Erectile Dysfunction

ED is a medical disorder and can be managed, but, the first step is to come out in the open and talk about the condition with your doctor.

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is one of the most common conditions affecting middle-aged and old men. Most men are not aware about the emerging concepts and potential therapies for ED management and that is the prominent reason for the condition remaining untreated for years.

38-year-old Amit (name changed), moved to Australia for work when he met his girlfriend there. Both wanted a closer intimate relationship, but Amit failed to get an erection every time they tried having sex and felt a sense of blind panic. His continuing inability to be intimate with his partner led to frustration ultimately resulting in the end of their relationship. Amit consulted several doctors and often opted for medications and painful injections, but the effect remained temporary on his condition. After couple of years he got married and was quite scared to speak to his wife about his ED condition. However, he finally decided to confide in his wife. His transparency helped him get the right treatment as his wife decided to support him to sail through this. Amit’s condition was treated with penile implant and he finally could experience a normal sexual relationship with his wife.

ED is a medical disorder and can be managed, but, the first step is to come out in the open and talk about the condition with your doctor they can prescribe the right treatment ranging from lifestyle changes to medication to surgery.

What can trigger ED

Medical conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and cardiovascular disease (CVD), and psychological conditions, such as depression and anxiety, contribute to sexual dysfunction in men. CVD and hypertension cause narrowing and hardening of the arteries, leading to reduced blood flow to the corporal bodies, which is essential for achieving an erection. Diabetes is a common etiology of sexual dysfunction, because it can affect both the blood vessels and the nerves that supply blood to the penis. Poor lifestyle habits like obesity, smoking, drinking alcohol is associated with the development of ED.

Treatment options

Lifestyle modifications is usually considered to be the first-line therapy for ED and this can have a salutary effect. Therefore, men must make the necessary lifestyle changes like exercising, consuming a good diet, limiting alcohol intake, and should quit smoking completely.

ED can be treated at any age, treatment depends on your overall health and the underlying cause of the problem. Despite the benefits of good lifestyle changes, other methods of treatments maybe required for curing the condition. This includes penis pumps, injections, surgery, vacuum devices, implants, and testosterone replacement therapy:

· Vacuum Devices: A vacuum constriction device (VCD) is an external pump with a band on it that a man with erectile dysfunction can use to get and maintain an erection.

· Penis pumps, surgery, and implants: Penile implants are devices placed inside the penis to allow men with ED to get an erection and is recommended in case other treatments don’t work. Vascular reconstructive surgery is also one way that helps improve blood flow to the penis.

· Injectable for ED: Injection or a suppository, is a drug that makes the blood vessels expand. This boosts blood flow throughout the body, including the penis, thereby helping in having an erection.

· Testosterone replacement therapy: Inadequate production of testosterone is not a common cause of erectile dysfunction. But, when ED does occur due to decreased testosterone production, testosterone replacement therapy may improve the problem.

Alternatively, there are many ways your doctor can help you treat it. But you may want to consider complementary or alternative therapies, such as nutritional supplements, herbal remedies, acupuncture, and talk therapy. However, ensure that you consult a doctor before availing any of these options for the correct guidance and treatment.

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Erectile dysfunction Dr. Vineet Malhotra


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