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Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

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Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
Erectile Dysfunction Causes Pictures: Impotence Treatments
By Research Staff
Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to get or keep an erection firm enough to have sexual intercourse. It’s also sometimes referred to as impotence.

Occasional ED isn’t uncommon. Many men experience it during times of stress. Frequent ED can be a sign of health problems that need treatment. It can also be a sign of emotional or relationship difficulties that may need to be addressed by a professional.

Not all male sexual problems are caused by ED. Other types of male sexual dysfunction include:

premature ejaculation

delayed or absent ejaculation

lack of interest in sex

The ability to achieve and sustain erections requires the following:

A healthy nervous system that conducts nerve impulses in the brain, spinal column, and penis
Healthy arteries in and near the corpora cavernosa that when stimulated can bring increased blood flow into the penis
Healthy muscles and fibrous tissues within the corpora cavernosa, which can distend to allow the penis to fill with blood
Adequate levels of nitric oxide in the penis
Normal-functioning tunica albuginea that allows for compression of the veins
Appropriate psychosocial interactions

You may have erectile dysfunction if you regularly have:

trouble getting an erection

difficulty maintaining an erection during sexual activities

reduced interest in sex

Other sexual disorders related to ED include:

premature ejaculation

delayed ejaculation

anorgasmia, which is the inability to achieve orgasm after ample stimulation

You should talk to your doctor if you have any of these symptoms, especially if they’ve lasted for two or more months. Your doctor can determine if your sexual disorder is caused by an underlying condition that requires treatmen

The best way to prevent erectile dysfunction is to make healthy lifestyle choices and to manage any existing health conditions. For example:

Work with your doctor to manage diabetes, heart disease or other chronic health conditions.
See your doctor for regular checkups and medical screening tests.
Stop smoking, limit or avoid alcohol, and don't use illegal drugs.
Exercise regularly.
Take steps to reduce stress.
Get help for anxiety, depression or other mental health concerns.
Oral medications (sometimes called “erection pills”) are the most common treatment for ED and are generally effective.

They include:
Cialis (tadalafil)
Levitra (vardenafil)
Stendra (avanafil)
Viagra (sildenafil)
These ED medications can cause a dangerous and irreversible drop in blood pressure if they're taken with certain other medications, including nitroglycerin or any other nitrates used for chest pain.

Less serious side effects may include vision changes, headache, flushing, back pain, and upset stomach.

Another treatment for ED is injecting Caverject (alprostadil) into the penis just before sex. Suppositories of the drug placed in the urethra may also be used instead of injections.

Testosterone therapy may be tried as an ED treatment if a man has below-normal levels of the hormone testosterone.

Manual devices can also be used to treat ED.
Electric or hand-powered vacuum pumps remove air from a hollow tube placed over the penis, drawing blood into the organ. Placing a ring around the base of the penis then helps maintain the erection.

Men who don't respond to any of these ED treatments may decide to have semirigid rods surgically implanted in the penis.

Surgery may also be used to repair damaged or obstructed blood vessels, which can cause or contribute to ED.

If your ED seems related to psychological factors, your doctor may recommend counseling or psychotherapy.

Natural Remedies for ED
Lifestyle changes may help prevent or resolve ED, and most are important for your overall health, too.

Helpful steps include:
Losing weight
Quitting smoking
Managing stress, anxiety, and other mental health concerns
Getting treatment for drug or alcohol abuse
Maintaining a healthy relationship

Erectile Dysfunction (ED)