Penile or erectile dysfunction is defined as the inability to achieve and maintain a penile erection adequate for satisfactory sexual intercourse.
Erectile dysfunction affects men of all races and in all parts of the world. Men are more likely to have erectile dysfunction as they get older. About 12% of men younger than 60, 22% of men age 60 to 69 and 30% of men age 70 or older.
The physical symptoms of erectile dysfunction are:
- Can get an erection sometimes, though not everytime
- Can get an erection, yet it does not last long enough for sex
- You are unable to get an erection at all which is sometimes called impotence.
An erection occurs when blood flow into the penis, thereby increases and making the penis larger and firmer. Hormones, blood vessels, nerves and muscles all work together to get an erection.
Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction often has more than one cause. Many diseases can damage nerves, arteries and muscles, some can lead to erectile dysfunction such as:
- High blood pressure can results in impotency in men if not treated.
- Diabetes is when there is too much sugar in the blood which will result in nerve and muscle weakness of the penis.
- Clogged arteries, when the arteries are clogged, it will difficult for the blood to flow through it and when this happens it will eventually leads to erectile dysfunction.
- Heart and blood vessels disease
- Chronic kidney disease
- Multiple sclerosis (a disease that attacks the nerves)
- Treatment for prostate cancer, including radiation surgery to remove the prostate, and hormone treatment
- Injury to the penis, spinal cord, prostate bladder or pelvis
- Surgery for bladder cancer
- Peyronie's disease (a condition in which scar tissue called a plaque forms in the penis )
- Unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as smoking
- Drinking too much alcohol and using illegal drugs. Alcohol and long term drinker or drug user such as tobacco restrict blood flow to the veins and arteries.
- Being overweight and not exercising
Mental health problems such as the following can also cause or worsen erectile dysfunction
- Fear of sexual failure
- Low self-esteem
- lifestyle changes such as;
- Quit smoking
- Drinking less alcohol
- Increasing physical activity (exercise regularly)
- Stopping illegal drug use
- Counselling:- patients who received counselling with their partners have shown significant improvement in their health.
- Medicine such as :
- Slidenafil (Viagra)
- Vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn)
- Tadalafil (Cialis)
- Avanafil (Stendra)
- Vacuum device are also used to inflate the penis.
- For mental health issues, the patient needs to consult the doctor.
- Fruits such as water melons, papayas and bananas are good for those that have erectile dysfunction because they contain potassium which helps to control blood pressure and aid in smooth flow by dilating arterioles. Red wine, citrus fruits, apples,pears and berries such as strawberries, blueberries etc. have some beneficial effects in the treatment of erectile dysfunction.
- Garlic is high in an ingredient called allicin which can help stimulate circulation and blood flow to sexual organs in both men and women.