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  Erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction, may also be called impotence, and is the repeated inability to get or keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. Erectile dysfunction, or ED, can be a total inability to achieve erection, an inconsistent ability to do so, or a tendency to sustain only brief erections. From 15 million to 30 million men suffer from ED.

Erectile dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction

In older men, ED usually has a physical cause, such as disease, injury, or the side effects of drugs. Chances of suffering from ED increase with age.

Damage to nerves, arteries, smooth muscles, and fibrous tissues, such as the result of disease, is the most common cause of ED. Diabetes, kidney disease, chronic alcoholism, multiple sclerosis, atherosclerosis, vascular disease, and neurological diseases account for about 70 percent of ED cases.

Certain lifestyle choices like smoking, being overweight, and not exercising, contribute to heart disease and vascular problems and also raise the risk of erectile dysfunction.

Surgery, especially prostate and bladder surgery for cancer, can injure nerves and arteries near the penis, and cause ED. Injury to the penis, spinal cord, prostate, bladder, and pelvis can harming nerves, smooth muscles, arteries, and fibrous tissues, and also lead to ED.

Many common medicines, like blood pressure drugs, antihistamines, antidepressants, tranquilizers, and appetite suppressants, can produce ED as a side effect, as well.

About 10 to 20 percent of ED cases may be caused by psychological factors such as stress, anxiety, guilt, depression, low self-esteem, and fear of sexual failure. Other possible causes are smoking, which affects blood flow in veins and arteries, and hormonal abnormalities, such as not having enough testosterone in the body.

It is a good idea that treatment start with the least invasive treatment possible. For some men, making a few healthy lifestyle changes may solve the problem. Quitting smoking, losing weight, and increasing physical activity may help some men regain sexual function. If not, considering medication changes should be considered next. If you think a particular drug you are taking is causing your ED, ask your doctor if there is a replacement drug you can try.

If there seems to be a need, psychotherapy and behavior modifications is considered next, followed by oral or locally injected drugs, vacuum devices, and surgically implanted devices. In rare cases, surgery involving veins or arteries may be considered to help treat erectile dysfunction.

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