When a man is finding it difficult to have or maintain an erection it is known as erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction (ED) is also known as sexual dysfunction or impotence. There are a number of hormones, muscles, nerves, and blood vessels that work in conjunction with one another to signal an erection when a man is sexually motivated.
An erection begins in the brain. Both physical and mental stimulation cause nerves in the brain to send chemical messages to nerves in the penis telling the penile blood vessels to relax so that blood can flow freely into the penis. Once blood gets in the penis, high pressure traps the blood within both corpora cavernosa which causes the penis to expand and sustain an erection.
When the inflow of blood is stopped and opening outflow channels open, an erection is reversed allowing the penis to become soft.
Erectile dysfunction occurs occasionally and is not really a serious issue. However, if a man is unable to achieve an erection 25 or 30 percent of the time or even more of the time during sexual intercourse, then he may have a health problem.
The causes of erectile dysfunction can be psychological, especially for younger men and this may include:
- Anxiety over not being able to achieve or maintain an erection
- Prolonged emotional distress
- Problems with relationship
Physical factors associated with erectile dysfunction may include the following below, and are more common with older men; causes may include:
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Hardening of the arteries
- Tobacco use
- Circumcision complications
- Liver or kidney disease
- Treatment for prostate problems
- Development of scar tissue in the penis
- Injury to the genital region
- Complications resulting from circumcision
Depending on the cause of your erectile problem, you may find an underlying solution with erection support especially if they are psychological, you will have to make some lifestyle changes for some physical causes that are beneficial to both the psychological and physical causes of erectile dysfunction. Such lifestyle changes are:
- Getting plenty of rest
- Eating a healthy diet
- Exercising regularly
- Cutting down or stopping tobacco use
- Reducing alcohol consumption
- Talking with your partner about sexual issues and then monitor your progress.
If your progress is not good enough or you are not satisfied with your progress, then you may have to go for examination to diagnosed the cause of your erectile dysfunction and address the underlying health problem if any.