What is erectile dysfunction?

Also known as impotence, it is a common condition that can develop in men, either temporarily or permanently. Erectile dysfunction refers to the inability of a man to get a proper erection, in which the penis is not hard enough to carry out intercourse.

What are its causes?

This condition can develop due to a number of reasons, like:

  • Reduced blood flow to the penis
  • Excessive stress
  • Side effects of medications
  • Certain diseases (for example diabetes)
  • Drug or alcohol abuse, etc.

What are its symptoms?

The defining symptom of this condition is that the man is unable to obtain an erection. Even if he′s able to do so, there are instances where he is not able to maintain it. This is because the erection is supple and not adequate for sexual intercourse. Also at times, men suffering from this condition experience reduced sexual desire.

How does it affect fertility?

Even if a man is suffering from erectile dysfunction, he is still able to produce healthy sperms but is just not able to transfer them to his partner. Thus making pregnancy difficult. Many men take medications like Viagra to help in intercourse.

How can it be diagnosed?

Usually, a doctor would talk to you openly about any difficulties you may be having, especially while trying to have intercourse. On the basis of the discussion, this condition can be confirmed. This discussion may invade the patient′s privacy, but it helps understand the cause of the problem. Tests including blood count, blood sugar, lipid profile, etc. can help in analyzing if the dysfunction is related to any other conditions.

How can it be treated?

There are a number of methods used to treat erectile dysfunction, depending on the seriousness of the problem.

  • Lifestyle changes like losing weight, quitting smoking, reduced alcohol intake, etc.
  • Medication
  • Use of vacuum devices
  • Psychotherapy
  • Surgery

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