Let’s face it. Erectile dysfunction can be a very embarrassing affair, and if left untreated, can severely affect a couple’s sex life. An erection problem typically refers to the inability to acquire and maintain an erection that is firm enough for a man to have satisfactory intercourse.
Some men are not able achieve an erection at all; others may simply lose the erection during intercourse. When the condition becomes persistent, a man can be diagnosed as having erectile dysfunction or ED.
Is Erectile Dysfunction Common?
The vast majority of men will experience occasional difficulties in acquiring or maintaining an erection during sex. In many instances, the condition is temporary and goes away without the need for medical intervention. In other cases, it can be a persistent issue that can potentially damage a man’s self confidence and affect his sexual relationship, thus requiring treatment.
Is It All Just “In The Mind?”
In the past, problems relating to erections were assumed to have stemmed from a man’s mind. As a result, sufferers were often given unhelpful advice. You probably heard of comments such as “don’t worry” or “just relax and things will take care of itself.”
These days, medical professionals and sex therapists believe that when erection problems continue to persist for a long time, physical factors may be at work.
To tell if the cause of an erection problem is physical or psychological, one way is to determine if you are having erections while sleeping at night. On average, it is normal for a man to experience three to five erections per night, with each lasting up to 30 minutes. Your doctor would be in a good position to ascertain if you are having the normal number of night-time erections.
What Causes Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction often results from a wide range of problems.
There are two basic contributing factors for ED:
- Effects arising from physically related diseases (such as use of drugs and diabetes)
- Psychological issues
According to studies, about 50 to 60 percent of diabetic men suffer from erectile dysfunction. Bladder-related dysfunction is also known to cause erection problems, as are Parkinson’s disease and temporal lobe abnormalities.
Age also plays a critical role in erectile dysfunction due to a decrease in male hormones. Many medications used to treat high blood pressure can also cause ED.
As with any other medical problems, if you persistently experience problems with erection, it is advisable to see a doctor. The doctor will be in the best position to rule out any possibility of disease, injury, or medical side effects.
On the other hand, “recreational drugs” are also known to cause erection problems. Take for instance, tobacco. Studies have shown that even smoking two cigarettes before sex (if you have a smoking fetish) will significantly reduce the amount of penile blood flow that is necessary to keep your erection up.
Overcoming Erectile Dysfunction
Advancements in medicine have given many ED sufferers hope, as there are many viable alternatives that can treat the problem successfully.
Do not be tempted to subject yourself to vacuum pumps, penile injections or self-medications like Viagra or Cialis. These self-styled solutions can be ineffective at best (for example, effects of using vacuum pumps are only temporary), and dangerous at worst (bursting of capillaries or penile deformities, for instance).
If you persistently experience difficulty in getting and maintaining an erection during sex, it is best to consult a doctor or a specialist.
The doctor will usually first perform physical and laboratory examinations to determine the underlying causes of the problem, followed by exploring the various treatment options.
Don’t let erection problems keep you down (pardon the pun!). Instead, make a resolve to overcome this issue and enjoy the kind of sex that you and your partner deserve!