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 "Impotence"

Men's Health > erectile dysfunction > impotence

Absolute Answers to Erection Dysfunction

Difficulty with erections can be damaging to men and the health of their relationships. Despite more understanding about the causes of erectile dysfunction, as well as a growing number of effective erectile dysfunction treatments, many men are too embarrassed or do not have enough information to seek medical help.

About 90 percent of men with erectile dysfunction don't talk to a doctor about the problem, so they can't be treated effectively.

What is erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is a "persistent inability to attain and/or maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual activity." The occasional temporary erectile failure due to tiredness, stress or excessive alcohol consumption is not the same thing.

Erectile dysfunction is a long-term, recurrent medical problem needing proper diagnosis and treatment. Dispelling the following myths about erectile dysfunction (the more precise term for impotence) will help men and their partners to understand the condition and open channels of communications between them and medical professionals

Erectile Dysfunction Myths

Erectile dysfunction (ED) means loss of interest in sex, lack of vigour or sterility right?

No. In most cases, affected men retain desire and the ability to have an orgasm and ejaculate. Erectile dysfunction means a difficulty with erections, not a loss of interest in sex, sterility, or a lack of strength, vigour or power.

Difficulty with erections is not that common and doesn't happen to "real" men right?

Sorry, wrong again. Erectile dysfunction is common with estimates of more than 100 million men worldwide suffering the condition to some degree.

Erectile dysfunction is a natural part of growing old isn't it?

It doesn't have to be. Although there is a higher incidence of erectile dysfunction among older men because of age-related conditions, including vascular disease, diabetes and medications for these conditions. Although it mainly affects older men, it also occurs in younger males. Erectile dysfunction should not be considered a natural or acceptable part of getting older.

Most cases of erectile dysfunction are due to a psychological problem with the guy right?

You're way off. Seventy to ninety percent of men suffering from erectile dysfunction have an underlying physical cause for their impotence, although psychological factors may also play a role. Erectile dysfunction is a medical condition often caused by other health problems, including diabetes, cardiovascular conditions and trauma. The physical risk factors for erectile dysfunction fall into five main groups: Vascular disorders - circulatory problems that interfere with blood supply to the penis including hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), diabetes, high blood pressure and abnormally raised blood cholesterol.

Lifestyle factors - smoking, which exacerbates vascular problems such as high blood pressure, alcohol and drug abuse. Neurological disorders including multiple sclerosis and trauma resulting in pelvic or spinal cord injury. Surgery (e.g. for prostate disease) and radiation therapy. Some drugs prescribed to treat high blood pressure, depression, heart disease, gastric ulcers and cancer. Overall, diabetes is the single most common condition linked with erectile dysfunction and it is estimated that nearly half of men with diabetes have some degree of erectile dysfunction.

Erectile dysfunction doesn't really affect your health and you should learn to live with it and be a man about it.

Erectile dysfunction is a significant source of emotional stress, and can lead to poor self-image, loss of self-confidence and depression. Unfortunately, embarrassment and unwillingness to discuss sexual matters openly mean erectile dysfunction often remains undiagnosed and untreated. It is important to seek medical advice and appropriate treatment.

The diagnosis of erectile dysfunction involves embarrassing and invasive testing.

The diagnosis of erectile dysfunction involves techniques such as taking a medical and sexual history, asking about smoking, alcohol and medications. Only a standard physical examination is usually needed, including taking your blood pressure. Laboratory tests on blood and urine will help identify any underlying medical cause that may need treatment.

There's no point in seeking treatment because erectile dysfunction is not easily treated

In the majority of cases, erectile dysfunction can be successfully treated. It is therefore important for patients to seek advice from their doctor, for the good of themselves, their partners and their relationships.

Jim Shaw

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