How Do I Know If I Have Erectile Dysfunction?

6 min
Asking any man about the health condition that concerns him the most, the answer will most likely be, erectile dysfunction. Now, sexual health in general is important, but this condition specifically induces performance anxiety. This increases the pressure, contributing to more psychological factors, and worsening the situation. In today’s blog, we will be going through all the essential information about erectile dysfunction, and answering some pressing questions.
Men Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction, or impotence, is a common condition impacting the ability to maintain a firm erection for sexual intercourse. It becomes more common with age and health issues, raising concerns for men. Occasional occurrences are normal, but persistent problems indicate a more serious issue, causing understandable worry. It affects men between 40 and 70 and, occasionally, even younger males. There are various types of erectile dysfunction, each contributing to challenges in sexual health. Let’s talk briefly about some of the common ones:

Types of Erectile Dysfunction
Psychogenic Erectile Dysfunction Includes psychological factors and conditions related to your behavior, feelings, and thoughts that cause or induce sexual performance problems.
Neurogenic Erectile Dysfunction Occurs due to nerve problems. It gets in the way of the signals coming from the brain to the penis to create an erection, so the erection either doesn’t fully happen or doesn’t last. Neurogenic ED occurs due to neurological problems, trauma, or radiation therapy.
Vascular Erectile Dysfunction The most common type of ED. It gets in the way of the blood flow inside the penis’s tissues preventing it from keeping an erection. It can also occur in the valves that hold the blood inside the penis.
Hormonal Erectile Dysfunction Hormonal ED occurs due to the effects of testosterone deficiency and/or thyroid issues.


Common Signs and Symptoms

Oftentimes, people tend to self-diagnose erectile dysfunction because they see the symptoms as obvious. but the right thing to do is to consult your doctor before making assumptions based on them. Here are some common signs to be aware of:

  • Ability to get an erection before sexual intercourse but not during.
  • Not always being able to get an erection before sexual intercourse.
  • Requiring a considerable amount of stimulation to keep an erection.
  • Inability to have an erection at all times.

Equally important as knowing signs, is knowing causes. These are some common ones:

  • Physical Diseases and Disorders

These include all of the health conditions that play a role in causing erectile dysfunction, such as

  1. Heart conditions.
  2. Obesity.
  3. Diabetes and ED.
  4. High cholesterol.
  5. Parkinson’s Disease.
  6. High blood pressure.
  7. hypertension and ED
  • Nervous System Problems

Nerves, spinal cords, and the brain all work together for a common goal, helping your body feel and move by sending electrical impulses all over it, including the penis. If anything interfered with these signals, or if there were fewer of them, then erection problems may start occurring.

  • Hormonal Issues

As previously mentioned, hormones like testosterone have a crucial part in keeping an erection as they help open up the blood vessels allowing a good blood flow for the penis.

Psychological Factors Contributing to Erectile Dysfunction

The brain plays a crucial role in initiating or obstructing erections. Mental issues like depression, anxiety, stress, and communication difficulties with a partner can interfere with sexual desire, contributing to or worsening erectile dysfunction. In toxic scenarios, relationship issues and ED pose significant mental challenges, but overcoming them is possible. With dedication, you and your partner can strive for a healthy sexual relationship.

Medical Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

This includes some medications causing ED like antihistamines, antidepressants, and some medications that are used for treating prostate conditions and high blood pressure. In addition to that, diseases and disorders play a contributing factor in developing erectile dysfunction. Continuous use of some substances can gradually lead to erectile dysfunction. These substances include:

  1. Nicotine.
  2. Alcohol.
  3. Cocaine.
  4. Marijuana.
  5. Methadone.
  6. Opioids.
  7. Amphetamines.
  8. Barbiturates.

Lifestyle Factors Affecting Erectile Function

Your lifestyle and habits shape your health. You make choices for your health, and face their consequences. Smoking and ED are not too far away from each other, neither is alcohol and ED. For your overall wellbeing and sexual health, avoid these substances.

Seeking Professional Help and Diagnosis

When seeking professional help for a diagnosis, your health care provider may take one of several actions depending on their assessment of the cause of the dysfunction. Before performing tests, your health provider will tell you all about it and how it will be performed. If you don’t feel comfortable with a test, don’t worry there is always an alternative. Here are some examples of these procedures:

  1. Blood tests.
  2. Testosterone tests.
  3. Liver function tests.
  4. Thyroid tests.
  5. Lipid panel.
  6. Complete blood count.
  7. Urinalysis.

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s go through some of the frequently asked questions to keep you updated about the matter.

  1. How to Prevent Erectile Dysfunction?

  1. Prioritize your mental health alongside physical well-being. Mental issues like stress, anxiety, and depression can be key contributors to erectile dysfunction. Avoid factors exacerbating these issues, and engage in activities like yoga and exercise for relaxation.
  2. Alcohol, nicotine, and drugs are major culprits of erectile dysfunction. Quitting or reducing their intake is crucial. Professional help is readily available for those seeking to overcome these habits.
  3. Address heart conditions, diabetes, and chronic health issues diligently, as it significantly impacts overall well-being.
  4. Maintain a balanced diet with essential vitamins and supplements for holistic health, not just for improvements in sexual health.
  5. Regular checkups and medical screenings are vital for early detection of potential health issues.
  1. What are The Treatment Options for Erectile Dysfunction?

  • Oral Medications for ED

These medications tend to increase blood flow to the penis, such as Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, and Stendra. They usually start taking effect within an hour. Although, it’s sometimes better to try and seek natural remedies for ED.

  • Cardiovascular Exercises

Brisk walking, bicycling, swimming, jogging, and jumping rope can all be labeled as cardiovascular exercises. Doing at least 45 minutes of these exercises three times per week is very helpful in reversing some of the causes of erectile dysfunction. This is among the many lifestyle changes for ED that you can do to help yourself.

  • Penile low-intensity Focused Shockwave Therapy

This treatment consists of using sound waves to improve blood flow in the body, which in turn improves sexual performance.

  • Penile Implant Procedure

In this procedure, a doctor implants a small device inside of the penis to make it hard. This device isn’t supposed to affect peeing, sensation, or orgasm. Penile implants are available everywhere, check with your doctor if you’re ever considering it.

  1. Is Erectile Dysfunction Permanent?

Fortunately, not anymore. There are a lot of treatment options, some of which we’ve mentioned in this blog. Just check with your doctor about which treatment option works for you best.

Final Words

No matter how old you are, having sexual-related problems is completely normal and you should ask for help without feeling any shame about it, that’s the first step of overcoming ED or any other condition. Keep yourself well-posted to maintain your sexual and overall well-being.

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