Erectile dysfunction is one of the most prevalent types of sexual dysfunction in men, especially those over the age of 40. This condition occurs when a male is unable to either develop or maintain an erection for the purpose of intercourse or sexual activity to a point of satisfaction. Erectile dysfunction can often create a cyclical problem, contributing to a lack of self-esteem, depression, and stress or anxiety during sexual activity. These mental states can actually lead to erectile dysfunction on their own, in addition to worsening an existing condition. Fortunately, there are several treatment options available for this common sexual performance problem, and many may experience full erections for a satisfying sex life with proper diagnosis and care from a medical professional.
Factors that contribute to erectile dysfunction
There are dozens of reasons someone may suffer from erectile dysfunction. Weight gain, changes in metabolism, a poor diet and lack of exercise may lead to issues with stamina and circulation, ultimately causing erectile dysfunction. Hormonal changes, relationship problems and high levels of stress can have a significant impact on sexual health. Many diseases and preexisting conditions can also make it difficult for the body to develop or maintain an erection, including the following:
High blood pressure
Drug and/or alcohol abuse
Certain prescription medications
Causes of erectile dysfunction can be vast, so it is necessary to seek professional care for a proper diagnosis.
Diagnosing the condition
When visiting a medical professional who specializes in male sexual wellness, the patient can typically expect a full medical exam along with a psychological evaluation to check for any of the aforementioned factors. A thorough exam of the genitals may be performed in order to check for appropriate sensitivity and possible nerve damage or malformations. In some cases, an ultrasound may be used to measure blood flow to the penis. In these situations, medications or injections may be used to create an erection for proper testing and evaluation.
Treatment options for erectile dysfunction
Once it has been determined that the patient does indeed suffer from erectile dysfunction, a course of action will be discussed. While there are several treatment options, including topical creams, prescription pills and even various types of physical therapy, personal history and individual needs will determine the safest and most effective options for the individual. It is important that the patient takes a holistic approach to sexual health by making better choices in all areas of life. When partnered with the proper medical interventions, a healthy diet, regular exercise, more sleep and proper stress management can also have a huge impact on sexual health and improving erectile dysfunction.
Occasional difficulty with arousal, maintaining a full erection and even ejaculating are normal in a healthy sex life. However, persistent difficulty with erections points to a bigger issue and should never be ignored. Those who face erectile dysfunction have treatment options, and many can go on to enjoying an active and fulfilling sex life again.
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