Past three weeks we talked about vaginal discharge, menstruation, and what to eat for good sexual health. It has been far, exciting writing these topics and share knowledge.

Today I want to talk briefly on a rather much larger issue, there are so many things about Erectile Dysfunction. This is now becoming a much bigger problem among middle-aged men and it is also associated with the physical health of elderly men. 

Erectile dysfunction: Treatments and causes

Erectile Dysfunction is a failure to initiate or maintain an erection long enough to have satisfactory sexual intercourse. Meaning a man cannot erect his penis or keep the erection long enough to have sexual intercourse, this results in failure to climax both himself and his partner. 

Erectile Dysfunction is a failure to initiate or maintain an erection long enough to have satisfactory sexual intercourse.


Erection is caused by complex mechanisms that involve brain and blood flow. The initiation of erection could be thoughts or physical touch with your own penis or a woman sexually. In order penis to erect, it has to first relax and let blood flow into two muscle chambers and this leads to erections, then after muscles contract and pushed blood out. Any problem along this flow will lead to erectile dysfunction.


Erectile dysfunction

Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction 

· Failure to erect

· Failure to maintain an erection

· Premature/Delayed ejaculation

· Failure to ejaculate

· Reduced Sexual desire “libido” +/-



What are the causes of erectile dysfunction?


There are both emotional causes and physical causes. Emotional causes affect middle-aged men as well as puberty boys and youths. Problems such as stress and anxiety result in erectile dysfunction. These can also initiate psychological damage. 

Erectile Dysfunction

A boy having sex for the first time could be anxious and if he thoughts he did bad, is likely to grow without confidence again and this might impair his sexual life. But also there are times a girl you thought is out of your league agrees to sleep with you, the anxiety might cause your penis not to erect. 

Stress and anxiety can lead to erectile dysfunction.


For middle-aged men who have issues such as family problems; social and economic and they do not address them properly they might start losing sexual desire and eventually develop erectile dysfunction.

Physical causes such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, drug addiction, too much alcohol, and sleep disorders affect elderly men. Each of these causes and many others are long topics of discussion. Below I will only talk on diabetes.


Erectile Dysfunction and diabetes


50% of diabetic patients are at risk of developing erectile dysfunction. There are two main types of diabetes: I and II in which there is a lack of enough insulin produced or insufficiency of insulin produced respectively.

A diabetic person has higher levels of sugar in the blood. Having high amounts of sugar in your blood can lead to damage to the blood vessels and nerves. This damage can also affect the blood vessels and nerves located around the penis, leading to difficulties attaining or maintaining an erection.


How to treat this problem?

There are many ways that are used to tackle erectile dysfunction. 

  • The first step is to go to the hospital and open up to your doctor and together you will look into what specific causes and risk factors you have. Your doctor will develop a plan accordingly. Many people are treated with psychotherapy after being referred to a psychiatrist. For those with underlying physical causes, treating the causes can restore erection.
  • There are exercises such as Kegel; where you contract pelvic floor muscles for 3 seconds and repeat this for 10 to 30 times a day. To identify the muscles try to stop peeing mid-stream and after identifying keep contract them. Other physical exercises such as running and swimming help. Moderate to vigorous exercise is not only good for your overall health but also can increase blood flow, possibly helping with erectile dysfunction.
  • Herbs and supplements are used, it is important to meet licensed traditional medicine doctors and discuss options. 
ED

  • Younger patients can do vascular surgery to restore good blood flow.

Prevention

There are several steps you can take to help prevent ED. Many of these steps involve making healthy lifestyle changes. Therefore, they’re not only good for preventing ED, but also for improving your overall health. 

Erectile Dysfunction


Follow the advice below to help prevent ED: 

  • Keep medical conditions such as heart disease and diabetes under control.
  • Make sure that you get regular exercise.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Focus on eating a healthy diet.
  • Find ways to reduce or manage stress.
  • Seek help if you’re experiencing anxiety or depression.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Only use alcohol in moderation.
  • Avoid using drugs that haven’t been recommended by your doctor.
  • You should also be sure to keep up with your regular checkups. Your doctor will monitor important clinical measurements, such as your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. This can help with early identification and treatment of conditions that can potentially lead to ED.
Written by Augustine Rutasingwa ( A doctor to be, Traveller), you can find him on Twitter (#Daktari Mtalii)