Erectile dysfunction (ED) is sexual dysfunction characterized by the inability to develop or maintain an erection of the penis during sex.
A penile erection is the effect of blood entering and being retained within the penis. The process is often a result of sexual arousal in which signals are transmitted from the brain to nerves in the penis. Erectile dysfunction occurs whenever it becomes difficult to develop an erection. There are many different causes including circulatory alteration of the voltage-gated potassium channel, as in arsenic poisoning from drinking water. The most organic causes include cardiovascular disease and diabetes, neurological problems, hormonal insufficiencies and drug side effects.
Psychological impotence is where erection or penetration fails due to thoughts of incapability rather than physical impossibility. Notably in psychological impotence, there is a strong response to placebo treatment. Erectile dysfunction can have severe psychological consequences as well as difficulty maintaining a relationship.
Erectile dysfunction is characterized by the regular or repeated inability to obtain or maintain an erection.
There are many different factors that can lead to erectile dysfunction. Some of the most common include drugs (most commonly antidepressants and nicotine), psychological causes, surgery, aging, diseases and neurological disorders.
A way of helping to prevent erectile dysfunction includes leading a healthy lifestyle, specifically quitting smoking. Nicotine has been proven to cause impotence due to arterial narrowing.
In order to figure out what treatment is best, the cause of erectile dysfunction needs to be known.
Aerobic exercise has proven to be an effective treatment for erectile dysfunction. If the cause is a psychological one, therapy may prove to be helpful. Penis pumps are also used for temporary treatment of impotence, but should not be used long term.
There are also medications now that can help to assist with providing an erection. The first and most popular being Viagra (sildenafil). It works by boosting the impact of the chemical nitric oxide. This allows the smooth muscles inside the penis to relax, promoting greater blood flow to the area during sexual arousal. This can allow for an erection that will last up to four hours.
Cialis (tadalafil) is a PDE inhibitor and works similarly to Viagra. The difference being that erections can last from 24 to 36 hours. It takes effect in about thirty minutes.
If you are suffering from erectile dysfunction call your local health care provider to find the treatment that is best for you.