The ability to function sexually is one which many people regard as the true hallmark of manliness. Therefore, any shortcomings in this area is typically accompanied by a sense of inadequacy. Unfortunately, this is a situation which more and more men are grappling with. Erectile dysfunction (ED) is defined as “the consistent or recurrent inability to attain and/or maintain penile erection sufficient for sexual satisfaction”. Some studies have found that between 50% and 60% of Nigerian men suffer from ED. This exerts substantial effects on their quality of life.
Signs and Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction
ED manifests itself in several ways. These include:
- Difficulty obtaining an erection – where a man’s body cannot achieve an erection in response to sexual arousal.
- Weak erection – where an erection is not suitable to achieve penetration during sexual intercourse.
- Inability to maintain an erection – where a man achieves an erection but loses it before achieving ejaculation.
- Premature ejaculation – in this situation, a man achieves erection with relatively little stimulation or early during sexual intercourse.
Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
ED can be caused by a variety of conditions including medical, lifestyle, psychological and physiological. Some medical conditions which could cause ED include:
- heart disease
- high blood pressure
- high cholesterol
- hormone imbalances
- kidney disease
Mental conditions such as anxiety and depression also impact a man’s ability to function sexually. Obesity and increased age tend to degrade bodily functions. These also ultimately could impact on an individual’s ability to function sexually.
Medications prescribed to treat some medical conditions can have ED as a side-effect. These include some medications prescribed to treat heart disease and psychological problems.
Finally, alcohol consumption and tobacco use can also impede sexual function in some men.
Treatment of ED is dependent on the underlying cause. A doctor will need to assess each individual to determine the most optimal course of treatment. Treatment options include:
- Sexual counseling
- Oral medications
- Injected, implanted, or topically applied medications
Some of these options may need to be accompanied by lifestyle changes. This will help to ensure the primary causes of the problem are addressed.
Can I Just Go and Get Viagra or Ciallis from a Pharmacy?
NO. The individual concerned needs to consult with a doctor prior to taking any medication for ED. Some medications typically prescribed for ED may have some side effects which could be adverse to the individual concerned. Also, taking the medications in conjunction with other medications could be dangerous. Therefore, it is important to consult with a doctor to determine the best treatment option for ED.