What is erectile dysfunction?
With erectile dysfunction (ED), it can be difficult for a person to get or keep an erection that is hard enough to engage in sexual intercourse. The ability to maintain an erection is mainly determined by sexual arousal, a complex process that involves the brain, hormones, emotions, muscles, and blood vessels throughout the body. Physical or psychological factors can also impact sexual function, desire, and arousal, all of which can sometimes cause ED.
During sexual arousal, the body release chemicals that increase blood flow to the penis. Blood flows into two chambers in the penis which are made of spongy muscle tissue called the corpus cavernosum.
After orgasm, the muscles of the penis relax, releasing the blood back into the bodies circulatory system. As a result, the erection comes down, and the person’s urogenital system returns to its pre-arousal state.
Erectile dysfunction age
ED becomes more common as people get older because testosterone levels lower over time. In fact, age is the most strongly associated variable of ED. Approximately 40% of people with penises have some experience of ED by age 40, and by age 70, nearly 70% of people with penises can be affected.
ED is a condition that no man wants to deal with. Unfortunately, by the time the average man reaches 40, it’s likely that they will experience ED over the next few decades of their life. It’s estimated that half of all men aged between 40 and 70 suffer from impotence to some degree and for that reason, it’s a perfectly natural part of getting older.
Erectile dysfunction in 20s
Despite its reputation as something that mostly impacts older men, erectile dysfunction (ED) can and often does affect younger men as well. If you’re in your 20s and sometimes find it difficult to get an erection, you aren’t alone, there are many other men out there in the same situation.
Experiencing ED can be stressful, especially when it affects your sexual relationships. Luckily, almost all cases of ED are treatable using a combination of approved treatments and changes to your lifestyle.
If you’re in your 20s and have ED, don’t be afraid to take action today. Talking to a healthcare professional is the best way to learn about what you can do to get over your erection problems and enjoy a higher quality of life.
Erectile dysfunction causes
Occasional ED is common and not usually indicative of a larger problem, but more frequent bouts may disrupt your life. Some physical causes of ED can be:
- You’re getting older. Some people simply lose the ability to maintain an erection as they age due to a decrease in testosterone levels
- You have a condition that hinders blood from entering the penis, like atherosclerosis, diabetes, high blood pressure, or as a side effect from smoking
- Injury to the penis during surgery or radiation, especially during treatment of prostate, colon-rectal, or bladder cancer
- Side effects of chemotherapy or other cancer treatments near the pelvis
- Side effects of some medications can negatively impact erections
Erectile dysfunction treatment
Treating ED effectively is dependent on the initial root cause of the disorder.
If the cause of your ED is physical, your doctor or another healthcare provider may be able to highlight certain lifestyle-related factors like smoking or an unhealthy diet that you could look at changing. The doctor may also look to change and current medication that you’re taking for other health conditions that could be causing your ED, such as some antidepressants and high blood pressure drugs.
The most common treatment for ED is a prescription pill that can help you get and maintain an erection, these include:
- Viagra (sildenafil)
- Levitra or Staxyn (vardenafil)
- Cialis (tadalafil)
- Stendra (avanafil)
Erectile dysfunction exercises
Kegel and pelvic exercises, have both been proven to be effective in helping with erectile dysfunction, and should looked at before considering any prescription treatments for ED.
Floor Lying on Your Back Squeezes
- Start by lying on your back, hands flat on the floor, and knees comfortably bent and pointing upwards.
- Try to draw your penis inwards towards your body and hold for five seconds, then release.
- Now squeeze your anus muscles as if you are trying to stop a bowel movement and hold for five seconds, then release.
- Repeat steps two and three, eight to 10 times, and do three to five sets.
Floor Lying on Your Side Squeezes
- Lie on the floor and on your side.
- Place a pillow between your knees making sure the pillow is large enough to keep your legs apart.
- Squeeze your legs together and hold for five seconds, then release.
- Repeat step three, eight to 10 times, and do three to five sets.
Sitting in a Chair Squeezes
- Find a comfortable position sitting in a chair.
- Squeeze your penis with just its muscles as if you are trying to stop urine from coming out, hold for five seconds, then release.
- Repeat the second step, eight to ten times, and then complete three to five sets.
Erectile dysfunction test
Doctors do not usually advise people to test for erectile dysfunction at home using self-test methods. Although these tests may provide an initial indication, they are inaccurate and cannot be used to diagnose the condition.
To receive a reliable diagnosis for ED, you should need to see a doctor. A doctor will look at your history to identify you have any underlying conditions that could be causing your ED. They may also take blood and/or urine samples to perform further tests.
Can erectile dysfunction be cured?
In most cases erectile dysfunction can be treated and your life can return to normal.
It is very important to note that even when ED cannot be fully cured, the right treatment can reduce or eliminate symptoms all together. ED is usually treatable with medication or surgery.
Which erectile dysfunction drug is best?
Erectile dysfunction is a very treatable issue, a variety of medications can help with treating the condition, such as sildenafil. What treatments people will find most effective can depend largely on the needs and lifestyle of the individual.
At My Pharmacy we have a variety of Erectile Dysfunction treatments available to order online. This includes a free online consultation so that we can ensure you’re getting the best treatment for you. For further reading please see this article on Very Well Health.