The Most Typical Erectile Problems and Ways to Solve Them

Erectile frustration is the pathology of male sexual function, characterized by an incapacity to reach or/and sustain an erection rigid enough for committing full-fledged sexual intercourse. It is fair to speak about an ongoing erectile dysfunction if the problem has been persisting for at least 3 months. This type of sexual disturbance affects over 50% of men aged 40–70 years in the world. Almost every man has had an episode of erectile failure at least once throughout his life.

How does an erection emerge?

A healthy erection occurs through the synthesis of nitric oxide (NO) by endothelial cells (a layer of tissue in the arterial wall). This substance helps relax the muscles of the vessels, which leads to their widening. Through the dilated vessels of the small pelvis, the blood reaches the cavernous bodies, filling them. In turn, the small local capillary veins contract, preventing the outflow of blood and thus maintaining the stiffness of the penis.

Erectile Problems

Different pathologies may usher in arterial or venous insufficiency, hardening of the cavernous tissue, and inflammatory processes that prevent the natural growth and sustentation of erection. The likelihood of losing sexual power elevates significantly with age, which is associated with a deterioration of function of the endocrine glands, the presence of chronic diseases, and the administration of certain medications.

Factors contributing to the development of erectile dysfunction include:

  • excessive weight;
  • smoking and alcohol abuse;
  • the use of illegal drugs or medicaments that might affect the sexual function (such as anti-infective preparations, antidepressants, psychoactive substances, hypotensive drugs, hormonal preparations);
  • insufficient physical inactivity;
  • insulin resistance syndrome and lipid metabolism disorders;
  • vitamin deficiency;
  • unfavorable outdoor environment (lack of safe drinking water, air and soil pollution, radiation, etc.).

Medical symptoms of erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is a long-repeated failure of a man to perform a quality sexual act. With normal sexual function, sexual intercourse (for a man) consists of the next stages:

  • experiencing remarkable sexual desire (libido),
  • engaging in foreplay for at least 5 minutes;
  • getting an erection;
  • inserting the penis;
  • performing a penetrative sexual act for not less than 3 minutes with dozens of frictions followed by ejaculation;
  • ejaculating and the onset of an orgasm.

The absence of any of these constituents indicates the impossibility to perform proper coitus. Most often this is associated with erectile dysfunction or ejaculation issues.

Types of erectile dysfunction

As a rule, sexual function disorders are not independent diseases, but the manifestations of already-present health conditions. Mostly, erectile dysfunction is the sequence of endocrine disorders, for example, diabetes mellitus (it causes neuropathy), hypogenitalism (decreased testosterone levels due to the diminished function of the pituitary gland or testicles).

ED may also be associated with various urological diseases, multiple sclerosis, heavy metal poisoning, nerve damage from pelvic surgeries, spinal cord injuries, or damage to the certain brain areas responsible for the regulation of sexual functions. Erectile dysfunction triggered by these reasons is classified as organic.

Organic erectile dysfunction may relate to the abnormalities of the arteries and veins in penile tissues or the pelvic area. The poor performance of blood vessels may be linked with arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) or cardiovascular traumas. The risk factors for developing arteriosclerosis include increased weight, lack of exercise, hypertension, and high cholesterol level.

However, in most cases, erectile dysfunction relates to neuropsychiatric disorders (neurosis, depression, etc.) and is regarded as psychogenic erectile dysfunction. Organic and psychogenic erectile dysfunctions manifest themselves differently.

How to tell organic ED from psychogenic ED

Psychogenic erectile dysfunction Organic erectile dysfunction
Sudden onset Gradual onset
Has a periodic nature Has a progressive nature
Situational Persistent
Stems from some psychological problem Associated with any disease, physical trauma, injury or administration of certain medications
Nocturnal and morning erections are preserved Nocturnal and morning erections are absent
Penile hardness remains during intercourse Penile hardness may suddenly disappear during intercourse
Normal erection is achieved with masturbation Erectile problems linger during masturbation

Erectile dysfunction is usually distinguished according to the degree of severity: mild, medium, moderate, severe erectile function. The International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) is generally used to assess the seriousness of ED and prescribe the appropriate treatment.

Inborn or primary impotence is extremely rare and is characterized by a complete lack of erection throughout life. The condition is generally connected with an abnormality in the development of the testicles or penis. Acquired or secondary impotence can develop under the influence of many factors, lifestyle changes, or as a consequence of pre-existing diseases. Based on the root, erectile dysfunction is classified as psychogenic, organic, mixed, or without an established reason.

Whatever illness or condition endangers the health and wellbeing, it is important to know that Rockwood clinic and healthcare establishments of its caliber are committed to providing expert, holistic care to everyone who looks for healing. With a mission to promote health through comprehensive, world-class medical practices and research, the Clinic enhances the lives of patients through utmost professionalism, adherence to the highest ethical standards, and responsibility at all the things performed by it. Erectile dysfunction, diabetes, and etc. — there are hundreds of serious diseases preventing individuals from enjoying life, but true professionals always find the best treatment to stop the illness at its core.

Other types of sexual disorders in men

Erectile dysfunction involves not only a difficulty acquiring or maintaining a firm erection but also issues with ejaculation. Premature ejaculation signifies an inability to conduct a sexual congress long enough to bring satisfaction and release to both partners. Premature ejaculation can be either lifelong or acquired.

With lifelong PE, the man has been suffering from accelerated ejaculations since first beginning sexual intimacy. With acquired PE, the man has previously been able to successfully engage in coital relationships, and the problem has manifested itself quite recently. Acquired premature ejaculation may derive from performance anxiety, caused by stress.

How is ED diagnosed?

To determine the causes of erectile dysfunction, it is necessary to carry out diagnostics to exclude or confirm the presence of underlying diseases such as diabetes mellitus, prostatitis, atherosclerosis, nervous system tumors, etc. Medical studies that help to diagnose erectile dysfunction may include:

  • Questioning — the patient answers the IIEF questions to determine the ED severity
  • Examination of the genitals: testicles, prostate, penis
  • Urine and blood analysis
  • Study of hormone levels
  • Study of the level of carbohydrate and lipid metabolism
  • Assessment of the state of the cardiovascular and nervous systems
  • Monitoring of nocturnal spontaneous erections
  • Penile electromyography
  • Angiography of the vessels of the penis
  • Genital ultrasound
  • Psychological tests, and others

How to cure erectile disorders

Before starting actual treatment, the patients are advised to exclude possible risk factors that may induce erectile dysfunction as well as to normalize lifestyle and sexual activity, and, if possible, cancel the drugs that can badly affect a sexual function.

The treatment methods will vary depending on the cause of the disease. The traditional methods of treating erectile dysfunction comprise:

  • Pharmacological treatment with PDE-5 inhibitors like Viagra, Levitra, Cialis, or their bio-equivalent analogs.
  • Local microinjections of vasoactive drugs, as well as ointments containing substances with a vasodilative effect
  • Psychotherapy sessions.
  • Vacuum-constriction therapy, which involves the use of special devices that pump blood into the penis. The erection caused during the procedure is retained due to the placement of a ring to the bottom of the penis to prevent venous outflow.
  • Exercises to strengthen the muscles of the perineum.
  • Surgical intervention in case the penile veins or arterials fail to sufficiently supply the tissues of the genital organ.
  • The shockwave therapy is based on the property of sound waves to improve the elasticity of blood vessels and stimulate neoangiogenesis (the growth of new vessels).
  • Cell therapy is based on the use of the patient’s own blood cells. The introduction of a specially processed biomaterial into the body contributes to the replacement of damaged vascular tissue and the synthesis of new vessels.
  • Making positive lifestyle changes such as quitting bad habits and doing more physical exercises.

Is it possible to cure impotence with natural home remedies?

If the impotence is not associated with organic lesions or the presence of chronic diseases, natural remedies for ED can have a therapeutic effect. A high concentration of active biological substances and vitamins in natural products for ED (such as ginseng, ginkgo biloba, horny goat weed, wild oats, oyster meat, nettle leaf, animal testicles, pumpkin seed) improves the blood supply to the penis, replenishes the deficiency of vital micro-elements, and normalizes of the psycho-emotional state. However, the use of alternative methods to cure ED must be followed with the approval and supervision of the attending physician. Self-treatment can aggravate existing diseases, which may end up with the development of new conditions (allergic reactions, deterioration of the cardiovascular system, hypervitaminosis, among others).