Erectile Dysfunction (ED): Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment

Erectile Dysfunction, or ED, is one of the most common s*xual health complications that affects millions of men worldwide. In fact, some estimates suggest that as many as 322 million men will struggle with the complication by 2025.

Also commonly known as impotence, ED is a man’s inability to get and keep an erection firm while having s*xual intercourse with a partner. Although, experiencing issues of having an erection from time to time is considered normal and not a point of concern in most cases.

However, ongoing concerns related to erectile dysfunction affect relationships and damage a person’s self-confidence. Fun fact, the inability to get an erection can also indicate an underlying and undiagnosed health complication.

This article will explore everything you need to know about Erectile Dysfunction, the symptoms, and associated diagnosis and treatment options.

Why Should You Take Erectile Dysfunction Seriously?

While Erectile Dysfunction (ED) may be a common problem among men, it should not be taken lightly. Not getting a timely diagnosis, followed by the required treatment, can inadvertently affect an individual’s mental well-being and relationship.

If you are struggling with ED, getting help from an experienced doctor has the potential to reverse the symptoms and help you boost your s*xual health. Seeking treatment can help identify underlying health issues and improve your quality of life.

What is Erectile Dysfunction (ED)?

As surprising as it sounds, reports suggest that one in 10 men will suffer from erectile dysfunction at least once in their life.

In medical terms, Erectile Dysfunction is a condition that affects a man’s ability to achieve or maintain an erection during s*xual activity. Although considered a societal taboo, ED is often a consequence or a symptom of an underlying disease in the patient.

It’s one thing underperforming or not being able to maintain an erection once or twice. ED, on the other hand, is a chronic complication that interferes with and disrupts a patient’s quality of life, relationships, and overall well-being.

Occasional failure to get an erection can be a consequence of drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, experiencing relationship problems, or extreme tiredness.

Another common misconception surrounding ED is that it only affects older men. That isn’t always the case. While age does play a role in a man’s s*xual health and libido, ED can affect anyone, irrespective of their age.

Our doctors at Prime Purush are focused on helping patients with Frequent ED or Chronic ED, which is often an alarming sign of a potent or underlying health problem in the patient.

What are the Causes of Erectile Dysfunction?

S*xual arousal in men involves a lot of factors, including hormones, emotions, nerves, muscles, and blood vessels. Since these elements are interconnected and need to work together to optimize a man’s libido and arousal, an inability in any of these sections can lead to erectile dysfunction.

Not just physical; the causes of ED can be psychological as well. Sometimes, it is a combination of both which makes a man underperform in the bedroom.

With that said, let us take a look at the physical and psychological causes of erectile dysfunction in detail:

Category Causes
Physical Causes -Heart disease -Blockages in the blood vessels -Hypertension -High cholesterol -Obesity -Diabetes -Metabolic syndrome -Parkinson’s disease -Multiple sclerosis -Tobacco use -Alcoholism -Substance abuse -Sleep disorders -Prostate cancer and ongoing treatments -Past surgeries and trauma to the pelvic region or spine -Low testosterone levels
Psychological Causes -Depression -Stress -Relationship turmoil

Erectile dysfunction can lead to a series of complications, including:

  • Increased stress and anxiety in the patient
  • Low self-esteem
  • Unsatisfactory s*x life
  • Relationship issues
  • Infertility concerns

With the advancements in medical science, there are various treatments available for ED, including medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes.

Do Medications Lead to Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is often a consequence of taking commonly prescribed medications to treat different conditions related to hormonal imbalance, nerve issues, and problems related to blood circulation.

Some of the most common types of prescription medications that increase the risks of ED include diuretics, antihypertensives, antidepressants, muscle relaxants, chemotherapy medications, prostate cancer drugs, etc. Even drug abuse can contribute to risks of ED; hence getting timely treatment is crucial.

Consulting with specialist doctors is hence a must when you are struggling with any of the potential symptoms. We will discuss more of that in the next section of the article.

What are the Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction?

As we discussed earlier, there are several reasons for erectile dysfunction. The erectile dysfunction symptoms are just in their name.

Patients suffering from ED experience the following primary symptoms:

  • Trouble getting an erection
  • Difficulty maintaining an erection
  • Reduced s*x drive
  • Feelings of guilt and embarrassment
  • Inability to have an orgasm

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, especially if they have been recurring for three or more months, it indicates that you need immediate medical intervention.

How is Erectile Dysfunction Diagnosed?

If you are experiencing erection problems, getting a confirmed diagnosis is crucial to determine the next steps in the treatment.

When consulting a specialist at Prime Purush, our doctors start by asking questions, getting a complete rundown of the medical history, and performing a physical examination.

If a doctor suspects that a patient is experiencing erectile dysfunction (ED) based on their initial consultation, they may recommend further tests to confirm the diagnosis before prescribing treatment. These include:

Blood tests – Since ED is often a consequence of an underlying complication, the doctors will prescribe blood tests to confirm a diagnosis for diabetes, low testosterone, liver disease, kidney disease, or heart disease.

Some of the common blood tests that are prescribed for ED diagnosis include:

  • Complete blood count (CBC)
  • Liver and kidney function test
  • Lipid profile
  • Thyroid function test
  • Blood hormone studies

Urine test – Besides blood tests, urine tests determine whether the patient is diabetic, which is often an underlying cause behind ED.

Psychological evaluation – Since there are a few emotional triggers that lead to complications of ED, the doctors will also screen for depression, stress, or other mental health disorder.

Imaging and accessory tests – Besides blood and urine tests, there are a series of other tests that the doctors prescribe to confirm an ED diagnosis. These miscellaneous tests include:

  • Duplex ultrasound
  • Bulbocavernosus reflex (evaluates nerve sensation in the penis)
  • Nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT) (measures erectile function while sleeping)
  • Dynamic infusion cavernosometry (prescribed for men suffering from ED with a venous leak)

Once prescribed, the doctor will discuss and explain these tests and their significance in confirming an ED diagnosis in the patient.

Now that you have a comprehensive idea about the disease, the next question that most patients have is, “Who do I see for Erectile Dysfunction?”

If you are looking for an erectile dysfunction cure and are wondering which doctor to consult, urologists generally diagnose and treat this condition.

How is Erectile Dysfunction Treated?

After getting the prescribed erectile dysfunction test, once the diagnosis is confirmed, the next step is to curate a tailored treatment plan that works best for subjective patients.

There are three direct and major erectile dysfunction treatments that are prevalently prescribed, including:

Medications

The most common treatment used for ED is with approved oral medications that stimulate blood flow to the penis. Some of the most commonly prescribed medications include avanafil, sildenafil, tadalafil, and vardenafil. Depending on the effects, your doctor will adjust the dosage and determine the best medication that works for you.

Note: In some instances, these prescribed medications can cause side effects, which your doctor will discuss at length with you. If you are witnessing any symptoms that are uncomfortable or out of the blue, discuss them at length with your doctor.

Vacuum Pumps

This is another popular and effective non-surgical treatment for ED that uses vacuum suction to trigger an erection. These pumps directly draw blood into the penis, which helps in making and keeping an erection throughout s*xual intercourse.

There are certain limitations and steps of use involved with the vacuum pumps, which you should discuss at length with your doctor before opting for them.

Besides these non-surgical treatment options, there are a few surgical treatments, including Penile prosthesis surgery, which involves the implantation of inflatable penile prostheses to help the patient have an erection when aroused. Also, patients who have erectile dysfunction due to blockages in the blood vessels might find relief after getting vascular surgery to repair the blocked arteries.

Do Diet and Lifestyle Changes Help Manage Erectile Dysfunction?

Many patients suffering from ED often wonder if there is a permanent cure for erectile dysfunction. While there is a cure for the disease, it depends on the cause.

Given how far medical science has progressed and the findings available, timely diagnosis, support, and treatment for ED can help the symptoms go away without relying on long-term medications or surgical interventions.

The next question that irks the patient is wondering whether lifestyle changes and diet play a crucial role in managing erectile dysfunction. The answer is yes. Certain exercises and foods can alleviate the symptoms in the long run.

Exercises for ED

Certain exercises can effectively help manage ED. These include:

  • Kegel exercises
  • Aerobic exercises
  • Yoga

Foods for ED

Besides exercising and leading an active lifestyle, studies have also found that prioritizing blood vessel health is an effective way to prevent and treat erectile dysfunction in patients. A recent study also found that a plant-based diet was found to be more beneficial in alleviating the symptoms of ED.

Is Erectile Dysfunction Preventable?

Now that we have all the information we need about erectile dysfunction meaning its causes and available treatment, the next thing to focus on is its preventability.

In order to understand the connection between erectile dysfunction and its preventability, we need to understand the link with leading chronic ailments like obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, etc.

Most of these diseases are lifestyle-based. Hence, living a healthy lifestyle has the potential to prevent the incidence of the disease.

Some of the preventive measures worth considering are:

  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Avoid foods rich that further spike cholesterol levels
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Indulge in regular exercise

If you are burdened with any of the risk factors that contribute to ED, pay close attention to the issues and take immediate steps to ensure that things don’t progress for the worse.

When is the Right Time to Consult a Doctor for Erectile Dysfunction?

ED comes with a lot of societal taboos and pressure. Hence, most men struggling with the disorder struggle in silence.

If you are experiencing any ED symptoms, it is ideal to openly talk about the same with your partner and then seek medical advice as needed. Albeit the frustration and embarrassment, timely diagnosis and treatment can reverse the impacts and improve the patient’s quality of life.

FAQs

1. When do men develop Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is a complication that’s more common in older men. However, that doesn’t wipe out the fact that even younger men struggle with ED. On an average, patients suffering from ED can start developing their symptoms as early as their late 20s.

2. How long does it take to cure ED permanently?

ED treatment can take between a few months to years to cure it permanently. It depends on the cause of the disorder and also the kind of medications and lifestyle the patient is leading.

3. Can ED be healed naturally?

Introducing healthy lifestyle changes and eating a balanced and nutritious diet has been found to have potent effects in reversing the signs of ED in several patients. However, discussing the best available treatments is crucial with your respective specialists.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is a common condition that affects a significant number of men worldwide. The symptoms of ED can be distressing and can impact a man’s quality of life. However, with the right diagnosis and treatment, many men can overcome this condition and regain their s*xual function.

While ED can be a challenging condition to deal with, it is important to remember that it is treatable. Prime Purush offers comprehensive treatments for erectile dysfunction, helping patients regain their s*xual health and enjoy a fulfilling s*x life.

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