see if there is an underlying cause.
There are a lot of possible causes for erectile dysfunction, both physical and mental. To achieve an erection a complex procedure has to take place, involving the brain, hormones, emotions, muscles and blood flow. If there is anything affecting any of these areas, then it can result in ED.
It is common for mental health concerns to cause ED. Factors such as stress, anxiety, depression and relationship issues can all contribute. If you think that this might be the case, then the most effective thing that you can is to address the underlying issue with the help of a mental health professional.
There are also a lot of physical conditions that can cause ED, including:
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Clogged arteries
- Some prescription medications
- Low testosterone levels
- Surgeries on the lower back
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Metabolic syndrome
If you think that any of these physical issues may be causing your ED, then speak with your doctor. They will be able to advise you on the best way to treat or manage the underlying condition, which may help to alleviate the problem.
Often the most effective treatment for ED is making lifestyle changes such as eating more healthily, getting more exercise, and addressing any emotional concerns – particularly within your relationship.
Many people also find it helpful to use penis sleeves to help with erectile dysfunction. Penis sleeves are readily available without prescription (although it is a good idea to consult with your doctor). They are a hollow device in the shape of a penis which is slipped over the top of the penis. This can allow intercourse to occur, even when the penis is flaccid. Some people are even able to achieve orgasm.
Your doctor will also be able to prescribe treatments specifically for ED. Most commonly they prescribe medications which will help to keep the blood in the penis tissue, and therefore help to maintain an erection.
Doctors sometimes also prescribe the use of a vacuum pump, which helps to bring blood into the penis through the use of suction. A vacuum pump is a non-invasive treatment. It is placed over the top of the penis and then operated by hand. Vacuum pumps are not a cure for ED, but they do mean that sex is possible.
There are also implants and surgeries available that can help with ED, so if this is an issue that you are facing there are a lot of options available to you.