Erectile dysfunction: 1 in 5 men is affected Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common condition that affects one in five men. It can be caused by a variety of factors,...Read More
Do you suffer from Erectile Dysfunction (ED)?
Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is defined as the persistent or recurrent inability to attain and/or maintain penile erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance. Although the prevalence of ED increases with age, it is not an inevitable consequence of the aging process. ED is often multifactorial, with psychological, neurologic, endocrine, vascular, and local anatomic factors playing a role. There are many potential causes of ED, including vascular disease, diabetes mellitus, hormonal insufficiencies, neurologic disorders, and pelvic surgery.
Causes of Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
There are many potential causes of ED, including vascular disease, diabetes mellitus, hormonal insufficiencies, neurologic disorders, and pelvic surgery. While most men eventually develop some degree of erectile dysfunction with age, it is not an inevitable consequence of aging. Erectile dysfunction is more common in men who have a history of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, or diabetes.
Risk Factors for Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
- Vascular disease – Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) is the most common cause of vascular impairment, affecting more than 50% of men over the age of 60. Atherosclerosis narrows the arteries, resulting in reduced blood flow to the penis and other parts of the body.
- Diabetes mellitus – Diabetes can damage the nerves and blood vessels that are necessary for normal erectile function. In addition, diabetes is associated with a variety of other conditions that can contribute to erectile dysfunction, such as high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and peripheral vascular disease.
- Hormonal insufficiencies – Low levels of the male hormone testosterone can contribute to erectile dysfunction. Testosterone levels may decline with age, illness, or after surgical removal of the testicles.
- Neurologic disorders – Neurologic conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and spinal cord injuries can damage the nerves that are necessary for normal erectile function.
- Pelvic surgery – Pelvic surgery, such as radical prostatectomy, can damage the nerves and blood vessels that are necessary for normal erectile function.
Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
The treatment of erectile dysfunction depends on the underlying cause. In many cases, lifestyle changes, such as weight loss, exercise, and reduction of alcohol intake, can improve erectile function. If the underlying cause is found to be medical in nature, treatments can vary from lifestyle changes to medication to surgery.