Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a condition that affects a person’s ability to achieve or maintain an erect penis for sexual activity.

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Experts consider a person to have ED if they regularly find it difficult to achieve an erection or periodically struggle to keep a firm enough erection to engage in sexual activity or penetrative sex.

There are treatments available for ED, with the most common being the male enhancement pill. This article explores some of the male enhancement pills available for delivery, along with alternatives.

About ED: Causes and Risk Factors

It is common for a person to experience difficulty with an erection throughout their lifetime. If they regularly struggle with sexual performance, they may have ED.

One 2016 study states that ED affects at least 12 million people in the United States, and while it is common among adults of all ages, it is more likely to affect older adults.

The Urology Care Foundation explains that ED mainly occurs when blood flow in the penis is limited, or its nerves are damaged. However, stress and other psychological factors can also lead to the condition.

Risk Factors for ED

In some instances, ED may result from an underlying medical issue. Health conditions that can increase a person’s risk of this issue include:

  • type 2 diabetes;
  • heart disease;
  • atherosclerosis;
  • obesity;
  • high blood pressure;
  • chronic kidney disease;
  • multiple sclerosis;
  • Peyronie’s disease;
  • prostate cancer;
  • injury to the penis, spinal cord, prostate, bladder, or pelvis;
  • surgery for bladder cancer.

As well as physical risk factors, the psychological factors that can increase an individual’s risk of ED include:

  • a fear of sexual failure;
  • anxiety;
  • post-traumatic stress disorder;
  • depression;
  • guilt about poor sexual performance or specific sexual activities;
  • low self-esteem;
  • stress.

Additionally, lifestyle factors, such as smoking, consuming large amounts of alcohol, using illegal drugs, and a lack of physical activity, may also play a role in sexual performance issues. In detail, risk factors for erectile dysfunction include:

  • obesity;
  • smoking;
  • diabetes;
  • high blood pressure;
  • high cholesterol;
  • cardiovascular disease;
  • medication use;
  • obstructive sleep apnea;
  • restless leg syndrome;
  • systemic sclerosis (scleroderma);
  • Peyronie’s disease;
  • prostate cancer treatment.

Causes of ED

Causes can be divided into several different categories.

Neurologic causes include:

  • stroke;
  • spinal cord or back injury;
  • multiple sclerosis;
  • dementia;
  • pelvic trauma;
  • prostate surgery (even with nerve-sparing surgeries it can take up to 24 months to regain normal sexual function);
  • priapism;
  • nervous system tumor;
  • epilepsy;
  • diabetic neuropathy.

Vascular causes include:

  • arteriovenous fistula;
  • diabetes;
  • atherosclerosis;
  • congenital anomaly.

Hormonal causes include:

  • low testosterone blood level (The patient can achieve an erection but it won’t always be turgid enough for vaginal penetration.);
  • hyperprolactinemia;
  • hyperthyroidism;
  • hypothyroidism;
  • Cushing’s disease;
  • Addison’s disease.

Pharmacological causes include:

  • antidepressants (mainly SSRIs);
  • Spironolactone;
  • sympathetic blockers (clonidine, guanethidine, or methyldopa);
  • Thiazide diuretics;
  • Ketoconazole;
  • Cimetidine.

Penile dysfunction causes include:

  • Peyronie’s disease.

Psychiatric causes include:

  • loss of feeling toward the other person;
  • stress;
  • fear of non-performance.

Functional causes include:

  • bicycling irritating the nerves and tissue of the penis.

Who gets ED?

The prevalence of erectile dysfunction varies according to the patient’s age. About 16% of men from 50 to 59 years of age will suffer from erectile dysfunction and 44% of those aged 70 to 75 years will, too.

There are three types of erections — those caused by tactile stimulation, those caused by mental stimulation, and those that men experience while sleeping. This classification can be important when the cause of erectile dysfunction is yet to be determined.

In order to have an erection, men need stimuli; they need blood arriving from the arteries and have veins capable of locking the blood in place. Each of the numerous steps in this system can fail making erectile dysfunction a complex problem for investigation.

What are the symptoms of erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction will cause the penis to be unable to acquire or maintain a satisfactory erection. It is important to specify to the doctor the rapidity of onset, the presence of nocturnal erections, and the quality of the erection if it can be attained but not maintained.

The quality of an erection can be judged according to the rigidity and the functionality (Is the penis erect enough to allow for vaginal penetration?).

Erectile dysfunction with sudden onset and no previous history of sexual dysfunction suggests a psychogenic cause unless there was a previous surgery or genital trauma. The loss of nocturnal erections will suggest a neurologic or vascular cause.

Finally, when an erection is not sustained, its loss may be due to an underlying psychological cause or vascular problem. Talk to a doctor if you have noticed any problems with your erectile function.

What is the treatment for erectile dysfunction?

Nowadays, there are many options for men who suffer from erectile dysfunction. Before suggesting pharmacological help, the doctor may suggest a change in lifestyle habits. Since many causes of erectile dysfunction are disorders in which lifestyle changes will have a positive effect, addressing these issues can be helpful.

Therefore, regular exercise, a healthy diet, smoking cessation, and limiting alcohol consumption can all have an impact on erectile function. Lifestyle changes can also include the use of a more genitalia-friendly bicycle seat.

To learn even more about ED treatment, be sure to contact our expert for free.