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Erectile Dysfunction Symptoms
Erectile dysfunction (ED), or impotence, is the inability to consistently initiate or keep an erection for sexual intercourse. While most men occasionally fail to get an erection, or lose one prematurely during sexual activity, some men suffer from these problems regularly. Sexual dysfunction among men is often associated with medical conditions, medications, injury, or psychological problems. Any of these can interfere with the ability to have an erection.
What are the symptoms of erectile dysfunction?
The main symptom of ED is the inability to get or maintain an erection for satisfactory sexual activity. A man is considered to have ED when he regularly finds it difficult to get or keep a firm erection. The condition can cause significant distress for a man and can disrupt his relationship with his partner. It can also cause anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. Although most men experience occasional episodes of ED, these episodes are usually not associated with ongoing erectile problems.
What causes erectile dysfunction?
There are many possible causes of ED, and they can be either physical or psychological. Physical causes include:
- heart disease
- high cholesterol
- high blood pressure
- metabolic syndrome (a condition involving high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity)
- parkinson’s disease
- multiple sclerosis
- certain prescription medications
- tobacco use
- alcoholism and other forms of substance abuse
- sleep disorders
- pelvic surgery
- injury to the nerves or arteries that supply the penis
Psychological causes of ED can include:
- relationship problems
How is erectile dysfunction diagnosed?
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. They will also do a physical examination. This may include checking your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels. Your doctor may also refer you to a urologist or other speCialist for further testing and treatment.
How is erectile dysfunction treated?
Treatment for ED will depend on the underlying cause. In many cases, ED can be treated successfully. Some of the most common treatment options include:
- oral medications such as Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra
- injections into the penis
- vacuum devices that draw blood into the penis
Your doctor will work with you to find the best treatment option for you. ED can be a sign of a more serious health condition. If you have ED, it is important to see your doctor to rule out any underlying medical causes.