Erectile Dysfunction Information
What is Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile Dysfunction (ED) also known as male impotence is the repeated inability to maintain a firm and hard erection long enough to have sex satisfactorily. Erectile Dysfunction can occur at any age although it is more common in older men. Problems with erections may stem from chronic illnesses, drugs, less blood flow to the penis, drinking too much alcohol and smoking, or being too tired or stressed.
Having trouble maintaining an erection occasionally is not Erectile Dysfunction (male impotence) however if the problem is ongoing, it can cause stress and relationship problems and affect your self-esteem.
Erectile Dysfunction can be one of the following types:
In older men, ED (male impotence) usually has a physical cause or side effects of medication they may be on. Any disease that impairs blood flow in the penis or causes injury to the nerves has the potential to cause ED.
About 5 percent of 40-year-old men and between 15 and 25 percent of 65-year-old men experience ED. However Erectile Dysfunction is not an inevitable part of ageing.
Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction
Failure to achieve an erection occasionally is not unusual; many men report having erection difficulties sometimes, however inability to keep an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse at least 25 percent of the time is Erectile Dysfunction. Having an erection problem on an ongoing basis is clearly a sign of Erectile Dysfunction and should be treated. In some cases, Erectile Dysfunction could be the first warning sign of another underlying health problem (such as Diabetes, Heart problem etc).
How Normal Erections Works?
Having an erection is based on a complex process involving the brain, emotions, hormones, blood vessels, nerves and muscles and anything going wrong with any of these can result in Erectile Dysfunction.
The penis contains two chambers called the Corpora Cavernosa. These are sponge-like structures which run the length of the organ, parallel to the tube that carries semen and urine (Urethra). The spongy tissue contains smooth muscles, fibrous tissues, spaces, veins, and arteries. The Corpora Cavernosa are surrounded by a membrane, called the Tunica Albuginea. The Urethra, which is the channel for urine and ejaculation, runs along the underside of the Corpora Cavernosa and is surrounded by the Corpus Spongiosum.
An erection begins with sensory or mental stimulation, or both, nerve impulses cause the muscles of the Corpora Cavernosa to relax, allowing increased blood to flow in and fill the spaces. This sudden influx of blood expands the sponge-like structures and produces an erection by straightening and stiffening the penis. The Tunica Albuginea helps trap the blood in the Corpora Cavernosa, thereby sustaining erection. After ejaculation, the excess blood drains out of the spongy tissue, and the penis returns to its nonerect size and shape.
What Causes Erectile Dysfunction?
Since erections are a result of complex events (nerve impulses in the brain, spinal column, and area around the penis, and response in muscles, fibrous tissues, veins, and arteries in and near the Corpora Cavernosa) and if anything goes wrong at any point, Erectile Dysfunction can occur.
Erectile Dysfunction is linked to the phsyical reasons most of the time.
Contrary to the common belief that Erectile Dysfunction is mainly caused by psychological reasons, Erectile Dysfunction is usually caused by physical reasons, such as a chronic health problem or the side effects of a medication. Sometimes a combination of things causes Erectile Dysfunction.
Diseases such as Diabetes, kidney disease, chronic alcoholism, Multiple Sclerosis, Atherosclerosis, vascular disease, and neurologic disease can contribute to the ED. Moreover damage to arteries, smooth muscles, nerves and fibrous tissues is the most common cause of ED.
Lifestyle related issues such as smoking, being obese or overweight, and lack of exercise could contribute to the ED as well.
Side effects of certain medication such as blood pressure drugs, antihistamines, antidepressants and tranquilizers can cause ED as well.
Psychological factors such as anxiety, guilt, depression, stress, low self-esteem, and fear of sexual failure cause 10 to 20 percent of ED cases.
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