What is Erectile Dysfunction and What Are The Available Treatments For It

29 March, 2021  |  Raja

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What is Erectile Dysfunction, and Can It Be Treated?

Erectile dysfunction, also known as ED, is one of the most common problems men face in their sex life. Erectile dysfunction is defined as a problem men have when they cannot get a firm erection or have trouble maintaining it for the entire duration of sexual intercourse.

This problem is much more common than we like to believe, as it occurs whenever the patient engages in any sexual activity. While it isn’t necessarily abnormal, it does require a professional approach for treatment.

At iQ Doctor, we’re here to work on a systematic approach to improving your sexual health.

Some of the Common Reasons for Erectile Dysfunction:

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  • Mental stress or emotional problems can be the psychological causes of erectile dysfunction

  • An early warning sign of some more severe illness related to heart disease or blood sugar

  • The most common reason is that the flow of blood to the penis is limited, or some nerves have been damaged

Finding out the cause of your erectile dysfunction is instrumental in solving the problem. Solving the ED problem will also help in improving your mental well being. Having a satisfying sex life is a significant contributor to improving well being. As a general rule, anything good for your heart’s health is also good for your sexual health.

When it comes to mental health, we often overlook its impact on sexual health. The stigma attached to erectile dysfunction often prevents people from finding solutions in time. This stigma may lead us to overlook other, more severe problems as well. According to research, about 30% of men below 40 experience problems related to sexual health, such as ED.

What Are the Symptoms and Causes of Erectile Dysfunction?

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The main physical symptom of erectile dysfunction is an inability to sustain an erection or ejaculate prematurely.

If erectile dysfunction becomes a recurring and persistent problem, a consultation with your doctor is warranted. Erectile dysfunction can be a leading warning sign of one of several cardiovascular diseases as it indicates the blockage of blood in major or minor veins or arteries.

Erectile dysfunction can also be a warning sign of stroke, heart attack or circulatory problems in the legs.

While taking a walk instead of the bus is an excellent way to stay healthy, but here at iQ Doctor, we want to convey vital information to you on the various medical solutions available.

We’re committed to helping you retain the bloom of your youth.

Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction


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How Can You Treat Erectile Dysfunction?

You can consult your health care professional and work with them to begin a systematic treatment for erectile dysfunction. The approach will involve studying various symptoms and underlying causes to provide the most suitable treatment for you.

The type of treatment you choose for your erectile dysfunction will be your personal decision. However, you should preferably consult with your partner. We suggest you agree on the type of treatment that will be comfortable for both of you as a couple.

The most preferable and ideal treatment for erectile dysfunction is to make calculated changes to your lifestyle. This approach helps in dealing with all underlying causes, chalking them off one at a time.

Lifestyle changes can include:

  • Decreasing or altogether stopping alcohol intake

  • Stopping all usage of illegal drugs

  • Quitting smoking

  • Exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy body weight

  • Switching to a healthier diet

Some common risk factors for developing erectile dysfunction problems  are:

  • Having high blood sugar (as diabetics)

  • Having some pre-existing cardiovascular disease

  • Having high cholesterol

  • Being above the age of 50

  • Being a smoker

  • Being obese

  • Using drugs

  • High intake of alcohol

  • Being sedentary

You’ll notice that an active lifestyle runs in total contrast to these common risk factors. Ageing in place is not something we recommend.

On that note, let’s take a look at how erectile dysfunction persists as you age.

Erectile Dysfunction with Ageing:

Erectile dysfunction is an issue that can become more and more common as men grow older. Although getting older does not guarantee ED. Some men can stay sexually healthy and functional well into their 80s. If you are young and have erectile dysfunction, then it could be a warning sign of a more severe illness, as mentioned before. This is why finding out the root cause of erectile dysfunction is vital before any treatment for it can be started.

Either physical or mental problems can cause erectile dysfunction. The physical causes of erectile dysfunction are usually:

The penis is not getting enough blood

Many health issues can explain why blood is not flowing properly to the penis, such as heart disease, high blood sugar, hardened arteries, and smoking.

Medications might be having a negative effect on erections

You might be taking some medication that has the unintended side effect of causing erectile dysfunction.

The penis is not able to retain blood during an erection.

Even if blood is able to reach the penis, sometimes the penis can fail to sustain an erection. This issue is common for all age groups.

Diabetic patients can have small vessels that are diseased or suffer from nerve damage in the penis.

Cancer near the pelvic region

If you have cancer and have had surgery or radiation therapy for cancers in the lower abdominal or pelvic region, it can possibly lead to erectile dysfunction as well. Treatments of prostate or bladder cancer often leave men with erectile dysfunction. Cancer survivors are advised to see a urologist for sexual health problems caused by cancer treatments.

When you visit your health professional to get advice about treating erectile dysfunction, they might advise you to start taking medication to treat the problem correctly.

Before you start taking any medications to treat your erectile dysfunction, you should do your best to develop an informed opinion about the possible causes of your erectile dysfunction and the medication you will be taking to treat it. 

The following is a list of some basic questions that you should ask your health care professional:

  • What exactly is erectile dysfunction?

  • What are the common causes of erectile dysfunction, and how can it be prevented?

  • Can the doctor help with erectile dysfunction, or will you need to consult a specialist? If you need a specialist (a urologist), can your doctor refer you to one?

  • What tests are recommended to find the cause of your ED?

  • Can the doctor find any link between erectile dysfunction and heart and blood health?

  • Are there any lifestyle changes you can adopt to help with ED?

  • What are the possible types of treatment available for ED?

  • What type of treatment is better for you?

  • What are the side effects of each of the possible treatments?

The most commonly prescribed medicines for erectile dysfunction are oral tablets that help you sustain an erection. The most frequently prescribed drugs are:

But what is the science behind this magic? Let’s delve into the details.

Basically, these medications enhance the natural chemicals the body produces. These chemicals include nitric oxide, a compound that works to relax the muscles in the penis. This relaxation results in increased blood flow in the area and allows you to get a proper erection in response to sexual stimulation.

It would be best if you kept in mind that taking any of these medications does not mean that you will automatically get an erection.

Medication is only one part of the solution to the problem of ED. The other important aspect of getting an erection is receiving proper sexual stimulation. When you start getting sexually stimulated, nitric oxide is released from the nerves in your penis. At that point, the medication begins working to enhance nitric oxide release. These medications are not intended to produce an erection independently.

Taking these medications can induce possible side effects like nasal congestion, flushing, visual changes, headache, backache, and an upset stomach.

When you first consult with your health care professional for this problem, be open and honest with them. We want you to fully enable the medical practitioner so they may give you a proper treatment plan. 

Transparency is key here.

Your doctor will assess your situation to determine which medication will be better for treating your erectile dysfunction. The doctor will also tell you which dosages to take the medication in, and you should always remember to take only the dosage that your doctor has prescribed you.

Once you have been prescribed one of these medications to treat your erectile dysfunction, you should start seeing results immediately after consumption.

These medications work by relaxing the muscles in your penis and increasing blood flow to the penis during sexual stimulation. If you are taking medications for heart problems, you should ask a doctor before starting any medicine for erectile dysfunction.

We understand that you don’t want to complicate any underlying health conditions. Let’s take a look at the flip side of the coin to get the full picture.

What Are the Side Effects of Erectile Dysfunction Medications?