Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

    Last updated date: 14-May-2023

    Originally Written in English

    Erectile Dysfunction 

    Erectile dysfunction (ED) refers to the inability to obtain and maintain a firm adequate erection for intercourse. Experiencing erection issues now and then is not usually a significant concern. Nonetheless, when erectile dysfunction is a continuing condition, it could lead to stress, lower self-esteem, and cause interpersonal issues. 

    Problems when it comes to getting or maintaining an erection may be an indication of a more serious underlying condition. It could also be a risk factor for heart disease. 

    Even if you are ashamed, you should consult your doctor when you are worried about your erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction can sometimes be reversed simply by addressing the underlying disease. In some circumstances, drugs or other forms of natural treatment may be used.


    Signs and Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction 

    If you have the following symptoms on a regular basis, you might have erectile dysfunction:

    • Having a hard time getting an erection
    • Having trouble keeping an erection during sexual intercourse 
    • Low interest in sex

    Other sexual problems that may be linked to erectile dysfunction are:

    • Ejaculation that occurs too soon (premature)
    • Ejaculation that is delayed
    • Anorgasmia, the inability to attain orgasm despite being stimulated sufficiently.

    If you're experiencing any of these erectile dysfunction symptoms, see your doctor, particularly if they last for three months or more. He or she could help you figure out if your symptoms are due to an underlying health problem that needs a cure.  


    Causes of Erectile Dysfunction 

    Causes of Erectile Dysfunction 

    Problems can cause erectile dysfunction at any point throughout the erection process. The increased flow of blood into the penis causes an erection. Sexual thoughts or physical contact with the penis are both known to increase blood flow. 

    The penis muscles tend to relax when one is sexually stimulated. As a result, blood flow in the penile arteries increases, which fills two chambers within the penis. The penis thus stiffens when the blood fills the chambers. As the muscles flex while the buildup blood flows out via the penile veins, the erection subsides. 

    Erectile dysfunction can occur due to a variety of factors, including both mental and physical issues. Some of the most common erectile dysfunction causes are:

    • Anxiety and depression
    • Being older 
    • Cardiovascular disease
    • Diabetes
    • Elevated cholesterol levels
    • Excessive alcohol consumption 
    • Health disorders like Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis (MS)
    • High blood pressure (hypertension)
    • Kidney failure
    • Obesity (overweight)
    • Pelvic area damage due to an injury or a surgical procedure 
    • Peyronie's disease, causing the formation of scar tissue within the penis 
    • Problems in relationships
    • Reduced testosterone levels and other hormonal abnormalities
    • Sleep disorders 
    • Some prescription drugs, including those for treating depression or high blood pressure 
    • Stress 
    • Use of drugs
    • Use of tobacco product

    Only one of these causes, or a combination of them, can lead to erection dysfunction. Because of this, it is critical to collaborate with your erectile dysfunction doctor or urologist to have an underlying health problem ruled out or treated. 


    Risk Factors of Erectile Dysfunction 

    Erections may take an extended period to occur and are less stiff as you become older. To achieve and maintain an erection, you may require more direct bodily contact with the penis. 

    Some of the risk factors that may be associated with erectile dysfunction include; 

    • Medical disorders, especially diabetes and heart diseases
    • Being overweight, particularly if you are obese, can contribute to erectile dysfunction. 
    • Tobacco smoking, which can limit blood circulation through veins and arteries. This can lead to chronic health problems, including erectile dysfunction, over time. 
    • Certain medical procedures, including prostate surgery or cancer radiation therapy.
    • Injury to the nerves or arteries regulating erections, especially when they get damaged.
    • Drugs such as antidepressants, antihistamines, and medicines for high blood pressure, prostate issues, and pain
    • Psychological issues including stress, depression, and anxiety
    • Drug and alcohol abuse, particularly if you've been abusing drugs for a long time or are a regular drinker.


    Erectile Dysfunction Diagnosis 

    The doctor can diagnose erectile dysfunction and suggest a treatment based on a physical examination and answers to medical history questions for most men. For those with a chronic medical problem or if the provider suspects an underlying issue plays a role, you may require additional tests or a specialist visit. 

    The following erectile dysfunction tests may be used to look for underlying conditions:

    • Physical examination: This may entail a thorough examination of the penis and testicles, as well as examining your nerves for sensitivity.
    • Urinalysis (urine tests): Urine tests, as with blood testing, can be used to check for indicators of diabetes and any other underlying disorder.
    • Blood tests: The doctor can obtain a blood sample and sent it to the laboratory to look for indicators of diabetes, heart disease, low levels of testosterone, and other medical issues.
    • Ultrasound: A specialist normally conducts an ultrasound test in an office. This test entails holding a wand-like device (transducer) above the blood vessels feeding the penis. It generates a video image that the doctor can use to determine if you have any blood circulation issues. At times, this test can be combined with a drug injection into the penis to increase blood flow and induce an erection. 
    • Mental health (psychological) examination: The doctor may ask a few questions to see whether you are depressed or if there are any other psychological explanations for your erectile dysfunction.


    Erectile Dysfunction Treatment 

    Erectile Dysfunction Treatment 

    Luckily, there are various erectile dysfunction treatment options. You and your medical provider will work together to find a more suitable solution. 

    • Medications 

    By boosting blood supply to the penis, medications including sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), and vardenafil (Levitra) can help enhance sexual function for men. However, oral erectile dysfunction drugs are not recommended for men who are taking nitrate-containing medications, like nitroglycerine. Hypotension (reduced blood pressure) can occur due to nitrates and these specific drugs combination. 

    Nasal congestion, indigestion, headaches, flushing, and momentary vision disruption are the most typical side effects of these drugs.

    • Vacuum erection devices 

    Some men can use erectile aids, including vacuum devices and penile constriction rings. A cylinder is put on the penis in a vacuum constriction device. The cylinder's air is blasted out, drawing blood into the penis and causing an erection. The band is then slipped from the bottom of the cylinder and onto the penis base. This is to keep the erection going. For up to 30 minutes, the band can be left in place. 

    The majority of the causes of erectile dysfunction can be safely treated with a vacuum device. Some of the side effects that may be associated with this option are a lack of spontaneity, pain, and the device's cumbersomeness. 

    • Penile injection 

    Men can be educated on how to obtain an erection by injecting drugs straight into the penis erection chambers. Injection treatment can help with a wide range of erection problems associated with nerve, blood vessel, and psychological difficulties. 

    This method involves injecting a small amount of the drug into the side of the penis with a small needle and syringe. The medication causes the blood arteries to relax, enabling the blood to circulate to the penis. Papaverine (Papacon), prostaglandin E1 (alprostadil), and phentolamine (Regitine) are the most common medications. 

    • Alprostadil urethral suppository 

    This treatment involves inserting a small alprostadil suppository into the penile urethra. The suppository is inserted into your penile urethra using a specific applicator. 

    The erection normally begins within ten minutes and lasts for about 30 to 60 minutes if successful. A burning sensation in the penis, slight urethral bleeding, and the growth of fibrous tissue in the penis are all possible adverse effects.

    • Psychological and sexual therapies 

    Even if there is an obvious organic reason, psychological factors might play a role in erectile dysfunction. A qualified counselor can assist a person in addressing feelings of fear, sensation, or guilt that might be contributing to sexual dysfunction.

    When offered by a qualified sex therapist, sex therapy may be helpful to the majority of the men with the disorder. Sex therapy can also assist the patient’s spouse in accepting and dealing with the issues. 

    Also, before undergoing any invasive therapies, a man with erectile dysfunction that has a known psychological basis should have sex therapy counseling.

    • Exercises 

    In recent research, exercises, particularly moderate to arduous aerobic physical activity, have been found to help with erectile dysfunction. Regular workout, which is less demanding, may help to lower the risk of having erectile dysfunction. Moreover, increasing your activity level may help you minimize your risk even more. Consult your medical provider about a suitable exercise regimen.



    When a man is unable to get and maintain a complete erection regularly, he is said to have erectile dysfunction. This is a widespread disorder that affects millions of people across the world. 

    Physical aspects, including increased levels of cholesterol, or psychological factors, such as sex performance anxiety, can both contribute to erectile dysfunction. Your doctor may suggest a variety of erectile dysfunction treatments, such as prescription medicine or, in rare situations, a surgical procedure.