Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is the incapability to develop and sustain erection firm enough to have sexual intercourse. It can be caused by relationship problems, anxiety, stress, excessive weight, drug or alcohol use, and smoking. Also, it can be a telltale sign of an existing health problem that needs to be addressed, which may be cardiovascular disease, diabetes, damage from cancer or surgery and injuries, Parkinson’s disease, metabolic syndrome, atherosclerosis or multiple sclerosis.
ED is not something that men would be willing to discuss with just anybody, but the truth is that it is not an uncommon circumstance. The Massachusetts Male Aging Study, an organization that conducted a research pertaining to the prevalence of ED, reported that 52 % of men in the United States suffer from this condition, and approximately 617, 715 new cases are added annually.
A number of treatments are available based on the underlying factors for this dysfunction. Psychological counselling can address factors such as anxiety and stress, while having sufficient self-control to jumpstart weight loss and eliminate vices can also make a difference. Getting medical treatment for health conditions that contribute to the existence of ED is also very vital.
There are also oral medications available to cure ED. Oftentimes, this method is the first one applied by most men who have the dysfunction due to the fact that it is already a proven scheme and its side effects are minimal. These medications work through the enhancement of nitric oxide, which is a natural chemical produced by the body that aids in making the muscles in the penis relax to widen the blood vessel and increase blood flow. The chemical composition of these medications only differ in terms of their potential side effects and the promptness by which they take effect or wear off. The most common oral treatments are Viagra (sildenafil), Cialis (tadalafil), Levitra (vardenafil), Kamagra, Tadacip, and Suhagra. Probable side effects are headache, nasal congestion, stomach upset, visual changes, backache and flushing. These treatments must be taken with the prescription of a licensed physician because they can have adverse effects to a patient if he is taking nitrate drugs, or if he has hypotension, which is characterized by extremely low blood pressure. These oral medication are also not suitable for men with hypertension, liver disease or severe kidney disease.
Another way to restore erectile function is with the aid of vacuum constriction devices. In this case, an acrylic cylinder is positioned over the lubricated penis. Vacuum is then created with a pump that is hooked to the cylinder. A constriction band is then applied to the penis’ base as soon as erection is achieved. This is when the cylinder is removed to allow the patient to engage in intercourse. The effectivity and acceptability of this method is high according to clinical studies. This is inversely proportional to the satisfaction rate that the patients who have tried undergoing this type of treatment has given.
Another treatment is Alprostadil. It takes advantage of the promotion of intracellular accumulation of cAMP and of the decrease intracellular accumulation of calcium, thereby promoting smooth muscle relaxation. Alprostadil, otherwise known as prostaglandin E1 is prominently known to be capable of dilating the corpus cavernosum. It is administered by intraurethral suppository or direct injection into the corpora cacavernosa. This treatment has been determined to have 50% efficacy. This treatment causes several side effects such as fainting, feeling light-headed, priapism, dyspareunia in partner (intraurethral), urethral bleeding (intraurethral), penile curvature secondary to scar (intracavernosal), or hematoma (intracavernosal).
The last method that can be considered to address ED is surgical treatment. Penile prosthetics implantation can usually be opted after all other methods are tried. Prostheses is normally in the form of saline-filled silicon or malleable device. This type of treatment is no common due to its high failure rate and cost. Nevertheless, patients who have tried this method have a satisfaction rate of 90%. There are risks associated with the application of this treatment, which include device infection, surgical and anesthetic risk, and device malfunction. The failure rate of the mechanical aspect is dependent on the particular device. In aggregate, the mechanical success rate ranges from 80 to 90 per cent.
Indeed, erectile dysfunction is a complex condition. Its cause in a particular patient can be extremely ambiguous because it can be triggered by neurologic, vascular and psychosocial factors. A person with ED must consider paying a visit to his doctor as the first step to resolve this dysfunction.