Many different factors can cause or contribute to losing an erection. When a man consistently has difficulty getting an erection of sufficient firmness for sexual activity, he may have erectile dysfunction (ED), also called impotence.
It’s not unusual for a man to be unable to participate in sexual activity from time to time.
However, stressing about losing an erection may contribute to the severity of one’s condition. Seeking medical attention can determine the cause of one’s ED and provide treatment options. While ED isn’t life-threatening, it can be a symptom of an underlying health condition, as well as cause significant psychological distress.
Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
The University of Utah states that in the U.S., an estimated 18 million men are currently living with ED-related complications. The
Turkish Journal of Urology testifies to the prevalence of this condition, noting that by 2025, over 320 million men worldwide will exhibit symptoms of ED.
According to the Mayo Clinic, many different factors can contribute to erectile dysfunction, as different internal processes must work together for male arousal to happen. Additionally, one’s emotions play a more significant role effecting sexual ability than many people realize. Nature Reviews Disease Primers reports that high psychological distress stops the brain from sending arousal signals to other parts of the body. Anxiety relating to one’s inability to perform sexually may only work to exacerbate this condition.
Other variables that may contribute to ED include:
- An injury to the spinal cord or pelvis can make one unable to have or keep an erection because of damage to blood vessels or nerves.
- Surgery and other medical treatments for things like an enlarged or cancerous prostate.
- Medical conditions that can reduce blood flow, like heart disease, vascular disease, or clogged blood vessels (atherosclerosis).
- Diseases like multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.
- Obesity, high blood pressure, high levels of cholesterol, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome can impact a person’s insulin levels, and prevent them from engaging in sexual activity.
- Some prescription drugs can make a man unable to have or maintain an erection.
- Many men with Peyronie’s disease become impotent from the scar tissue that develops under the skin of the penis.
- The use of tobacco, “street” drugs, heavy alcohol consumption, and abuse of some prescription medications can cause ED.
Research indicates that reducing caloric intake and engaging in physical activity are some of the ways that men can combat erectile dysfunction. The Asian Journal of Andrology suggests that proper nutrition, drinking plenty of water, limiting alcohol consumption, stopping the use of tobacco, and getting regular exercise can promote one’s sexual wellbeing.
Unfortunately, for some, these steps aren’t enough to restore penile function.
Side Effects of Male Enhancement Pills
Male enhancement pills, such as VIAGRA®, are often the first course of treatment for men who are struggling to maintain an active sex life. However, these medications aren’t right for everyone. One of the active ingredients in these drugs is sildenafil, which is designed to widen blood vessels by providing nitric oxide. This can be especially dangerous to men who take nitroglycerine, have low blood pressure, or have a history of heart complications.
According to the Mayo Clinic, these medications also bring a wide range of unsavory side effects, including, but not limited to:
- Back pain
- Blurred vision
- Nasal congestion
- Facial redness
Journal of Family & Community Medicine notes that while VIAGRA® is a popular treatment method of erectile dysfunction, the drug also runs the risk of inducing cardiovascular issues and psychological dependence. These medications are becoming increasingly popular in younger men, specifically those in their early 20s. Research from the Archives of Sexual Behavior reports that excessive use of male enhancement pills can lead to addiction, and consequently result in the inability to maintain an erection without the use of medication. When taking this information into account, it’s no surprise why many men shy away from these treatment routes.
Other ED Treatment Options
Male enhancement drugs aren’t the only option men have for treating erectile dysfunction.
Current Sex Health Reports notes that the following methods have been used to treat conditions relating to sexual performance:
- Surgery, including skin grafting, redirecting blood flow, and the insertion of a penile prosthesis
- Mental health services to relieve depression and anxiety
- Lifestyle changes, including a change in diet or physical activity
- The use of a vacuum constriction device, sometimes called a “penis pump”
Like male enhancement pills, each of these therapies come with their own unique set of risks. Some men have already tried these methods but with little success. While this can be discouraging, technological research is providing additional options that are transforming the way science views male sexual health.
Learn How to Treat ED Without Pills or Surgery
There’s a new treatment option for ED that doesn’t require drugs or invasive surgery. GAINSWave® therapy works to increase penile blood flow, remove microplaque, and stimulate the growth of new tissue. This procedure is performed in-office by a licensed GAINSWave® therapy provider in under 30 minutes.
As a man ages, blood vessels in the penis begin to deteriorate. Men with conditions like Peyronie’s disease can lose the ability to have an erection or father a child through sexual intercourse. Without sufficient blood flow to the penis, getting an erection can be difficult. GAINSWave® therapy uses high-frequency, low-intensity soundwaves to release growth factors that can rejuvenate blood vessels and enhance sexual performance. GAINSWave® therapy also works to wear away at scar tissue beneath the skin that may be impeding one’s ability to maintain an erection.
This treatment features little to no adverse side effects. This therapy doesn’t interact with any medications or cause undue stress to vital organs. The minimal downtime of GAINSWave® therapy allows the modern man to receive treatment and then carry on with his life as usual. When prescription medications aren’t meeting its goals, and when other options are out of the question, GAINSWave® therapy provides relief to those suffering from erectile dysfunction. By getting to the root of a man’s condition, it seeks to correct any issues impeding sexual performance.
The number of treatments needed to address ED will rest upon an individual’s overall physical condition, medical history, and response to initial therapy. For optimal performance, we recommend anywhere from six to 12 sessions, with maintenance treatments given as needed.
GAINSWave® therapy has nationwide care providers. To learn more, click here.