Erectile Dysfunction

Everyone has sexual desires and a need to fulfill the same. If for some reason, you are not able to fulfil this need of yours, it can get extremely frustrating. A good sexual life forms the core of a happy life.

Erectile Dysfunction is one such sexual ailment. Erectile Dysfunction can be defined as the inability to attain an erection that helps you to effectively perform sexual intercourse, inspite of sexual stimulation.

If you are a man suffering from Erectile Dysfunction also known as ED there is no reason to worry. ED is very much treatable. Here is all you need to know about ED and how it can be treated.

Is Erectile Dysfunction Common?

Yes, Erectile Dysfunction is fairly common. You are not alone. It is estimated that over 30 million men in the USA suffer from ED. When it comes to the world, it is estimated that 1 in 10 men suffer from ED. This is a humongous number indeed.

So, if you feel you are in this boat all by yourself then that is not true. It is an ailment which is very common. All you need to do is shake away your inhibitions about ED and speak freely to your doctor. This will lift your burden not only physically but also mentally.

How Does Erection Take Place?

Before understanding what leads to Erectile Dysfunction, let us start with understanding what leads to Penile Erection in the first place? Erection is a synchronised process of the brain, blood, and muscles.

The process starts with something you see, feel, or think which is sexually stimulating. Once you are sexually aroused, your nerves send chemical messages to the blood vessels in your penis.

This causes the tissues of your penis to relax. The relaxed tissues are then filled with blood which leads to an erection. It is possible that at some stage the process is hampered and the erection does not take place. Let us explore the reasons that can cause ED.

Physical Reasons For Erectile Dysfunction

The most dominant physical reason that can cause ED is the constriction of blood flow to the penis. When blood doesn't flow to the penis it is only natural that the penis will not get the desired erection.

The other physical cause that can lead to ED is damage to the nerves. Besides, a wide variety of illnesses as stated below can also cause ED

  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Clogged blood vessels
  • Tobacco usage
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Sleep disorders
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Certain prescription medicines

Psychological Reasons For Erectile Dysfunction

Your mind is a powerful tool, when filled with positivity it can really change your life for good. However, vice versa is also true. Penile erection is a play of the mind. When your mind feels stimulated it sends signals to your penis.

If, however, you are suffering from some form of mental condition, it is likely that you will be susceptible to Erectile Dysfunction. Here are some underlying psychological reasons that can cause ED

  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Performance Anxiety
  • Problems in relationships

Symptoms Of Erectile Dysfunction

It is important to keep in mind that a one off inability to get an erection does not qualify for an Erectile Dysfunction disorder. Here are some symptoms that occur regularly indicating ED.

  • Decline in sexual desire: This mostly happens when you are more tense and anxious about sexual activity.
  • Trouble getting an erection: This happens because of physical health issues and lack of emotional connection with your partner.
  • Trouble maintaining a firm erection: This happens due to a tight work schedule and also excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages.

Diagnosis Of Erectile Dysfunction

If you have read thus far, chances are either you or someone you know is suffering from ED. While we have given you an outline on ED, it is important that a proper diagnosis for Erectile Dysfunction is done. How is ED diagnosed?

Physical exam

The first step your doctor will do is carry out a thorough physical examination. He will check your overall health and will examine your penis as well as testicles. This will help evaluate sensation to the nerves. Your doctor may also do a rectal examination.

Psychosocial history

If your physical examination shows no problems then the next step will be to understand psychological issues. Your doctor will note your history of anxiety, especially performance anxiety, stress, and depression.

Additional tests:

Other than physical examinations, additional tests to identify any underlying health conditions will also be carried out. Your doctor will prescribe blood tests and urine tests to check signs of diabetes, heart disease, low testosterone levels etc.

Treatment Of Erectile Dysfunction

Treatment options may differ depending on the cause and severity of erectile dysfunction. Doctors would suggest the best treatment by analysing the risk and benefits of treatment. Here is the lowdown on treatment options for Erectile Dysfunction.

Oral Tablets For Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile Dysfunction can be treated using oral medicines. Options available in various tablets are:

  • Avanafil (Brand: Stendra)
  • Sildenafil (Brand: Viagra)
  • Vardenafil (Brands: Levitra, Staxyn)
  • Tadalafil (Brands: Adcirca, Cialis).

All the above mentioned drugs work effectively in ED. These medicines improve the effects of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a chemical that relaxes the muscles of the penis and improves blood flow. Getting the right amount of blood flow to your penis results in a firm erection.

While oral medications are the most common, easiest to procure and effective, there are other less known medication options too such as:

Alprostadil self-injection

Alprostadil belongs to the medicinal group named vasodilators, It is injected into the penis and helps to increase the blood flow by expanding the blood vessels.

Alprostadil urethral suppository

The medicine is used by inserting in your body throug the anal way, it is a priscribed medicine which belongs to the vasodilator group of medicine. It works the same as injection by expanding the blood vessels and helping to increase blood flow.

Testosterone replacement

Testosterone helps to produce sperm in your body. If you don't have enough testosterone in your body then the condition is called hypogonadism or lowT. TRT (testosterone replacement treatment) comes in the form of shots, skin gel, long acting palettes which are placed under the skin or patches. It also has side effects and needs a doctor's prescription to buy.

Changes in lifestyle

While medication is an option, changes in lifestyle and home remedies as follows can also help:

  • Addiction to cigarettes can increase the severity of ED. Smoking decreases your stamina and makes you feel tired more often. It is definitely not a cakewalk to quit smoking. You can seek help from rehab centres or try replacing cigarettes with nicotine gums
  • Excess body weight can cause or increase the risk of ED. Try losing body weight by exercising or following a proper guided diet plan. Eat healthy food and try to control your body fats and cholesterol level.
  • Alcohol and drug addictions can be dangerous for your sexual wellness. Limiting alcohol and getting rid of drug addiction will certainly benefit your sexual life. Once again you should reach out to a rehab centre if your addiction is severe.

Penis pump

A penis pump is a vacuum erection device. The penis pump is either hand-powered or battery-powered. Penis pumps will be suggested if other treatments are not working.

You will be required to place your penis inside the pump. A vacuum is created by the pump. The vacuum helps to get the blood flow into your penis leading to an erection. After getting an erection, you need to slip a tension ring around the base of your penis.

This ensures the blood stays in your penis and helps you maintain your erection. Remove the tension ring after the intercourse. There is a possibility of a bruise. Nevertheless, when all else fails this is a good alternative.

Psychological consultation

if your ED is because, by stress, anxiety, or depression, you should get therapies by consulting a psychology expert. These sessions would help to be happy and improve your mental health.

What Prescription Drugs May Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

It is important to keep in mind that there are a host of medicines that can cause ED. Here is a comprehensive list of medicines that can cause ED as a side effect:

  • Tranquillisers.
  • Diuretics.
  • Prostate cancer drugs.
  • Antidepressants
  • Antihistamines.
  • Antihypertensive
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Histamine H2-receptor antagonists.


Erectile dysfunction is quite common. one out of every 10 people. Besides, physical anomalies cause psychological issues and also certain health conditions. ED can be treated with change in lifestyle as well medicines. When both fail, you also have the option of penis pump. No one deserves to suffer from ED. A good sexual life keeps you fit mentally and physically. It should not be compromised.