Impotency or erectile dysfunction determines the presence of such disorders in male sexual system that affect his incapacity to accomplish sexual intercourse. Erectile dysfunction (ED) the symptoms of which indicate inability to preserve erection on the level required for coitus performance or combination of both states may be characterized by either full incapacity to reach ejaculation or erection or short-term erection. Impotency was introduced to medicinal practice in 1655 as a medical term. Nevertheless, male sexual incapacity denoted by it occurred much earlier than was it determined in an appropriate manner.
For the moment, this determination is considered to be obsolete and instead of “impotency” the term “erectile dysfunction” is used. The risk of ED increases with age considerably. Thus, men over sixty years appear to have this impairment four times oftener than men under forty. Besides, based on the data of medical statistics concerning potency issues, it is well known that more than 30% of men between 18 and 60 have disorders in sexual system of various degrees of their manifestation. Thus, the age of impotency in every separate case is not limited to strict bounds; therefore, determination of definite figures for impairments occurrence in this area is mainly explained by individual factors and criteria.
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Signs and Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction
Initial stage of erectile dysfunction determines subsequent manifestations of this disorder. The first ED symptoms occur in the form of absence of man’s sexual desire in particular. Another widely-spread sign is a weak erection. Decrease of overall quantity of erections per day and altered flexibility of penis (which is especially relevant during sexual intercourse) are observed. The beginning of impotency is also marked by premature ejaculation. Besides, the indicated symptom of ejaculate occurrence before penis was introduced may testify not only considered disorder, but also become a sign of venous impairment.
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Men suffering from this disease experience the occurrence of personal peculiarities:
- Unwillingness not to differ from other men in one’s own behavior;
- Demonstration of lack of sensitivity and emotions, distance and standoffishness in relations;
- Ignoring of those demands which are experienced by other people, as well as proclivity for complacency and exaggeration, pretended assurance in one’s own superiority, egocentrism, incapacity to compassion, occurring phobias;
- Presence of anancastic features (occurrence of excessive scrupulousness, intrusive imagery and thoughts which are destructive for a patient, actuality of anxiety form of self-distrust, inferiority complex and constant feeling of guilt) very often combined with excessive impressionability;
- Constant reasoning about the correctness of actions committed;
- Presence of deviant features (in particular, deviant behavior is determined within the framework of sociology in the form of such actions of a man which are unfitted for official norms and social standards) resulting from which achieving of normal erection is only with certain sexual phantasies and stimulations.
Based on modern research studies, it was shown that erectile dysfunction is in 90% directly connected with relevance of one or another psychological factor, whereas organic disorders occupy only 10% of all impotency cases.
Am I under risk?
Erectile dysfunction may occur due to multiple causes; nevertheless, they are generally divided into two big groups by specialists: somatic and psychogenic. It is important to take into account that sexual disorders that occur in men due to influence of somatic factors are nearly always have significant psychological constituent.
Somatic causes of ED are the following:
- Endocrine diseases;
- Neuralgic disorders;
- Consequences of traumas.
Besides, according to medical practice, erectile dysfunction may be a side-effect of some medicinal products, such as for instance, beta blockers used for hypertension. Since the direct causes of ED are vascular disorders, smoking may take a great impact on male sexual capacity. The point is that tobacco contains a lot of substances which are extremely dangerous and influence human cardio-vascular system adversely.
Misuse of alcoholic beverages is also quite dangerous for male potency. It is noteworthy that many men consider alcoholic drinks to be stimulators of erection. But this is not the case. The fact is that under the influence of alcohol, sexual desire may enhance, but erectile function suffers considerably: blood vessels in penis become more rigid resulting in blood supply impairment. Moreover, alcohol takes adverse impact on testicles and impairs erectile capacities.
As to psychogenic causes of ED occurrence, they are listed as follows: depressive conditions, stresses, peculiarities of temperament and upbringing, false apprehension. It is worth mentioning that male attitude towards his sexual troubles is quite essential. Severe emotional stress regarding erectile impairment is able to aggravate situation in case the main cause of its occurrence is somatic. As a matter of fact, according to medical statistics, only 10-15% of ED cases are caused by psychogenic factors only.
Tests for Erectile Dysfunction
In most cases, patients treat sexual relations as a delicate topic due to which occurrence of erectile issues explains their reference to external factors. Very often, men try to hide their sexual problems. Practically in 95% of cases, this disorder is curable by means of medicamentous therapy, but this treatment is successful only in 10% of cases after consultation by a specialist. Because of this, the main problem accompanying diagnostics of ED is hidden in internal conflict which may be connected with man’s shyness and confusion due to this issue, and his expectation that a problem disappears on its own. In some cases, active sexual life is not important for a man; therefore, erectile issues are not considered to be a problem at all. Sometimes objective exposure of the disorder is delayed because of its exaggeration (a man thinks that his case is too serious).
A man should start worrying in the following cases:
- Avoiding of sexual intercourse one or another way (a man complains of headache, other health problems, weariness, he returns back home from work later, etc.);
- Any suggestions to have sex and hints are ignored;
- A man is never an initiator of sexual intercourse.
Psychological barrier for diagnostics of the condition may be removed by his partner, but the rest therapy must be conducted by a doctor.
What are main tests and diagnostic methods?
- Innervation method of penis (allowing to determine nerves condition of a penis; also, bulbocavernous reflex is tested);
- Ultrasonic examination method (to test cavernous bodies, detect signs of vascular atherosclerosis, calcinosis or cicatrisation of erectile tissue, and determine amount of venous deflux. Get know more about this method: nde-ed.org/EducationResources/CommunityCollege/Ultrasonics/Introduction/description.htm);
- Biothesiometry of sexual organ (test with application of vibration for estimation of organ’s innervation and sensitivity).
Physical vs Psychological reasons of Erectile Dysfunction
Psychological problems include stresses connected with all life aspects. All these factors affect erectile dysfunction development due to repetitive sexual failures and frustrations. A man starts thinking of the problem of weak potency and ways to get rid of it. He feels guilty due to incapacity to satisfy his partner.
Physiological problems or organic impotency may be caused by the following cases:
- Lack of hormones;
- Vascular diseases;
- Disorders of nervous system;
- Administration of medicinal products;
What Can Be Done with ED Symptoms?
In accordance with the nature of disease, therapy methods may be different.
The main solutions of ED treatment include:
- Psychotherapeutic therapy (focused on psychogenic impotency and organic form during restoration period);
- Surgical method (it is applied for treatment of organic impotency on the setting of venous pathologies for the purpose of increase of blood supply to cavernous bodies);
- Vacuum method (implies mechanic method of penis stimulation during complex therapy of impotency);
- Injection method (therapy implies introduction of injections in cavernous bodies which cause vasodilation of vessels and provoke normal erection occurrence);
- Medicamentous therapy (determines possibility of impotency treatment without application of the afore-mentioned methods; has a number of contraindications requiring obligatory consultation by specialists);
- Home remedies are considered to be a variant which may be used only after consultation by a specialist, since the nature of the disease is to be determined.
After occurrence of problems accompanying impotency or erectile dysfunction, it is required to consult a urologist, endocrinologist, psychologist and cardiologist.
All in all, modern medicine has a wide range of remedies and methods of efficient therapy of ED, the application of which gives positive result. But before their usage, a patient must undergo thorough diagnostics. Those men who suffer from psychogenic impotency are often prescribed psychotherapeutic course. Also, ED is treated by means of special pills (such as Levitra and Viagra). Their intake is good for increase of blood stream to penis and durable effect. Nevertheless, such medications have a number of contraindications and side-effects.