For many men, sexual performance is a real part of self-identity and when problems occur it can be a real blow to their self-esteem. Erectile dysfunction (ED), also known as impotence is the term used to describe the inability to get and maintain an erection long enough for sexual intercourse. Blood vessels in men over 40 can experience inadequate blood flow to the penis, resulting in ED.
If ED continues for longer than a few weeks, or if a man presents with symptoms such as pain in his penis or any changes to its appearance, he should see his doctor. Even without physical symptoms, a man should seek medical advice as ED can be the first sign of more serious health conditions in some cases.
Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Services (NIDDK) reports that symptoms of erectile dysfunction present as:
- Being able to get an erection but unable to sustain it long enough to have sexual intercourse
- Being unable to have an erection even with sexual stimulation
- Being unable to get an erection
If a man has any of these symptoms, he should discuss them with his doctor before beginning any kind of treatment.
Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
What causes erectile failure in a man can be a number of things. The American Urological Association describes the root causes of ED as being broadly organic, psychological, or a combination therein. Organic causes could be due to certain diseases and conditions such as:
- High blood pressure
Other health-related issues include smoking, consuming too much alcohol, lack of appropriate exercise, being overweight and poor diet. Psychological or emotional issues that can cause ED include depression, anxiety, stress, and low self-esteem.
Diagnosis of ED
The American Urological Association asserts that current standard practice for the diagnosis of ED includes an initial conversation with a doctor who will ask a patient about his sexual history, lifestyle, and diet. Depending on the outcome, he may then be asked to attend tests to check blood pressure, heart and lungs, a genital or prostate examination, and cholesterol or diabetes testing.
What Men Can Do About ED
Despite knowing what causes erectile failure in a man, managing and treating it is especially important. Talking to a partner is an important tool in coping with ED, Harvard Men’s Health Watch states, acknowledge that it can be a difficult task, but it is important both for a man and his partner.
Men should learn what ED is as it can help them to understand what might be causing the problem and inform them about treatment options and therapies available to help. Sufferers of ED should stay positive and know that ED is treatable and that it is possible to return to and enjoy a healthy sex life.
Treating Erectile Dysfunction
There are many ways to tackle erectile dysfunction. Men can consider looking at the problem in a holistic way. If a man’s symptoms are physical for example, he may have subsequent performance anxiety when it comes to being intimate with his partner. Finding therapies and treatments that work collectively to address all aspects of how ED has an impact can be an effective strategy. Treatments can include but are not limited to making positive lifestyle changes.
Making Positive Lifestyle Changes
A study published in BJU International exploring the effect of making positive lifestyle choices and how it can improve ED attributed improvements in men who suffer from ED to:
- Eating a healthy diet
- Moderating alcohol intake
- Stopping smoking
- Taking regular exercise
Even small changes can make a difference in a man’s life.
Exploring Noninvasive Procedures for Erectile Failure
Being diagnosed with ED does not necessarily mean he will need to have surgery or painful injections, or take medication for the rest of his life. There are currently many innovative procedures that have demonstrated a high level of patient satisfaction during clinical trials, according to the BJU study. An example of this is low-intensity shockwave therapy (LISWT) which is a current treatment doctors and practitioners are using as a means of treating ED.
Shockwave therapy is a comfortable drug- and surgery-free treatment for men seeking to optimize their sexual performance and reverse the effects of erectile dysfunction due to poor blood flow. It works by using low intensity sounds waves to break up plaque formation in the blood vessels and increase blood flow to the penis. Clinically proven, the results are improved sexual function enabling stronger, harder, and more sustainable erections. It is also safe for men who cannot take oral ED medication such as those used to treat heart disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure.
Men can visit our directory to find a provider and discover how the GAINSWave® treatment, leading providers in shockwave therapy, has helped thousands of men tackle ED and return to optimal sexual performance.