How Is Erectile Dysfunction Treated?

October 31, 2019 / Sex
How Is Erectile Dysfunction Treated?

The penis plays a critical role in a man’s sex life. It has to be in tip-top condition at all times, so that every single sexual encounter he has is satisfying and pleasurable. Unfortunately, it can sometimes be hit by complications that can stop it from achieving or sustaining erections for sex, leaving a man embarrassed and his sex partner disappointed and frustrated. One of these penis problems is called erectile dysfunction.

Some quick facts about the penis and erectile dysfunction

  • According to a 2013 study, the average size of an erect penis is around 5.6 inches in length.
  • Men who have shorter penises tend to get bigger erections, experiencing an increase in their penis size of as much as 86%. On the other hand, men who have longer penises experience an increase of about 47% in their penis size during an erection.
  • The record-holder for the largest penis in the world is a man named Jonah Falcon, whose penis measures 9.5 inches long when flaccid and more than 1 foot long when erect.
  • Erectile dysfunction or ED is one of the most prevalent sexual health problems in men. It is characterized as the inability to get and maintain an erection for sex.
  • ED can affect men of all ages, shapes, and sizes, but it is more likely to strike men who are older.
  • Many cases of ED are due to an underlying health problem that can be quite severe. According to health experts, ED can occur because of multiple sclerosis, diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, and others.

Risk factors linked to ED

There are certain risk factors that can increase a man’s odds of having erectile dysfunction. Below are the common risk factors that can contribute to ED:

    • Old age

It is common for men to encounter erectile issues as they grow older, especially once they are in their 60s. Their erections may not be as firm and long-lasting as when they were in their 20s or 30s.

    • overweight man in gymBeing overweight

Having excess fats and pounds in the body can raise the likelihood of you getting ED. The problem gets a lot worse if you are obese.

    • Certain medications

Many different kinds of medications, whether over-the-counter or prescription, have been found to have the ability to negatively impact a man’s sexual health. For instance, some antihistamines, antidepressants, and blood pressure medications can make it difficult to get or maintain erections.

    • Certain treatment procedures

Undergoing radiation treatment, prostate surgery, and a number of other treatment procedures may affect how your penis functions.

    • Smoking

Cigarettes and tobacco contain nicotine and other substances that can restrict the blood flow to your different body parts, including your penis, which can lead to erectile dysfunction.

    • Alcoholism and substance abuse

Men who drink alcohol excessively or are addicted to prohibited drugs will encounter erectile difficulties and various other sexual health problems, including reduced testosterone levels and sperm count.

    • Mental health problems

Suffering from depression, anxiety, stress, and other mental health issues can be detrimental to your penis function and sexual health.

    • Injuries

If you suffer from an injury that leads to damaged arteries in or around your penis, or damaged nerves involved in erections can lead to erectile problems.

Methods to diagnose erectile dysfunction

If you have trouble getting or sustaining an erection once in a while, you should not worry or panic right away. You may just be too exhausted or stressed to be aroused, because of work, school, or family life, and only need to rest and relax to get everything working right again. However, if the problem happens again and again and again, you have to go see your doctor immediately.

To diagnose ED, your doctor will ask you several questions about your medical history. They will then conduct a physical examination to check the nerves in your penis and testicles. They may also ask you to get a blood test, urine test, ultrasound, psychological test, or other types of tests if they believe your ED is caused by some underlying health problem.

Once your test results come back, and your doctor diagnoses you with ED, you should discuss with them what the best treatment solution for you is.

Ways to treat erectile dysfunction

Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate medications to treat your ED, depending on the cause of the problem.

man taking pillsOral medications

These are available in different types, and some of the most commonly prescribed are Sildenafil, Avanafil, Tadalafil, and Vardenafil. They work by enhancing the effects of nitric oxide in your body, making the muscles in your penis relaxed and increasing the blood flow to your penis.

Self-injection

This is an ED treatment method in which you have to inject alprostadil into either the side or base of your penis to create an erection that can last up to one hour. However, it comes with a few side effects, such as mild bleeding at the site of injection and prolonged erection.

Suppository

This is administered by inserting an alprostadil suppository into your penis. It usually takes effect within 10 minutes, giving you an erection that can last for 30 to 60 minutes. However, it also causes some side effects, such as minor bleeding in your urethra and mild pain.

Testosterone replacement

This is prescribed to ED cases brought about by low testosterone. It is available in different forms, such as injections, skin patches, gels, and pellets.

Penis pump

This is a hand-powered or battery-powered device that has a tube that you have to place over your penis, and a pump that sucks out the air in the tube, creating a vacuum that pulls more blood into your penis so that erection can be achieved. Once you have an erection, you need to place a tension ring around the base of your penis so as to keep the blood in and your penis firm. After sex, you just remove the tension ring.