When a man loses this physical capability, he may suffer from a loss of self-esteem as well as an unwillingness to engage in romantic relationships.
Erectile dysfunction is a medical condition that prevents men from being able to achieve or maintain an erection. It primarily affects men who are between the ages of 40 to 65. However, it can afflict men of any age.
Erectile dysfunction occurs when the signals sent from the neurotransmitters in the brain to the penis are disrupted. Doctors diagnose erectile dysfunction by performing a series of blood tests to check the patient’s glucose and cholesterol levels. Blood tests can also detect malfunctions of the thyroid, kidneys, and liver, which can likewise contribute to erectile dysfunction.
A variety of factors can directly cause or contribute to erectile dysfunction. These factors include:
Once doctors identify the correct cause, they can then recommend the best course of treatment for erectile dysfunction. Some treatments are natural and non-invasive while others require patients to undergo extensive medical care until the condition is remedied.
Patients who prefer to use non-invasive and natural remedies for erectile dysfunction may first be advised to participate in intense aerobic exercise on a daily basis. Exercise has been shown to improve blood flow and the neurotransmitter paths in the brain. It also leads to weight loss and improved cardiac function, which itself can assist some cases of erectile dysfunction.
For cases that do not respond to natural methods, doctors may recommend other non-invasive methods to reverse or cope. For example, some men may be able to achieve an erection by using a vacuum erection device. This device encourages blood flow to the penis prior to intercourse.
Other men may respond well to testosterone replacement therapy, which replaces lost levels of testosterone in the blood supply. Testosterone is needed by the brain to create the neurotransmitter signals required to maintain and achieve an erection. When the hormone is put back into the body, the brain can send out the signals, and men may be able to resume normal sexual functions again.
Finally, some men may be good candidates for prosthetic surgery that involves the placing of a three-part inflatable prosthetic device into the penis. The prosthetic can be inflated prior to intercourse and then deflated once intercourse is completed. It allows men to enjoy normal sexual capabilities.