An erection results when a penis hardens and subsequently becomes enlarged. When it does not adequately harden, that is referred to as erectile dysfunction. There can be several reasons for such a condition, and many men experience it in their lives, but fortunately, there are treatments. Read on for more detail.
How do erections work?
When a man is sexually aroused, certain chemicals are released into the bloodstream, and this, in turn, increases the blood flow to the penis and its two erection chambers. These chambers are not hollow, so they can expand to accommodate the blood as it flows in.
The chambers are made up of spongy tissues that relax during an erection and trap the blood inside. The blood pressure in the chambers adds firmness to the penis, resulting in an erection. Another set of nerve signals reaches the penis when a man orgasms, causing muscle tissues inside the penis to contract. After that, the blood from the penis is returned to the body’s regular blood circulation system, and the penis ceases to be erect.
When a man is not aroused, his penis is usually limp and soft. If you’re a man, you may have noticed that the size of your penis changes slightly, depending on whether it’s hot or cold outside. This has little to do with the erection mechanism and only results from changes in the volume of blood entering and exiting the penis.
What is Erectile Dysfunction (ED)?
As noted at the start, erectile dysfunction occurs when the penis cannot harden or maintain enough firmness for sexual intercourse. Many men will experience ED at some point in their lives, but it tends to get better on its own. It should only be treated as a concerning problem if it becomes a regular occurrence. If the condition persists, medical advice from a urologist or primary health care practitioner is recommended.
While it may appear to be nothing to worry about initially, recurrence of erectile dysfunction can suggest more serious underlying health issues. For example, it can be a marker of cardiovascular disease, indicating a buildup of blockages in the vascular system.
Some men with erectile dysfunction are more likely than the general population to have a stroke or a heart attack. They could also have circulation system issues in their legs. Moreover, ED can also indicate a mental health concern, such as depression, low self-esteem, or even relationship issues with one’s sexual partner.
Dealing with Erectile Dysfunction
Improving the health of your heart and vascular system can be the first step towards treating erectile dysfunction. When you seek help with ED from your doctor, he or she will identify some of the most prevalent risk factors that can lead to ED. You will then be offered ways by which your condition can be modified or improved. There are medications that offer erectile dysfunction treatment, such as the commonly used generic viagra sildenafil. However, erectile dysfunction treatment medicines should be considered only a last resort if you are trying to resolve your ED issues.
Your doctor may, for example, advise you to adjust your dietary habits, quit smoking, or begin exercising frequently. They may also ask you to cut back or stop using alcohol or drugs. If you’re on any prescription medications that might be contributing to your ED, your doctor can offer some alternative substitutes.
If your ED is determined to result from mental health problems, the doctor may recommend ways to address the emotional issues that are causing the condition. Conflicts and troubles with your sexual partners can cause emotional issues, which can lead to ED. Other mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, and the stress induced by life situations, can also contribute to ED.
Treatments for Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction can be treated through non-invasive treatments, and hence these should be pursued as the first option. Although most popular ED treatments are safe and effective in treating ED issues, it is still a good idea to consult with your health care practitioner about any potential adverse effects that may occur.
Following are some of the ED treatment options:
- Intraurethral medications (These are drugs that are injected into the urethra)
- Erection gadgets that work by creating a localised vacuum
- Penile implants (These are used to restore arteries in the penis or pelvic region that have been damaged. For older men who have hardened arteries, penile vascular surgery is not recommended)
- Drugs for erectile dysfunction treatment, such as generic viagra sildenafil. (These are phosphodiesterase type-5 inhibitors, and they’re the most widely used)
- Injections in the penile region
- If your blood tests suggest that you have a low testosterone level, testosterone therapy is another treatment option
Phosphodiesterase type-5 [PDE5] inhibitors: A Medicine for Erectile Dysfunction
The commonly used medications for erectile dysfunction treatment are the PDE type-5 inhibitors. These act by boosting blood flow to the penis. These are the only oral pills that have been approved for safe use by the general public in treating erectile dysfunction.
The following are the most prevalent brands of these medications:
- Cialis (tadalafil)
- Spedra (sildenafil citrate)
- Viagra (sildenafil citrate)
- Levitra (vardenafil HCL)
If you have been prescribed any of these medications by your doctor, the optimum time to take them is an hour or two before you want to have intercourse. These medications necessitate proper nerve function in the penis. PDE5 inhibitors act by facilitating blood flow into the penis, which improves the previously existing system of erectile reactions. On average, these medications assist 7 out of 10 men in overcoming their ED issues. Patients with cancer and diabetes are, however, more likely to not have their ED condition addressed through these drugs.
Keep in mind that if you’re on any nitrate medication for your heart, you should avoid PDE5 inhibitors. This is why it’s important that you share everything with your doctor. Also, ask your doctor to explain how PDE5 inhibitors operate and how they may influence your health, as well as any potential adverse effects.
The majority of PDE5 inhibitor side effects are minor and pass rapidly. The following are the most common side effects:
- A runny nose
- Muscle pain
- Flushing of the face
In rare situations, Viagra (sildenafil) might create a blue-green tint to your eyesight that can linger for a short period after use. Cialis (tadalafil) can cause backache in similar rare circumstances. The inhibitors can affect other tissues in your body in most cases where these side effects occur. This means that the inhibitors concurrently boost blood flow to your penis and other vascular tissues.
So, if you’ve had erectile dysfunction for a while, don’t be afraid to seek treatment. Make an appointment with a medical practitioner. If your doctor prescribes any of the above medications, you can obtain them from the iQ Doctor after completing a brief and non-invasive questionnaire.
This questionnaire is designed to ensure that the medicine has no severe or unexpected adverse effects so that you can get the best results in the end.