Signs Of Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a sexual disorder, which happens in males. It is quite common among men of all ages. The only difference is that the reason for its occurrence can vary between the younger and older men. In general, the majority of younger males develop ED because of psychological reasons, whereas, older males, that is, men above 50 years of age may experience it because of some underlying physiological health condition and its symptoms might worsen because of psychological factors like stress, anxiety, or depression.    

It is normal to experience difficulties with the erection function once in a while, however, if it happens quite frequently then it is a matter of concern. Frequent episodes of difficulties with the erection function can be a sign of erectile dysfunction. The indications or symptoms of erectile dysfunction are given below:

You are struggling to get erections

This can be attributed to psychogenic or physiological factors. Some may experience difficulties in getting sexually aroused, which can be the reason they are facing difficulties with the sexual response. Trouble in getting erections usually happens when the blood vessels of the penile fail to accommodate adequate blood to trigger stronger erections. This happens because of constricted blood vessels.

For an erection response, some sort of sexual stimulation and arousal is fundamental, that is when the blood flow to the penile increases. During arousal, the cavernous nerves of the penile trigger the release of a neurotransmitter chemical, known as nitric oxide in the inner walls of the penile blood vessels.

This neurotransmitter chemical conducts vasodilation in the penile, which allows more and more blood to flow to the penile. As more blood flows inside the penile blood vessels, it gets trapped under high pressure to maintain the erection.    However, when this series of actions does not occur properly, one may struggle to get erections. 

You are unable to sustain erections

Lack of blood flow inside the penile blood vessels happens because of constrictions. The blood vessels become narrow and the blood flow inside them limits. Due to a lack of adequate blood, the blood vessels fail to trap enough blood inside, resulting in feeble erections or no erections at all.

For an erection to be sustained, the key requirements are arousal, release of nitric oxide in the walls of the blood vessels, vasodilation in the penile, and increase in the blood supply in the penile blood vessels.

Diminished sexual desire

Some men might lose their interest in sex owing to several reasons such as hormonal imbalances (low testosterone), chronic health conditions, old age, and side effects of medications. This symptom becomes quite common as men get older. With age, they tend to experience a decline in the levels of testosterone hormone, which is the primary sex hormone in males, and as a result, their sex drive or libido dwindles.

Physiological factors contributing to ED  

Erectile dysfunction can stem from physiological health conditions such as cardiovascular disorders, high cholesterol, atherosclerosis, high blood sugar (diabetes), heart disease, kidney dysfunction, obesity, or Peyronie’s disease.  All these are chronic health conditions that mainly affect your blood vessels, thereby potentiating your chances of developing erection dysfunction. Damaged blood vessels hinder blood circulation to the penile organ. Blood circulation is essential for a healthy erection function, but lack of it can make it difficult for an individual to get and maintain stronger erections.   

Psychological factors contributing to ED  

Factors that interfere with your sexual response include performance anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, chronic stress, guilt, etc. These factors lead to psychogenic erectile dysfunction. It can be managed by making several positive changes in the lifestyle. Doing some mindful meditative experiences, yoga, and leisure activities can ease these factors. In case it is difficult, you can see your therapist, who can help you in managing such psychological conditions.

Ways to manage erectile dysfunction naturally

  • Healthy eating – Making healthy food choices regularly and sticking to a clean diet will be beneficial in the long run. It is necessary to consciously pick healthy food that is going to offer adequate nutrition. Consuming foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, leafy greens, etc. will provide your body with essential nutrients and minerals.
  • You must give up processed foods or junk meals that are usually loaded with refined carbohydrates, lots of sugar, unhealthy fats, sodium, and other substances like preservatives. Such foods cause gradual damage to your health, so, avoiding them is the best choice.    
  • Stay hydrated – Hydration is absolutely essential. You should drink up to 8 to 10 glasses of water per day. This will prevent dehydration, and your body will be able to get rid of the toxins more efficiently.
  • Remain physically active – Regular physical activity and exercises help maintain fitness and keep your body free of diseases or chronic health conditions. Certain types of exercises can be beneficial for reversing the symptoms of erectile dysfunction. They include Pilates and Kegels or pelvic floor exercises.
  • Kegels exercises strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and boost blood circulation to the reproductive organs. These exercises are highly beneficial in improving erection function.  
  • Meditation – Deep breathing and mindful activities can help curb the psychogenic factors that can lead to erectile dysfunction.

The lowdown

An increase in the blood supply to the penile is necessary to get and sustain erections. The erection response is a result of a series of events, including arousal, release of nitric oxide, vasodilation in the penile, and increases in the blood flow in the penile. The erection function is affected in some individuals, which can be attributed to several health conditions that might be physiological or psychological in nature.     

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