Erectile Dysfunction: What It Is, Symptoms, And Treatment
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Of course it’s true that no matter how old they are, they will still be your little ones. But the truth is, if you never let go, they will never grow!
The penis is considered to be a symbol of manhood, one that is respected, feared, and adored at the same time. Men are conditioned by society to feel proud of their ‘manhood’ – how big their penis is, how long they can stay erect, how many hours they can copulate without getting tired or going limp. Men are taught that they are their penises, to the extent that so many men seem to be unsatisfied with their genitalia – wanting them to be bigger, thicker, and what not. And porn doesn’t help either, with porn stars on chemical substances sustaining prolonged erections, thrusting away for hours on end! Everything around us has been promoting an unhealthy image of how things in the bedroom are supposed to work. Sadly, this is what keeps middle-aged men from seeking help when erection related issues set in. Most are very ashamed to admit to the problem, because they feel like less of a man. And on that note, let’s try and understand what erectile dysfunction is. Allow me to tell you how it could happen to anyone, and how it has nothing to do with manhood at all.
What is erectile dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is characterised by the inability to achieve or maintain an erection during intercourse. It’s only obvious that we should understand the process that makes an erection possible. An erection is a result of blood gushing in, and being maintained by sponge-like bodies in the penis. This process is initiated by sexual arousal, when signals sent out by the brain reach the nerve cells in the penis. Now, it’s not erectile dysfunction if a problem is encountered as an exclusive incident. A doctor will diagnose it as ED when the condition lasts a few weeks or more.
Several factors contribute to erectile dysfunction, some physiological ones being: 1. Diabetes 2. Obesity 3. Heart disease 4. Parkinson’s disease 5. Multiple sclerosis 6. An inflamed prostate gland Psychological impotence is when a person’s feelings interfere in sexual performance, instead of physical impossibility e.g., performance anxiety, relationship difficulties, or body image issues. Lifestyle habits, such as smoking and tobacco use cause the narrowing of arteries and decreasing blood flow to the organ, thus also being contributing factors. Sometimes, trauma to the testicles, or the organ itself, or surgical procedures, may remove anatomical structures or nerves required for an erection. So, you know what I mean when I say that it could happen to anyone, and should absolutely not be a cause of shame or frustration.
Erectile dysfunction is treatable, and there are 3 routes to go about it:
- Non-drug routes – These include using a vacuum pump to pull up blood into your penis, penile implants that are surgically inserted into the penis and can be inflated when need be, or blood vessel surgery to fix blocked nerves and vessels.
- Drug or medicinal routes – Medications like Viagra or Levitra, which increase blood flow to the penis.
- Lifestyle routes – Some lifestyle changes might be suggested, such as exercising, losing weight, controlling alcohol intake, and curbing smoking.
- Surgical route – The surgical options available are usually done in either extreme ED patients, or in cases where other remedies have been tried with no relief. One surgical technique is the fitting of implants, which we've already discussed. The other option in young, and otherwise healthy men who may be suffering from erectile dysfunction due to an injury or trauma, is to get an arterial repair, wherein another healthy blood vessel is used to bypass the damaged vessel causing the blockage. There is another herbal treatment available that is upcoming, and seems to have solid scientific evidence and test studies behind it – red ginseng. Red ginseng or Panax ginseng was given to test subjects thrice a day, in varied doses, and it was concluded that there was enough evidence to support its effectiveness in erectile dysfunction treatment. We strongly suggest speaking to your doctor about this. Your doctor will always be the best person to suggest the right treatment based on your medical history, and there should be no hesitation in approaching him/her, because when your health is on the line, there should be no compromise.