Erectile dysfunction, also known as impotence is a condition in which an individual lacks the ability to develop or maintain an erection of the penis, especially during sexual activities. Although this might not seem like a life-threatening condition, it really can lead to serious damages, especially psychologically. This disease if not well managed, can lead to the dissolution of marriages and relationships. It also causes a dent in the self-esteem of the affected individual. Some of the causes of erectile dysfunction include cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, hormonal irregularities, trauma, especially from surgery, neurological problems and so on. Psychological erectile dysfunction is a type in which the affected person lacks an erection due to his thoughts or for psychological reasons. The cause of this kind of dysfunction isn’t physical. Erectile dysfunction is treatable, people affected should not be shy to seek for help from their physician. Physicians are under obligation to not keep your business with them private. Erectile dysfunction can be treated with medications. Examples of such medications include sildenafil, a prostaglandin E5 inhibitor. In addition, treatment can also involve prostaglandin tablets in the urethra, injections in the penis, prosthesis and surgery can also be done. Stem cell therapy is also a potential way of treating this disease. Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that can self-regenerate and are capable of tissue repair. They also control the immune system. These cells can be extracted from the patient, or gotten from other sources through a safe and painless procedure. Stem cells can be injected into the penile muscles. They are capable of restoring the blood flow and repair the weakened muscle tissues.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Erectile Dysfunction?
You might have erectile dysfunction if you have the following signs and symptoms;
- Difficulty getting an erection
- Trouble maintaining an erection, especially when engaging in sexual activities.
- Reduced libido: This can be defined as a reduced interest in sex.
- Premature ejaculation: People affected by erectile dysfunction do ejaculate earlier than normal.
- Delayed ejaculation
- Inability to achieve orgasm, even after sufficient stimulation.
It’s important to speak to your physician if you experience any of the above signs and symptoms, especially when you’ve experienced them for more than two months. Your physician can evaluate your symptoms, and make the right diagnosis.
What Are The Causes Of Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction can be caused by different conditions. This could either be emotional and physical disorders. Below are some of the prevalent causes of erectile dysfunction;
- Diabetes mellitus
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Injuries and trauma
- Excessive consumption of alcohol
- Old age
The mental state goes a long way in affecting the sexual performance of men. It equally plays a huge role when a man experiences erectile dysfunction. Below are some psychological factors that play a role in the development of erectile dysfunction;
- Relationship issues: This can be due to a cheating partner, or some conflicts between couples. A partner that is not pleased or disgusted by his partner may not have the urge, thereby leading to the inability to maintain an erection.
- Stress: Stress and overworking one’s self is also a cause of erectile dysfunction. However, this can be reversed as soon as the patient removes the cause of the stress, and starts relaxing more.
- Depression: Depression is a condition in which an individual feels hopeless and empty. Some people are more predisposed to having depression than others. They like to isolate themselves from others. In severe cases, they might start having suicidal thoughts. People affected by this disease usually do have erectile dysfunction.
What Causes An Erection?
An erection occurs when there is a rush of blood to the vessels in the male genitalia. This increased flow of blood is usually due to sexual or erotic thoughts. The muscles in the penis relax when a man is sexually excited. The relaxation of the muscles causes more blood to flow through the arteries in the penis. There are two chambers in the penis, known as the corpora carvernosa. They become rigid when blood fills the penile arteries. The erection stops when the penile muscles contract and the blood flows out through the penile veins. This disease can occur at any age, however, it’s more common in old men.
Does Age Affect The Development Of Erectile Dysfunction?
According to statistics, erectile dysfunction is more predominant in people that are above the age of 70. As an illustration, about 30% of men older than the age of 70 have this condition, while about 20% of men in their sixties have erectile dysfunction. About 12% of men below the age of sixty have the disease. This goes to show that, the older men become, the more the chances of having erectile dysfunction. Although men’s erection becomes weakened as they grow older, this doesn’t translate that they’d develop erectile dysfunction. Overall, the healthier a man is, the better his sexual function would be.
How Is Erectile Dysfunction Diagnosed?
Your physician might ask you questions, and evaluate the underlying conditions that might be responsible for the disease. The doctor would conduct a general physical examination of the patient, where the different systems of the body would be checked. This includes the heart, lungs, blood pressure, the testicles and penis. A rectal examination might also be conducted.
What Are The Ways Of Preventing Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction can be prevented by living a healthier lifestyle. Below are some of the ways to prevent erectile dysfunction
- There are some diseases that predispose men to have erectile dysfunction. Some of these diseases are diabetes mellitus, heart-related diseases. Working with your physician to eliminate these diseases is the first step towards preventing the development of erectile dysfunction.
- Lifestyle modifications: Changing and stopping habits such as smoking, and consuming less amount of alcohol goes a long way in preventing erectile dysfunction.
- Going for frequent medical checkups: It’s important to regularly go for medical screening, especially when you know you’re predisposed to having the condition.
Stem Cell Therapy And Erectile Dysfunction
Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that can self-regenerate and are capable of tissue repair. They also control the immune system. These cells can be extracted from the patient, or gotten from other sources through a safe and painless procedure. Stem cells can be injected into the penile muscles. They are capable of restoring the blood flow and repair the weakened muscle tissues.
DEMIR, T. (2006). Prevalence of erectile dysfunction in patients with metabolic syndrome. International Journal of Urology, 13(4), pp.385-388.
McMahon, C. (2014). Erectile dysfunction. Internal Medicine Journal, 44(1), pp.18-26.
Orabi, H. and Lue, T. (2011). 1127 HUMAN ADIPOSE TISSUE-DERIVED STEM CELLS DIFFERENTIATED INTO SMOOTH MUSCLE AND ENDOTHELIAL CELLS FOR TREATMENT OF ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION. The Journal of Urology, 185(4), p.e453.