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Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is the inability to obtaining an erection or maintain an erection for long enoughto complete satisfying sexual intercourse. It is also known as impotence.

By Able Health I Medically reviewed by Dr. Alireza Estedlal

Page last reviewed: February 2024 I Next review due: February 2026

How common is erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunctionis an incredibly common disorder amongst men.The likelihood of suffering with this condition increases with age.

Symptoms

The common symptoms of Erectile dysfunction include:

  • Inability to achieve erection
  • Ability to achieve an erection but unable to maintain it at the time of sexual intercourse
  • Loss of sexual desire

Causes

There are many causes of erectile dysfunction. These can be split into two categories. Physical and Psychological.

Physical

  • Sleep disorder
  • Medication side effects
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Low testosterone
  • Obesity
  • Alcoholism and drug use
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes and related neuropathy

Psychological

  • Stress
  • Relationship problems
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Tiredness

Risk factors of Erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction affects about 50% of men within the age of 40-70. The numbers may be higher. You may be at higher risk of Erectile dysfunction if you:

  • Smoke
  • Are not active physically
  • Are overweight

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Preventions

With proper lifestyle tips, you can keep the risk of erectile dysfunction at bay. Such preventive measures are in the following:

  • Manage your chronic health problems, heart disease and diabetes
  • Undergo regular screening and checkups
  • Quit smoking
  • Limit the consumption of alcohol
  • Exerciseregularly
  • Maintain a healthy body weight
  • Get proper sleep
  • Control stress and anxiety

Diagnosis

The diagnosis of erectile dysfunction comprises of the following:

  • Physical exam-A doctor will examine the testicles and penis and ask questions about your symptoms.
  • Blood test-This will most likely test fordiabetes, testosterone levels and signs of heart disease.
  • Ultrasound-This will be conducted to investigate any problems with blood flow and circulation in the penis.

Treatments

The treatments of ED are in the following:

  • Oral medications
  • Vacuum constriction device (penis pump)
  • Penile implants
  • Psychological counselling- This includes sex therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy.

When to visit a doctor?

  • There is delayed or premature ejaculation
  • You suffer from underlying health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes that may affect achieving erection
  • There are other symptoms related to erectile dysfunction