What is erectile dysfunction or impotence?
Erectile dysfunction (ED), also called impotence, is the repeated inability to achieve or sustain an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. The word ‘impotence’ may also describe other problems that interfere with sexual intercourse as well as reproduction, a lack of sexual desire and ejaculation or orgasm problems.
Attitudes towards ED have changed over the last few years due to the creation of Viagra. Knowing that there was a simple oral cure for ED has given many men the confidence to seek help from a doctor and to discuss what oral erectile dysfunction treatments are available.
Erectile dysfunction is treatable at any age, and awareness of it has been growing consistently. More men now seek help and are able to return to normal sexual activity because of improved, successful treatments for ED.
What are the causes of erectile dysfunction?
The body is a complex machine and the causes of ED can sometimes be hard to pin down. An erection is triggered by nerve impulses occurring in the brain, the spinal column and in the area around the penis, and by positive responses in the muscles, fibrous tissues, veins, and arteries in and near the corpora cavernosa – the tissue chamber near the penis. Erectile dysfunction clinic
Injury or trauma to the nerves, arteries, smooth muscles and fibrous tissues, often as a result of disease or an accident, can be the most common causes of ED. Diseases like diabetes, kidney failure, chronic alcoholism, multiple sclerosis, atherosclerosis, vascular disease and neurological disorders also account for about 70% of ED cases. Between 35% and 50% of men with diabetes also experience erectile dysfunction.
Negative lifestyle choices are another contributory factor that raises the risk of heart disease and vascular problems, which in turn lead to ED. Moreover, smoking and obesity can also result in male impotence.
Various surgeries like radical prostate and bladder surgery for cancer are known to injure nerves and arteries very close to the penis, and this may result in ED. Moreover, injury to the penis, spinal cord, prostate, bladder and the pelvis can also lead to male impotence because of physical harm to the nerves, smooth muscles, arteries, and fibrous tissues of the corpora cavernosa.
Additionally, many common medicines like blood pressure drugs, antihistamines, antidepressants, tranquilizers, appetite suppressants, and cimetidine (an ulcer drug), can produce ED as a side effect.
Psychological factors like stress, anxiety, guilt, depression, low self-esteem and fear of sexual failure also have the ability to cause erectile dysfunction in some people.