Erectile dysfunction, also called impotence, is defined as a manís inability to get an erection or maintain it long enough to have sex@ with a partner. For some men, impotence means they are unable to ejaculate during sex.
Erectile dysfunction or impotence happens to most men at one time or another, but studies indicate that erectile dysfunction is more common in older men, so it is often associated with the aging process in men.
Occasional impotence is often not seen as a problem, but when impotence continues for awhile, it can bring on great emotional distress for both the man and his partner.
There are a number of reasons why you may have impotence. In around three-quarters of cases there are physical problems affecting the blood supply. However, there is a complex relationship between the physical and psychological aspects of sexual function. For instance, you may have physical health problems that cause psychological distress and this may have an additional effect on erection problems.
A number of different conditions may cause impotence, including: -
If you have had surgery in your pelvic area
Cardiovascular disease: - High blood pressure, arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), and other problems with the heart and blood vessels can cause erectile dysfunction by hampering blood flow to the penis. The Massachusetts Male Aging study found that 15 percent of men with hypertension were completely impotent, compared with 9.6 percent of the entire study group.
Medications: - The National Institutes of Health reports that many common drugs can lead to erectile dysfunction, including antihistamines, antidepressants, tranquilizers, appetite suppressants, the ulcer drug cimetidine, and blood pressure medications such as beta blockers and diuretics. (If you develop erectile dysfunction while taking antidepressants or blood pressure medications, however, remember that the disease itself could also be to blame.)
Diabetes: - If it causes extensive damage to nerves and blood vessels, diabetes can block pleasurable sensations as well as blood flow. The NIH estimates that 35 to 50 percent of all men with diabetes suffer from erectile dysfunction.
Psychological factors: - According to the NIH, psychological distress lies at the root of 10 to 20 percent of all cases of erectile dysfunction. If you suffer from erectile dysfunction but have erections in the morning or while you sleep, there's a good chance your problem is largely psychological. Factors that can lead to erectile dysfunction include stress, fear, performance anxiety, guilt, depression, and low self-esteem. Feelings of resentment or hostility -- harbored by either the person experiencing erectile dysfunction or his partner -- can also derail intimacy.
Prostate surgery: - Not long ago, many men had to sacrifice their sex lives after undergoing surgery for prostate cancer. Today, thanks to new surgical techniques that spare the nerves and vessels feeding the penis, erectile dysfunction is far from inevitable. Surgeons at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis recently conducted a study of cancer patients who were able to achieve erections normally before surgery. Sixty-eight percent of the men studied were still able to have erections after the prostate gland was removed. However, only 48 percent of those 70 and older regained their potency.
Smoking: - Cigarettes can damage your arteries, with consequences that are enough to make even the Marlboro Man find a different habit. According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control, smokers between the ages of 31 and 49 are 80 percent more likely than nonsmokers of the same age to suffer from erectile dysfunction.
Bicycling: - Although there is controversy on this subject, a few experts say regular cycling is a major cause of erectile dysfunction. A recent Boston University survey looked at more than 1,000 male cycling and running club members, with an average age of 43, and found that 4 percent of cyclists had moderate to complete erectile dysfunction, compared with 1 percent of runners. There's no doubt that pressing one's crotch into a hard bicycle seat puts tremendous pressure on the nerves and blood vessels that feed the penis. If you ride a bike, be sure to lean back regularly to shift your weight from the groin area to the buttocks. You should also consider investing in a seat that's specially designed to put less pressure on the groin. If you often feel numbness in your penis after bike riding, or if numbness is less frequent but lingers, schedule an appointment with your doctor or a urologist.
Lifestyle: - If you drink too much alcohol, this can affect your ability to get and keep an erection (often called brewer's droop). In the longer term, it interferes with the production of the male hormone testosterone, which can reduce your sexual drive and desire (libido).
Smoking damages your blood vessels and so increases your risk of erection problems. Similarly, being physically inactive, which contributes to poor cardiovascular fitness, may raise the chances of you having impotence. Impotence may be an early warning sign that you are at risk of coronary heart disease (the arteries that go to your heart are narrowed).
Many men need greater tactile stimulation as they get older. You may want to consider a change in sexual foreplay and technique to ensure a sustained erection.
Other factors: - Alcoholism, pelvic injuries, multiple sclerosis, and below-normal levels of testosterone are all capable of causing erectile dysfunction.
Once you know the cause of the problem it can be easier to cure it naturally without any side effects. More information can be obtained from our website.