Erectile Dysfunction Symptoms and Treatments Modalities

Many people all across the globe do not like to talk about sexual illness. But the fact is that sexual problems can happen to anyone, and it is necessary to have some knowledge regarding them to identify them and get the help you need.

Among various sexual problems, erectile dysfunction is one the most common disorder among men. Researchers say it is expected, and the risk of developing problems increases with age. Some studies analyzed that ED is the standard form of sexual dysfunction that primarily affects men.

Some reports on how common ED varies widely. In a review of 2018, it is estimated that this disorder can affect about a third of men. Another study in 2019 reviewed that the global prevalence of ED can range between 3 percent to 76.5 percent. 

A study completed in 1994 also mentioned that about 52 percent of males experience some erectile dysfunction. That total ED increased from 5 percent to 15 percent between 40 to 70 years

Although the risk of this disorder increases with age, it is still possible for young men to experience the problem of ED. The research analyzed that it affected about 26 percent of men under 40.  

This research shows that even though professionals agree that ED is a common problem, prevalence can be hard to measure in a large population. It may be because researchers and professionals use different definitions of how erection problems must occur to be considered ED. 

Overviews of Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

ED or erectile dysfunction is the most common sexual problem in males. It affected about 30 million males. It is defined as trouble keeping or getting an erection firm enough for sex. However, it is not common for a man to have some problems with erections from time to time. ED that is progressive and happens regularly with sex is regular and should be treated timely. 

Erectile dysfunction can happen most often when blood flow in the penis decreases or nerves get damaged due to stress or emotions. It can be an early warning of a more severe illness such as heart problems, high blood sugar, or high blood pressure. Finding the cause of this problem will help treat the disease and support overall well-being. As a rule, good things for your heart health are also good for your sexual health

Some people may gradually experience difficulty with their penis staying hard or becoming firm. However, ED is often only a concern if sexual performance is consistently impossible. 

How does an erection work?

During sexual activity, nerves release chemicals that increase the blood flow into the penis. The blood flows into two erection chambers in the penis made of spongy muscle tissue, also called corpus cavernosum, which is not hollow.

At the erection, the spongy tissues relax and trap the blood. The blood pressure in the chamber makes the penis hard or firm causes erection. When a man has an orgasm, the second set of nerve signals reaches the penis and causes the muscular tissues in the penis to contract, blood is released back in the circulation, and the erection comes down. 

When you are not roused sexually, your penis is soft and limp. Males may notice that the size of their penis varies with warmth, worry, and cold, and this is normal and reflects the balance of blood coming into and leaving the penis. 

What is the leading cause of erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction affects about 20 million people in the USA. The prevalence of this condition is over 50 percent in those above age 50 years and increases with the person’s age. Normal function erection can be affected by problems with an individual’s blood flow, hormonal levels, and nervous system. Individuals may also experience this problem due to psychological issues such as worry over sexual performance. 

Gay men stated that erectile dysfunction is higher than heterosexual men. However, the exact cause for this remains unknown, and scientist recommends more study in this field.

Physical causes of ED

Many cases of ED are secondary, which means it has been expected but becomes problematic. The possibilities of new and persistent problems are usually physical. In many cases, a person may have primary ED. It is where a person has never achieved an erection. The primary cause of ED may be psychological or the result of physical problems.

An individual should consult a medical professional if they experience persistent erection issues, as an underlying medical problem that could cause other issues. A proper diagnosis can help determine any underlying medical problems and help to resolve sexual difficulties. 

Some common physical causes of ED include diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, or surgical problems. It can also occur due to hormonal disorder, structural or anatomical disorder, smoking, alcohol, abuse, prostate disease treatment, pelvic area injuries, or radiation therapy. 

Atherosclerosis is a common cause of problems with blood flow. It causes a narrowing of arteries in the penis to prevent necessary blood flow to produce an erection. Various prescription drugs should consult their health care provider before stopping their medication. Some medicines that cause erectile dysfunction include high blood pressure control, heart medicines, anxiety drugs, opioid pain medicines, or hormone drugs. 

The physical cause of ED accounts for 90 percent of the cases, with psychological causes much less common. 

Psychological causes of ED

Psychological factors that contribute to ED range from treatable mental conditions to everyday emotional states that many people experience. They are less common than physical causes, however. Some psychological factors include fear of intimacy, generalized anxiety, or depression. 

An individual may be unable to attain a full erection due to specific sexual performance anxiety, a common psychological factor in people with impaired functioning of erection. According to a review, concern for sexual performance affects about 9.25 percent of males.

It is also necessary to know that there can be an overlap between psychological and medical causes. For example, if an individual is obese or blood flow changes can affect the ability of a person to maintain erection, it is a physical cause. However, an individual may also have the low-esteem impacting erectile function, a psychological reason.

What are the possible symptoms of erectile dysfunction (ED)?

An individual does not consistently successfully achieve an erection. If it happens occasionally, it is not considered a medical illness. However, if a person is regularly unable to achieve an erection, they may have erectile dysfunction. There is no defined time frame over which an individual experiences ED to receive a diagnosis. Some experts suggest that six months is suitable. 

However, this sexual illness only refers to a complete inability to achieve an erect penis. Some symptoms can include struggling to maintain an erection for prolonged time enough to complete intercourse or an inability to ejaculate. There are often emotional symptoms, including embarrassment, anxiety, shame, or reduced interest in sexual activity. 

How to diagnose Erectile dysfunction (ED)?

Diagnosis of erectile dysfunction can involve various steps, including physical examination and examining your health and sexual history. Your health care provider may order additional tests to determine if your symptoms are caused due to an underlying condition. 

Physical test

For a physical exam, your health care professional may listen to your lungs and heart, examine your testicles and penis, and check blood pressure. They can also advise for the rectal exam to examine your prostate. 

Psychological history

Your health care professional may ask you a few questions to fill out a questionnaire about the symptoms, sexual history, or health history. Your responses can help experts to evaluate the seriousness of your erectile dysfunction. 

They may ask you several questions, including:

  • Are you facing problems feeling sexual desires, reaching orgasm, or ejaculating?
  • From how long have you been experiencing ED? Did it occur gradually or suddenly?
  • How often do you do the sexual activity? Has this frequency changed recently?
  • Is your erection firm? Is it affected by particular situations or types of stimulation?
  • How is your current relationship? What expectations do you or your partner have for each other?
  • Do you wake up in the middle of the night or morning with erections?
  • Medications you are currently taking? Do you use tobacco or alcohol?
  • Are you suffering from an underlying condition, or do you have any surgery or injury in your pelvic area?

Additional tests

Experts may also perform additional testing to diagnose your sudden erectile dysfunction. Some other tests they may recommend are:

  • Injection test- In this test, a drug is injected into your penis to stimulate erection. It allows your health care professional to evaluate the firmness of the erection and how long it can last. This test can also be combined with ultrasound to further assess the erection. 
  • Nocturnal penile tumescence test- In this test, a portable battery device is worn on the thigh that evaluates the quality of your nocturnal erections. It stores the data which experts can access later.
  • Blood test- They can check for the health conditions such as diabetes, thyroid issues, heart problems, low levels of testosterone
  • Ultrasound- In this testing method, the examination of blood vessels of the penis is performed to determine if there are any issues with penile blood flow. 
  • Urine tests- In this testing method, a urine sample is taken to determine the level of diabetes or other underlying health problems.

All the tests mentioned above help your health care professional guide your treatment and determine if underlying conditions may cause your erectile dysfunction.

Latest and most effective treatment of erectile dysfunction?

Difficulty maintaining an erection during sexual activities is the most common symptom of erectile dysfunction. 

Other sexual disorders related to ED may include delayed ejaculations, premature ejaculation, or anorgasmia. Talk to your health care provider if you have any of these symptoms, especially if they have lasted for three or more months. They might help your o determine whether your symptoms are caused by an underlying condition that requires treatment. 

But the good news is that there are many treatments for erectile dysfunction, and most people will find a solution that works for them. The treatments of ED will depend on the underlying cause. You may need to use combination treatments such as medications and talk therapy.


Your health care professional may recommend drugs to manage the symptoms of ED. You may need to try various medications before you find one that works. Oral drugs stimulate blood flows to your penis to help erectile dysfunction. These drugs may include avanafil, tadalafil, sildenafil, or vardenafil

Alprostadil is another drug that can also be used to treat this disorder. It can be administered in various ways, such as a penile suppository or self-injection at the base or side of the penis. However, in many cases, this drug is not used alone as an injection, and a combination drug such as Trimix is used instead. 

Your health care provider may recommend testosterone replacement therapy if you have low testosterone levels. These drugs are used for other conditions that cause erectile dysfunction

Talk therapy

Several psychological factors can cause ED, such as anxiety, stress, depression, and post-traumatic. If you are experiencing psychological ED, you can benefit from talk therapy. Over various sessions, you and your therapist will discuss significant stress, anxiety factors, feelings around sex, and subconscious conflicts that could affect your sexual well-being.

Simple tricks to cure Erectile dysfunction

Regular Exercise: a healthy way to prevent various medical issues, including ED, is regular exercising. When you work out regularly, your blood circulation increases, which helps with erection, regular exercising has also been known for testosterone creation, consequently improving your sex life.

Avoid smoking or alcohol: Drinking a lot of liquor increases the danger of getting ED because blood flow to the penis is reduced, subsequently keeping the penis from achieving an erection. It is, therefore, necessary to minimize consuming alcohol to at most two drinks in a day. 

Yoga: It is the best way to relax your body and mind. Since anxiety or stress can cause ED, practicing yoga may be the best way to ease the symptoms. 


Erectile dysfunction occurs when an individual is regularly unable to attain a full erection. This sexual illness is common and affects around 20 million Americans. An individual may experience this condition due to physical factors such as high cholesterol levels or psychological reasons, such as sexual performance anxiety. 

Your health care provider may recommend various treatments for this sexual illness, including prescription drugs and, in rare cases, surgeries. 

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