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November 30, 2019

What is Impotence/Erectile Dysfunction?

The capacity to have sexual intercourse varies among individuals and at different stages of life. A temporary lessening of desire is nothing to worry about, but sometimes it may indicate an underlying medical problem. It can also cause anxiety or threaten a relationship. Thus, it is the time when sexual health examination or counseling is needed. If you suspect a medical problem, it is necessary to see your doctor or sex therapist. 

Erectile dysfunction (ED) also called impotence is the inability of a man to achieve an erection. Some men can have an erection, but they are unable to maintain it. Occasional impotence is not uncommon among men’s population because males experience it during times of stress. However, frequent times of experiencing impotence can be a sign of an underlying health problem. Read and know the various things and information which can be your guide on how to deal with impotence. 


Causes of Impotence

Impotence intervenes with a man's ability to have sexual intercourse due to inadequate erection and often regarded with fear and embarrassment. It may be just a temporary problem, and most men may have experienced erectile dysfunction from time to time. Human sexual response is largely triggered by emotional stimuli, so it is not surprising that the majority of the common causes of impotence are psychological factors. Here are the common causes why does a man experience impotence:

Psychological Causes

  • General lack of confidence related to self-image and work performance
  • Fear of having children or contracting sexually transmitted diseases
  • If a man is stressed, depressed or has a mental health condition
  • Problems with a couple's relationship or marital problems
  • If a man feels guilty that he is not satisfying his partner
  • Sexual trauma or childhood abuse
  • Inhibited sexual desire

Physical Causes

  • Any illness that makes a man temporarily weak or tired
  • Excessive intake of alcohol and smoking cigarettes
  • Damage to the spinal cord and nerves of the pelvis
  • Blockage of the arteries (atherosclerosis)
  • Men who have heart disease or diabetes
  • Certain disorders of the prostate
  • Advanced chronic liver disease


Risk Factors of Impotence

Here are the following risk factors that are linked and increases a man's chances of having erectile dysfunction. However, addressing modifiable risk factors can help improve the reproductive health and the general well-being of men. 

  • Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) - A study conducted by the Harvard University School of Public Health revealed that men who are experiencing symptoms of RLS have a 50 percent increased risk of becoming impotent compared to men who don't experience the symptoms of RLS. 
  • Cardiovascular Disease - Research shows that erectile dysfunction is linked to heart disease and often an early warning sign of cardiovascular problems. Men aged 45 above with moderate or severe impotence were up to 50 percent more likely to be hospitalized for heart problems. 
  • Stress and Anxiety - Mental health conditions including stress and anxiety can affect how the brain signals the body's physical response including erections. Therefore, if a person is stressed or having anxiety problems, it can interrupt how the brain sends messages to the penis.
  • Obesity - It has been shown that obesity has a significant impact on sexual health. Itis one of the major risk factors of impotence because it affects insulin resistance, hormonal imbalance, blood pressure levels and psychological factors related to sexual dysfunction. 
  • Alcoholism and tobacco use Excessive alcohol intake and smoking cigarettes can lessen your sexual desire and affect your erections. Smoking and drinking alcohol can impair the physiological process of erectile function and reaching orgasm. 


Signs and Symptoms of Impotence

Here are the various signs and symptoms that a man will experience if he is suffering from erectile dysfunction: 
  • Able to get an erection but can't maintain it
  • High cholesterol and blood pressure levels
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Inability to have an erection
  • Difficulty achieving orgasm
  • Low sex drive


Erectile Dysfunction Remedies 

Here are the following remedies and lifestyle changes you can do for the prevention of erectile dysfunction: 
  • Have a Healthy Diet - You should include foods that can help boost your libido and overall general wellbeing. Fruits like bananas, avocados, and figs are known to be aphrodisiacs. Also, foods high in zinc and selenium like chia seeds, beef, oysters and spinach can help maintain healthy testosterone levels. 
  • Monitor Medications -  Certain drugs can also lead to erectile dysfunction for it can affect your blood flow. Some of these drugs are high blood pressure medications, diuretics, antidepressants, and hormone drugs. You should talk to your healthcare practitioner to know what medications are best for you. 
  • Regular ExerciseDoing exercises on a regular basis can help improve and increase your sex drive. Moreover, it will support your general wellbeing for it helps balance your blood pressure levels, cholesterol levels and improves your blood flow reducing your risk of developing diseases and promoting erection. 
  • Stress Management - Men can have issues with their sexual performance if they are stressed or have mental health issues due to a variety of problems related to their work, finances, and relationship. It is very essential to find ways in order to cope with these issues and reduce stress levels to improve impotence. 
  • Drink Less Alcohol and Stop Smoking - Heavy drinking may also be one of the factors that may be attributed to impotence for it has proven to reduce sexual desire since it is a depressant. You should also avoid smoking cigarettes for this can damage your blood vessels resulting in poor blood flow to the penis. 


Treatments for Erectile Dysfunction

If you think you are suffering from erectile dysfunction, we recommend consulting your healthcare practitioner to know what is the best treatment for you after knowing the cause of your impotence. 

  • Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises - Studies show that carrying out pelvic floor muscle exercises can be considered as one of the first-line approach for individuals who are seeking long-term resolution of their impotence. Pelvic exercises also called kegel exercises can help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles of men, reduce urinary incontinence and improve sexual health. 
  • Aromatherapy - Using essential oils is one of the natural and safest was that can help improve a man's sexual desire and performance. There are various essential oils that are known to be aphrodisiac which include ylang ylang, sandalwood, clary sage, and patchouli. These oils will not only help increase your sexual drive but will also relieve your stress and bring feelings of euphoria. 
  • Acupuncture - Research says that acupuncture can help combat erectile dysfunction that is caused by psychological factors. In addition, it can also help promote proper blood circulation and improve the quality of sexual activity. You should look for a certified medical acupuncturist that follows proper guidelines, uses sterilized and disposable needles for the safety process. 
  • Oral Medications - You can take oral medications that are recommended by your healthcare practitioner. Taking oral medications can effectively treat impotence in men. Some of these medications include sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis, Adcirca), avanafil (Stendra) and vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn). These medications might not treat impotence immediately, so it is very essential to talk with your doctor to find the right medication. 


National Institute of Health
Medical News Today

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