Erectile Dysfunction: Signs, Symptoms, Causes & Treatments


What is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is also known as ‘impotence’ (or‘ED’). It is the failure to achieve an erection when stimulated and to maintain it for a sufficiently long period of time to perform sexual intercourse properly.

The penis has a cylindrical tube inside the skin which covers the veins. When a person gets sexually aroused the amount of blood flow to the penis gets increased significantly and causes the penis to get longer and firm.

Signs and Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction?

These are some of the most noticeable signs and symptoms of an erectile dysfunction:

  • Difficulty in getting an erection
  • Difficulty in maintaining an erection
  • Decrease in sexual desire (lowered libido)

Causes of Erectile Dysfunction?

The process of male sexual arousal, to be effective, requires the ideal combination of mental, hormonal, nervous, muscular and vascular factors. Erectile dysfunction may be caused due to a problem with any of these factors. The state of the mental health and presence of stress in life can also affect the erectile functioning of the penis.

Sometimes a combination of psychological as well as physical issues can lead to the development of erectile dysfunction.

These are some of the causes which are known to develop erectile dysfunction in men:

Physical Causes – The majority of cases of erectile dysfunction are caused by various physical factors, such as:

  • Heart conditions
  • Clogged blood vessels (Atherosclerosis)
  • Higher-than-normal cholesterol level
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity (Overweight)
  • Diabetes
  • Metabolic conditions (Hormonal Imbalance)
  • Peyronie’s disease (scar tissue on penis)
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Excessive tobacco consumption
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Several prescription drugs
  • Sleeping disorders
  • Prostate cancer/enlarged prostate treatments

Psychological Causes - The psychological stimulus is important in achieving an erection when sexually aroused. There are various things that can affect sexual arousal and are also likely to worsen erectile dysfunction.

These are:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Relationship problems

How is Erectile Dysfunction Diagnosed?

Diagnosing erectile dysfunction involves an initial physical examination by an experienced doctor. The doctor will check for any underlying conditions, including chronic problems that also cause erectile dysfunction.

These are some of the more common tests performed to determine the cause of erectile dysfunction:

Physical exam - The doctor may examine your testicles and penis to check for normal nerve sensations.

Blood tests - A blood test can help determine if an underlying condition such as diabetes, heart ailments or lower testosterone levels may be the cause of erectile dysfunction.

Urinalysis - A urine test can also help for determining signs of diabetes or other underlying conditions that may be causing erectile dysfunction.

Ultrasound - This test is useful in testing the blood flow in the penile blood vessels to check for vascular blood supply problems in the penis.

This test in performed after inducing an artificial erection with an injection of medicines to stimulate blood flow.

Overnight erection test - Most men get an erection during sleep unawares. This test involves wrapping a device around the penis before going to sleep to measure the number of erections as well as their strength. This helps determine if the erectile dysfunction is being caused due to a physical or psychological condition.

Psychological tests - These tests are performed to check for any kind of psychological issues such as stress or depression that might be causing erectile dysfunction.

Treatments for Erectile Dysfunction?

There are various treatment methods for treatment of erectile dysfunction in males. The doctor will advise on the best treatment for erectile dysfunction depending mainly on the cause and extent of the erectile dysfunction.

These are the different treatment methods for erectile dysfunction:

Oral medications

There are a variety of different oral medications that are prescribed to treat erectile dysfunction (ED). The main aim of these medications is to increase the effects of nitric oxide to relax the muscles in the penis. This causes an increase in the blood flow to the penis and allows the patient to gain erection with sexual stimulation.

Other medications

Other medications for treatment of erectile dysfunction are:

Alprostadil self-injection - This is injected into the base of the penis using a very fine needle. It can help to induce an erection for around an hour.

Testosterone replacement - In case the erectile dysfunction is due to lowered levels of testosterone in the body then testosterone replacement therapy is usually recommended initially.

Penis pumps - A penis pump is a vacuum erection device. It consists of a hollow tube with either a hand-powered or a battery-powered pump. This device is used by placing the penis inside the hollow tube and using the pump to create a vacuum in the tube. This vacuum pulls the blood into the penis and gives an erection.

Once an erection is achieved a tension ring is placed around the base of the penis to maintain the increased blood flow in it.

Penile implants - This surgical treatment involves placement of devices in the sides of the penis. These implants are usually semi-rigid or inflatable rods. The inflatable rods are more preferred as they allow deciding the duration of maintaining the erection, while the semi-rigid rod is bendable.

These implants are usually used as a last resort in case other treatment methods for ED have been unsuccessful.

Blood vessel surgery - In rare cases, erectile dysfunction may be caused due to an obstructed blood vessel. A surgical treatment may help to repair this condition. The surgeon may use either a bypass method or vascular stent implant.

Psychological counseling - If the erectile dysfunction is being caused due to a psychological condition such as anxiety, depression, and stress, the doctor might advise the couple to go for psychological counseling sessions.

Why choose Travcure for Best Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction in India?

India is known for the large network of global-class healthcare facilities and world class doctors. These are spread over all its major cities, such as Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, etc for added convenience. These are high-tech hospitals and clinics that are equipped with the latest in medical technology. TRAVCURE offers the best treatment and affordable cost for erectile dysfunction treatments (impotence) for every patient from abroad in the most efficient manner possible.

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