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WHAT IS ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION (ED)?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to get or keep an erection firm enough to have sexual intercourse. It’s sometimes referred to as impotence, although this term is less commonly used. Occasional ED isn’t uncommon as ED generally affects around 50% of men over the age of 40. It is frequently experienced during times of stress. Frequent ED, however, can be a sign of health problems that need treatment. It can also be a sign of emotional or relationship difficulties that may need to be addressed by a professional.

 

WHAT CAUSES AN ERECTION?

An erection is the result of increased blood flow into the penis. Blood flow is usually stimulated by either sexual thoughts or direct touch of the penis. When a man is sexually aroused, the muscles in the penis relax allowing for increased blood flow through the penile arteries, filling two chambers inside the penis. As the chambers fill with blood, the penis grows rigid. An erection ends when the muscles contract and the accumulated blood can flow out through the penile veins.

 

CAUSES OF ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION

There are many possible causes of ED, and they can include both emotional and physical conditions. It should be noted that 90% of cases are organic and only 10% are dure to psychogenic problems. Common causes include:

  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Low Testosterone Levels Or Other Hormone Imbalances
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression Relationship problems
  • Medications(e.g. Diuretics, Antihypertensives, Antihistamines, Muscle Relaxants)

 

Risk Factors of Erectile Dysfunction

People with the following are more likely to develop ED although there isn’t a direct causal relationship:

  • Increased Age
  • Obesity
  • High Cholesterol
  • Hypertension
  • Smoking
  • Kidney Disease
  • Diabetes

 

SYMPTOMS OF ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION

Common symptoms of ED include:

  • Trouble Getting An Erection
  • Difficulty Maintaining An Erection During Sexual Activities
  • Reduced Interest In Sex

 

Other Sexual Disorders Related To ED Include:

  • Premature Ejaculation
  • Delayed Ejaculation
  • Anorgasmia, Or The Inability To Achieve Orgasm After Ample Stimulation

 

Speak with your doctor if you have any of these symptoms, especially if they’ve lasted for 3 or more months.

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