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Erectile dysfunction: symptoms, causes, and solutions

Erectile dysfunction (ED) may be embarrassing in the moment, but it is familiar to many men. There are more than 3 million cases of the condition reported in the U.S. yearly, more than many men who experience ED symptoms may expect. Erectile dysfunction is a form of sexual dysfunction where a man cannot get or keep an erection for enough time to have sex. Many men with ED also report a decreased sex drive and low sexual self confidence.

A sudden onset of erectile dysfunction can be surprising and stressful, as there are many causes of the condition that one might not immediately associate with sexual performance. Most men have experienced erectile dysfunction occasionally, but it becomes a problem when ED keeps you from having and enjoying sex in multiple instances over a period of time.

Sometimes physical problems like excessive drug and alcohol use, kidney disease, or heart problems contribute to ED, but so can everyday issues like stress, injuries, medications, or relationship problems. When doctors treat erectile dysfunction, they often first seek out its cause: whether their patient is unable to get an erection because of a physiological problem with nerves, blood vessels, or hormones, or because of psychosocial factors like depression or anxiety. To determine the cause, doctors will ask for a patient’s medical and sexual history to identify when and how the problem started.

Once erectile dysfunction has been diagnosed, treatment to restore sexual performance and pleasure can take several forms. The treatment most people are familiar with is medication, like Kamagra 100mg (sildenafil), which is taken about an hour before sex and makes it easier to get an erection in response to sexual stimulation.

The medication was developed in the late 1990s as a potential treatment for heart disease; while it didn’t work as a heart medication, researchers noticed men taking the medication reported increased ability to get and maintain an erection, and soon the drug revolutionized erectile dysfunction treatment. An American Urological Association Consensus Panel on Erectile Dysfunction review of ED drug trials found that in most studies, a majority of men with ED were able to have sex with the help of medication.

Other solutions include discontinuing medications that may cause erectile dysfunction, using herbal supplement, and vacuum penis pumps. And, if erectile dysfunction is caused by an underlying medical condition, treating that condition effectively may improve ED symptoms. In rare cases, surgical treatment may be used. Many health insurance plans cover treatment of erectile dysfunction.

The emotional impact of ED sometimes calls for treatment, too. The disruption it creates in a couple’s sex life can cause low self esteem, anxious feelings, relationship conflict, and frustration. Many men with erectile dysfunction address concerns with their partner and doctor together, take part in sex therapy with their partner, or attend support groups for men with ED.

But, an erectile dysfunction diagnosis does not mean crisis. The condition is very common and very treatable, and armed with knowledge about the condition, a patient, his partner, and his doctor can work together to restore the couple’s sexual activity and satisfaction.

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