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What is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a condition in which an individual has difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection. ED is the most frequent sexual problem that men report to their doctor.

Periodic problems with erections are not unusual. Most partners understand that every man occasionally has trouble getting and maintaining an erection. Accordingly, failing to get an erection after a night out drinking or getting back from one stressful day at work does not constitute erectile dysfunction. If you start to notice a pattern and this is becoming routine, it’s time for a conversation with your doctor.

Psychological Causes

Many people with ED do not seek treatment because they believe that it is all in their heads. They might think that their partner does not like them anymore, or that they are just too shy to ask someone out. These thoughts are very common in younger people but can become even more prevalent in older adults.

However, ED can be caused by other psychological factors, which are far more common than physical causes. These include:

∙ Prolonged job problems

∙ Loss or grief

∙ Relationship troubles

∙ Fear of aging

∙ Financial burden

∙ General anxiety, stress, and/or depression

Psychological stressors such as these affect how our brains signal our bodies' physical responses. In the case of getting an erection, the brain cannot send signals to the penis to facilitate the extra blood flow as it normally would.

Physical Causes

This stress and anxiety are known to lead to several other health conditions that have the potential to put a more significant strain on one's life, including:

∙ High cholesterol and blood pressure

∙ Heart disease, diabetes, and other circulatory problems

∙ Obesity

∙ Low testosterone and other endocrine problems

∙ Metabolic syndrome

∙ Neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease

Medications

Medications used for these and other conditions are known to contribute to ED as well. Some examples include:

∙ Antidepressants

∙ Anti-seizure medications

∙ Blood thinners

∙ Birth control pills

∙ Drugs for high blood pressure

∙ Painkillers

∙ Steroids

Habitual, instructed or abusive, use of these medications and other intoxicants will almost certainly hurt a man's chances of "getting it up".

If you believe you or a loved one may have a problem with personal substance abuse and you need support, please contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 or visit their website by clicking here.

Prostate Disease and ED

Prostate surgery to remove tumors, radiation therapy, and other procedures to treat prostate diseases can cause ED. The extent of the condition's effect on the case of ED is determined by the impact on nervous tissues or arteries that are needed for an erection.

∙ Prostate Cancer - One's ability to regain erections is reliant on several factors including the patient’s age, the surgeon’s skill, and any tumor locations.

∙ Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) - Although BPH doesn't directly contribute to ED, some of its treatments do.

Diagnosis

Are you ever worried that you might have ED? Are you ever wanting to feel young again, improve your romantic life, or feel more confident?

If so, schedule an appointment with a urologist at Urology Care of Central Florida.