- What is Erectile Dysfunction (ED)?
Impotence is the inability to achieve or to sustain an erection adequate for sexual intercourse. ED (erectile dysfunction) is a common, treatable condition and its incidence increases with age.
Psychological causes of impotence include:
- stress and anxiety from work or home
- worry about poor sexual performance
- martial discord
- unresolved sexual orientation
Other causes are due to defective blood flow or nerve function to the penis.
- How can couples work together?
Couples need to communicate openly and honestly with each other. Most importantly, couples need to confront any concerns they may have about ED by discussing their feelings and reassuring each other that they still care. Couples need to maintain this communication throughout the treatment process.
- Risk factors for ED?
- Age above 50 years
- Dyslipidemia (high cholesterol)
- Heart disease
- What can be done for ED?
- Changing habits and medications
Quitting smoking and changing prescriptions medications may help address the condition.
- Hormone medications
Only five percent erectile dysfunction cases are caused by irregular levels of sex hormones, such as a low levels of testosterone or excess estrogen. There are medications to restore this balance.
- Professional counselling
Because impotence can often result from a combination of psychological and physical factors, counselling can lessen anxiety. This therapy is often used in combination with other treatments directed by a physician.
- Oral medication
Yohimbine occurs naturally in the bark of evergreen trees and has been used as an aphrodisiac for centuries by Indians and Africans. It is believed that the drug works by enhancing nerve sensitivity in the penis. While there have been no large-scale studies to prove the drug’s effectiveness, a small percentage of men report it to be helpful for erectile dysfunction.
- Drugs like Sildenafil citrate (Viagra) has been introduced which acts to increase nitric oxide levels and other primary mediators of erection. Studies to suggest drug is effective in selected group of patients. However drug has to be used under medical supervision as it has been found to have known interactions with other drugs and should be used with caution in cardiac patients.
- Vacuum Therapy
This will enable erection by increased blood flow to the penis through negative pressure suction generated by the device. This will enable the patient to obtain penile enlargement and rigidity for sexual intercourse.
- Injection Therapy
One of the newest forms of treatment involves the self-injection of a certain medication into the side of the penis. The relatively painless injection produces erections of good quality in about 70-80 percent of patients.
- Surgical Treatment
This treatment is usually reserved for those patients whose blood flow has been blocked by an injury to the penis or pelvic area. The goal of this treatment is to correct the blockage of blood flow to the penis so that erections will occur naturally.
- Penile prostheses
This treatment involves the surgical placement of a device into the two sides of the penis, allowing erections as often as desired. These implants come in two forms; an inflatable device and semi-rigid rods. This treatment is recommended only after discussing with the patient all other available options. Prosthesis is a long-term solution, which is offered after careful consideration and discussion with the patient.
- Regaining sexual function
The good news for many men and their partners is that erectile dysfunction can usually be treated safely and effectively. In the light of recent medical advances, men no longer need to suffer from erectile dysfunction in silence nor must their impotency be a dividing force in their relationships. Most importantly, couples can now fully enjoy the enriching and exhilarating joy of intimate sexual contact.