Erectile dysfunction is one of the most prevalent male diseases in the United Kingdom. Recent studies suggest that this condition affects 1 in 10 men in the country, thus it makes sense to understand not only the causes but also to examine the numerous treatment options available. Thankfully, there is a great deal of interest devoted to this topic, as we can see from a handful of news articles below.
What is Erectile Dysfunction and What are the Causes?
Simply stated, this condition is defined as the inability for the penis to maintain an erection during intercourse. There are various circulatory causes and some of the most prevalent are cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Also, some medications may produce this dysfunction as a side effect. Recent findings suggest that even some popular sports such as bicycling and horseback riding may be contributing factors, as these movements cause a constriction of blood around the pelvic region. Psychological factors may also be a root cause of impotence, although only a trained specialist will be able to determine if this is a deciding factor.
Major variables that may cause erectile dysfunction are:
- Existing circulatory conditions.
- Side-effects of some medications.
- Physical constriction of blood vessels that may be a result of certain sporting activities.
- Psychological factors.
What are the Most Common Remedies?
It is first important to realize that nine out of ten cases of erectile dysfunction arise from physical illness or medication. Therefore, there are a number of clinical options available. Non-invasive techniques are normally first option of choice. A doctor will prescribe an oral medication or a cream designed to increase blood flow around the affected region. Medications provide help in up to 70% of these cases. Vacuum pumps may also be used to help mechanically draw blood into the area.
Nonetheless, these do not help restore all erections. Minimally invasive options such as injections to the local area may be used to induce blood flow and the results can last up to one hour. Needless to say, patients need to be properly trained on how to administer these shots.
Surgery is also a third option; generally involving either the introduction of a prosthetic implant into the penis itself or even involving vascular surgery designed to increase the blood flow to the organ.
However, we must remember that psychological variables may underpin this condition. In these cases, therapy sessions are often recommended and if given enough time, this option has been known to produce a viable cure for erectile dysfunction.
Finally, there a host of natural remedies available such as the ingestion of saw palmetto and ginseng. These may be considered useful alternatives, as both herbs naturally increase blood flow to the penis while also increasing male libido. However, these natural options may not always be as effective as their medical counterparts although it is still strongly advised that these should be examined before choosing either injections or physical surgery.
Currently available remedies include:
- Non-invasive techniques such as oral medications or creams.
- Minimally invasive localized injections.
- Prosthetic implants or vascular correction.
- Psychological counselling.
- Herbal remedies such as ginseng root or saw palmetto.