What is Erectile Dysfunction?
In 1992, US National Institutes of Health decided to change, which was considered insulting for many men the term “impotence” in more euphonic and less noisy term “erectile dysfunction.” But, despite the fact that name has changed, problem has remained and has not lost its relevance. It is known that erectile dysfunction occurs in more than half of men aged 40 to 70 years. For example, in the US, the number of such patients reaches 10 million.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is inability to achieve or maintain erection, sufficient for sexual intercourse, which is observed for three months or more.
An erection is an increase in penis in volume and sharp increase in its elasticity, by filling its tissues with blood during sexual excitement.
Erectile Dysfunction Causes
Among causes leading to erectile dysfunction development, the following are distinguished:
- alcohol abuse;
- use of certain medicines;
- blood supply violation to penis (atherosclerosis, hypertension, diabetes, abdominal and pelvic injuries, accompanied by penile vessels damage feeding penis);
- trauma, leading to spinal cord or brain damage (so-called neurogenic erectile dysfunction).
Not so long ago it was believed that in most cases ED has psychogenic nature.
That is, the main causes of erectile function violation were considered:
- embarrassment to partner;
- lack of self-confidence;
- religious beliefs;
- other anxiety and psychotic personality changes.
A special place is occupied by hormonal (endocrine) erectile dysfunction, caused by lack of male sex hormones, as well as changes in hormonal background associated with:
- thyroid pathology;
Erectile Dysfunction Symptoms
Clinical ED symptoms are already laid down in the very definition of erectile dysfunction concept. The severity of symptoms can range from minor manifestations to serious disorders of sexual function.
Spontaneous erection decreases or disappears, ability to have repeated sexual intercourse during the day decreases, the number of full-blown sexual acts terminating with ejaculation and orgasm decreases, their duration decreases, there is need for additional erotic stimulation, penile elasticity decreases, intensity of erection becomes insufficient.
Similar violations of sexual function lead to:
- steady decline in mood;
- prolonged depression;
- avoidance of sexual contacts because of uncertainty about their capabilities.