Not many people like to talk about sexual illnesses. But the fact is, these illnesses can happen to anyone and it is important to have some knowledge regarding them so that we can identify them and get the help that we need.
One common sexual disorder among men is erectile dysfunction or ED. Is it very common in India? Yes, more than 10 million men in India are diagnosed with it every year. Fortunately, this condition is treatable. Read on to know the basics about this illness.
What is erectile dysfunction?
Some men are unable to get an erection or sustain it for long enough to engage in sexual intercourse. Not getting an erection at times of stress or grief is quite natural. But ED is a condition when the issue becomes chronic, meaning one always finds it difficult to get an erection.
ED can have a traumatic impact on a man’s mind as it makes him think he is impotent. It can also give rise to intimacy issues in a relationship.
How will you know for sure that you have ED?
Since the absence of erection can sometimes be a result of emotional turmoil, how can you tell if it is simply a temporary problem or sexual dysfunction?
If you have ED, you will notice these symptoms –
- Low levels of libido or loss of sexual interest
- Premature ejaculation
- Inability to achieve an orgasm
If these symptoms continue for more than 2 months, you most likely have erectile dysfunction.
Also, if you are a chronic patient, you are more susceptible to ED.
Why is erectile dysfunction a cause of concern?
Not only does erectile dysfunction cause problems in a relationship, but it could also be a sign of an underlying health condition. ED can result from one of these illnesses that require immediate treatment-
- Heart problems
- Blocked blood vessels
- High levels of bad cholesterol or LDL
- Parkinson’s disease
- Sleep disorders
- Multiple sclerosis
What raises your risk of getting ED?
Here are a few factors that make erectile dysfunction more likely-
- Tobacco use- Tobacco narrows your blood vessels and reduces the supply of blood to your penis (an erection is only possible when a large volume of blood travels to the penis).
- Obesity also reduces blood flow to the penis.
- Prostate cancer surgery or radiation therapy.
- An injury that causes damage to the nerves or arteries connected to the penis.
- A surgery that affects the spinal cord or the nerves.
- Drinking too much or consuming drugs.
How is erectile dysfunction diagnosed?
Firstly, a healthcare expert will ask you detailed questions about your symptoms and your medical history.
Is there any test that helps detect ED? Your doctor may ask you to do a few tests like blood tests, sonography or Nocturnal Penile Tumescence test.
Thankfully, erectile dysfunction can be managed. If the cause of this disorder is psychological, then sexual counselling may help. Talking with a therapist will help you overcome those mental blocks that are preventing you from getting an erection.
If the cause of this disorder is some medicines that you are taking, your doctor may decrease the dose of these or change the medication.
In case there are other causes, you may be prescribed medicines that will improve blood flow to the penis and make an erection possible.
Based on your underlying condition, medication can be herbal or allopathic. You can decide which you want to opt for and talk to your healthcare provider about it.
Treatment can also comprise therapy. It’s very important to note here that Erectile Dysfunction is nothing to be ashamed of. With the right treatment, you can have a normal and happy sex life.