What is an erection problem?
An erection problem
(also called erectile dysfunction and sometimes impotence) refers to a man's
consistent inability to get or maintain an erection sufficient to have
satisfactory sex. It does not mean a lack of sexual interest or desire or the
occasional difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection that affects all men
at some time in their lives.
What causes an erection problem?
The cause of
erection problems may be physical (such as injury to the nerves or loss of
blood flow going to the penis) or psychological (such as anxiety or
depression). Medications you take for other conditions, alcohol consumption,
smoking, and illegal drug use can cause erection problems.
conditions may affect blood flow or the nervous system, increasing the risk of
having erection problems. These include
high blood pressure,
high cholesterol levels,
multiple sclerosis, and
can occur at any age but are more common in older men, who often have
additional health problems or who may be taking medicines that can interfere
with normal erectile function. Treatment of erection problems in older men can
be as effective as in younger men.
Why treat an erection problem?
The decision about
whether to treat an erection problem may not be as straightforward as the
decision about whether to treat many other medical conditions. An erection
problem is not life-threatening, yet it can seriously affect your emotional
health and sense of self-worth. It can also make it difficult to father a
child, if that is your desire. So the decision about whether to treat an
erection problem is often based on personal preference.
often, this decision is also based on how intensive or invasive the treatment
is and its chance of succeeding. Injecting medication directly into the penis
is often effective, but it is usually only considered after oral medicines
(such as sildenafil [Viagra], tadalafil [Cialis], and vardenafil [Levitra])
have been tried.