Erectile Dysfunction: What Can You Do?

January 15th, 2015 | by

It is estimated that up to 30 million men struggle with erectile dysfunction (ED) in the United States, which makes for a lot of men who most likely have some negative emotions over such. After all, it’s tough for men to accept the fact that something is causing them not to be able to hold an erection for long, which makes having sexual intercourse difficult.

Causes of ED

There are many theories as to why men experience ED, with the more common reasons being medication, too much alcohol, poor blood flow, or chronic stress and fatigue. Diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure may also contribute to ED.

Additional causes may be:

Mental. High anxiety and stress can cause ED.  Sometimes this can occur due to a strained relationship, depression, or extreme job pressure.

Neurological disorders. Neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, and stroke can cause the libido to diminish.

Hormones. Lack of hormones such as hyperprolactinemia and androgen can cause libido to diminish.

Smoking can cause ED.

Vascular conditions like heart disease and veno-occlusive dysfunction can cause ED.

Drugs. Medicinal drugs like antidepressants, antipsychotics, pain medication, and many other prescribed drugs can cause ED.

Treatment for ED

Sometimes a simple lifestyle change may be all that is needed in order to improve or cure ED, such as cutting out alcohol or drinking less, losing some weight, stop smoking, and maybe even doing some exercise.  For many men, this tends to do them well in just about every area of life.  For others, treatment may consist of:

Therapy.  You may benefit from counseling, as an underlying cause of ED could be mental, chronic stress, financial worries, or another issue that you may not be aware of. Counselors can help you decipher what changes you can make in order to contend with ED mentally and physically.

Medication. There are some prescribed drugs that can help with ED. Some you can take by mouth, some you have to insert into the urethra, and some you have to inject directly into your penis. The most common type of medication prescribed are called phosphodiesterase (PDE) type 5 inhibitors. The most common ones are Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, and Stendra.

Vacuum pumps. Vacuum devices work by getting more blood flow to your penis.  It is actually quite effective, with about 80 percent of men stating that they can achieve an erection long enough to have intercourse.

Natural remedies. There are some natural remedies that work for some men, including:

  • Ginseng
  • L-arginine
  • Ginkgo
  • Yohimbe
  • Watermelon juice

Should you have ED, consult with your physician about your treatment options.