It is a known fact that the primary process responsible for conception is an erection. Sexual arousal leads to the release of chemicals, which in turn increases the blood flow to the erection chambers in the penis. These chambers are made of spongy muscle tissue that trap the blood, thereby increasing blood pressure that leads to erection. Post orgasm, the muscle tissue contract and the trapped blood is then released back into the circulatory system.
However, at several times, an erection might fail due to stress or even emotional factors. It could also be due to limited blood flow or nerve damage. The size of the penis might differ even due to climatic conditions such as warmth or cold. Only when a man fails to attain erection consistently which interrupts with his sexual life, it may be a matter of concern. This is known as Erectile Dysfunction or ED, i.e., the failure to attain and sustain an erection that is firm enough for penetration. Sexual impotence is the most common problem reported by at least 30 million men around the world, even younger men. Finding the right cause and providing the right treatment can solve this problem.
Problems of Erectile Dysfunction:
Erectile Dysfunction does not refer only to the inability to achieve an erection. It includes the inability to sustain the erection for a period long enough to complete intercourse or inability to ejaculate along with reduced sexual desire for a considerable duration of time.
Causes of Erectile Dysfunction:
As mentioned, erectile dysfunction can be as a result of stress or health problems. Certain factors are said to be correlational or in other words, with the presence of these factors, the chances of erectile dysfunction are higher. They are as follows:
- Health factors include persons above the age of 50 or persons with conditions of high sugar level/diabetes or high blood pressure or having high levels of cholesterol or hardened arteries or heart disease or any other cardiovascular disease are prone to erectile dysfunction. However, it should be noted that old age alone does not contribute to ED. Some men are known to have a firm erection even in their 80s.
- Physiological factors reduced blood flow to the penis can also be caused due to certain diseases, injury or surgery in the pelvic region that can harm the nerves to the penis. This prevents the neural or nerve signals from the brain or spinal cord reaching the penis.
- Medical treatments: Certain treatments like radiation for cancer in the lower abdomen or pelvic such as prostate, colon-rectal or bladder cancer can interfere with the efficientfunctioning of the penis. Certain medications, especially psychiatric drugs are also known to have side effects that might cause erectile dysfunction.
- Psychological Issues: High and prolonged stress conditions, personal issues such as relationship conflicts or stress at work or stress due to societal pressures, anxiety and depression, worries about sexual performance can affect one’s sexual life.
- Certain habits such as smoking and drinking which accounts to levels of abuse might lead to erectile dysfunction.
Related Article– HOW SMOKING AFFECTS FEMALE AND MALE FERTILITY?
- Having a sedentary and sluggish lifestyle, being obese without any sort of exercise regime is also correlated with erectile dysfunction
Also, Read OBESITY AS THE DISRUPTOR OF FEMALE FERTILITY
Effects of Erectile Dysfunction:
Evident effects of erectile dysfunction include the to have sexual intercourse and thereby affecting conception. There are other psychological effects caused due to erectile dysfunction, i.e., a man is psychologically affected for not being able to perform and contribute to the making of offsprings. This can cause distress to him and his partner and affect his well-being and relationships, especially due to the societal pressures involved. It might affect a person’s self-esteem to a large extent and even be the cause of depression.
Diagnosis of Erectile Dysfunction:
- Initial rounds of diagnosis usually involve taking the medical history of the patient by a physician, where the physician records details regarding one’s health and lifestyle. It is very important to be honest with the physician at these times, even if the questions seem embarrassing or personal.
- This is usually followed by a physical examination. One’s genitals are examined (penis and testicles) to determine if any physical causes underlie the condition. Based on one’s age and other health factors, further examinations related to the heart and blood could be conducted. Based on the family history, examinations related to rectum and prostate are also done.
- Certain laboratory tests may include the collection of blood and urine samples to determine other health issues.
- Advanced testing includes utilisation of diagnostic tools such as ultrasonography (penile doppler) to test the level of blood flow to the penis or pelvic x-ray such as arteriography and nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT) a test that involves overnight monitoring of sleep erections. Other nocturnal tests include Poten test and the Snap-Gauge test.
Treatment Options for Erectile Dysfunction:
Treatment of erectile dysfunction begins with a round of counseling to root out non-medical causes i.e., causes that can usually be treated through a change in lifestyle habits (dietary changes, exercising, getting rid of any addictions etc.). Psychological counseling/ education may be advised. Medically, the cure for premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction may be invasive or non-invasive.
- Non-Invasive treatments include prescription of pills to improve blood flow, testosterone therapy (if levels of testosterone are low), penile injection (self-injection), intraurethral medication, and the like;
- Surgical treatments include supportive vacuum erection devices or penile implants that are placed inside the body and used after non-invasive techniques have failed. At times a vascular surgery might be performed which would correct the blood vessels that cause the dysfunction.
Thus, for a condition that could be complex, it is always important to consult experts such as the highly skilled and experienced fertility specialists at Janisthaa Fertility Centre at Basveshwar Nagar who are known for their track record of high success rate. The center offers a full range of infertility diagnostic testing facilities and assisted reproductive technologies including IVF, providing comprehensive care to all the patients. The staff are dedicated to providing the highest level of care with compassion. For free consultation, visit our website http://jnaistha.local/ or call +91 7619198086 to book an appointment today.