Erectile dysfunction: causes and treatment
The sexuality of the man can be affected by several disorders. One of the most well-known is erectile dysfunction, colloquially called erectile dysfunction. This refers to the inability to achieve sufficient rigidity (erection) of the male member (penis) for satisfactory sexual intercourse. This includes neither being unable to achieve the required erection nor to maintain it long enough. Sexual desire (libido) is often still present. Over time, however, the libido can also disappear, as the affected person does not have to face their supposed “failure”.
Erectile Dysfunction – Briefly explained
- Erectile dysfunction (ED) means that a man cannot get or maintain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse in more than two-thirds of attempts. The penis does not become hard enough or slackens prematurely.
- Erectile dysfunction persists for at least six months. So if it “does not work” from time to time, it is not immediately a disorder requiring treatment.
- Erectile dysfunction often has physical causes, such as circulatory problems. Testosterone deficiency can also be a trigger. Purely psychological triggers occur mainly in younger men.
Erectile dysfunction is colloquially called potency disorder, potency problem, erectile dysfunction, or impotence. This is imprecise. This is because these terms sometimes describe other disorders or combine several disorders that do not necessarily belong together – on the one hand, erectile dysfunction such as erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation, on the other hand, infertility, i.e. the inability to conceive children.
How common is erectile dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction becomes more common with age. Among 40-49-year-olds, almost one in ten men is affected by erectile dysfunction, among 60-69-year-olds, it is one in three. This was shown by a study conducted by the University of Cologne in 2000, and many other studies in numerous countries came to similar results. Experts suspect that there is a large number of unreported cases. The actual figures could, therefore, be higher.
Particularly in men over 50, erectile dysfunction can be the first warning sign of vascular disease (arteriosclerosis) – and thus a possible harbinger of a heart attack or stroke. Early therapy can prevent serious consequences. For this reason alone, it is advisable to have potency problems clarified by a doctor.
Causes: What causes erectile dysfunction?
Physical and psychological triggers can be mixed in erectile dysfunction. If men suffer from physically caused potency problems, additional psychological problems can easily arise.
Purely psychological causes are found above all in younger men. Besides conflicts in the partnership, stress, problems, or anxiety disorders, depression is very often associated with erectile dysfunction.
In men over 50 years of age, it is primarily physical causes that trigger erectile dysfunction.
Various diseases that promote circulatory disorders also increase the risk of erectile dysfunction:
- Diabetes mellitus
- High blood pressure
- Lipometabolic disorders
Lifestyle also has a decisive influence: smoking, obesity, lack of exercise and an unbalanced and unhealthy diet clog the blood vessels and increase the probability of potency problems.
A sufficiently high level of the male sex hormone testosterone is an important prerequisite for a satisfying erection. The testosterone level in men’s blood usually decreases with age. A testosterone deficiency (hypogonadism) does not have to but can lead to erection problems. Therefore, low testosterone levels should be considered as possible.
Treatment options for erectile dysfunction
There are various treatment options for erectile dysfunction, which are primarily based on the underlying causes and the wishes of the patient. The prerequisite is a carefully conducted diagnosis.
Therefore, the priority is to treat underlying diseases such as diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases, testosterone deficiency, or mental disorders. This also includes striving for a healthy lifestyle, reducing weight and giving up nicotine and alcohol, or at least reducing consumption.
In recent years, treatment with Tadalafil and Sildenafil tablets for erectile dysfunction treatment has become established and has become the treatment of choice. Besides, there are other therapy options, such as local applications (i.e. directly on the penis) and surgical procedures.