One of the major causes of sexual dissatisfaction and strained relationships amongst men is ED or erectile dysfunction. It is a commonly occurring phenomenon amongst sexually active males. With more and more impetus being given on male virility and machismo, this area is not given the due attention that it deserves and remains a neglected area in the field of male sexual pathology.
Erectile dysfunction is a complete loss of erection or the inability to sustain an erection during sexual intercourse. The blood flow to the penis is heightened during male sexual arousal which leads to the engorgement and enlargement of the penis. A fully erect penis is able to completely achieve intercourse. In ED, the penis remains flaccid and is not able to achieve intercourse and orgasm. The layman term for an erectile dysfunction is ‘impotence’. There are several causes behind ED. Let’s examine them.
Age is a contributing factor towards the development of ED. Men in their 60’s are twice as likely to suffer from ED as compared to men in their 20’s or 30’s. The effects of ageing can affect the man’s sexual performance and his ability to sustain an erection. Vascular diseases common in men above 60 can lead to ED. High blood pressure and high cholesterol can cause arterial clogging. These disrupt the blood flow to the rest of the body.
Diabetes remains the most common cause of erectile dysfunction. Diabetes greatly hampers the flow of blood to the penile region leading to erectile dysfunction. Even young men suffering from diabetes are likely to experience ED. This can be rectified with appropriate medication and monitoring of blood sugar.
Another reason behind ED is performance anxiety and stress. Nervousness in one’s ability to perform may cause the man to become excessively conscious. He may try too hard and the stress may cause him to suffer from a temporary loss of erection.
Marital stress, fatigue and work related problems are some other culprits leading to ED. Often these are addressed by taking recourse to counselling and couple therapy. Psychiatric problems like anxiety disorders, schizophrenia and acute depression may also lead to erectile dysfunction.
Disease Of The Prostate, Cancer And Hormonal Disturbances
Prostate cancer and problems with the prostate gland may destroy the vessels supplying blood to the penis. Cancer too can be a contributing factor. Insufficient levels of the male hormone like testosterone may lead to a loss of libido and inadequate erections.
Certain nutritional deficiencies like zinc, selenium and vitamin E can also lead to severe erectile dysfunction. This can be tackled by improving one’s diet or taking enhanced vitamin and mineral supplements.
Diseases Of The Nervous System
Certain diseases of the central nervous system like Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis and Strokes produce changes in the muscle tissue of the penis and can lead to erection problems and impotence.
Smoking is another common cause which not only affects the quality of sperms produced by a man but also the quality and ability to sustain an erection. Once the above causes are identified, steps can be taken to rectify ED through a combination of diet, exercise, relaxation, counselling and medical intervention. Men should remain proactive and address the problem as soon as it occurs.