Erectile dysfunction is a condition when a man is unable to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient to satisfy both sexual partners. Sexual intercourse with this disease, like ejaculation, is possible.
Cases of this disorder increase with age, appearing in men over 60 years in almost 70%.
Causes of this condition are diverse, their determination and appointment with their consideration of specific treatment are performed by andrologist, urologist and sex therapist.
Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
Depending on etiology of the condition, three main types of the disease are distinguished:
1. Psychogenic: dysfunction is caused by stress, depression, neurosis, taking alcohol or drugs, psychoactive drugs. There are no violations of the structure of the penis, coming from it and to its vessels and nerves. Sexual desire can be reduced; spontaneous and nocturnal erections are preserved.
2. Organic. In this case, dysfunction is caused by violation of structure or function of the penis due to the pathology of one of the levels:
- violation of nerve impulses coming from the brain to genital organs, and vice versa;
- deterioration of blood flow to penis along arteries or worsening of outflow from it through veins;
- structural changes in male genital organs;
- violation of the hormonal regulation of the process.
As a result, nocturnal and spontaneous erections disappear, but libido is preserved.
3. Mixed: structural pathology also leads to the stressful situation, resulting in impossibility of performing sexual intercourse.
Let’s list the main causes of organic erectile dysfunction:
- Diseases of vessels carrying blood to the penis or ensuring outflow of blood from it:
- atherosclerotic deposits on walls of blood vessels (atherosclerosis);
- vasculitis (inflammation of vessels walls);
- varicose veins of genitals;
- changes in walls of blood vessels, resulting from either diabetes or hypertensive disease.
- Endocrine diseases and conditions, due to which level of testosterone decreases:
- diseases of the thyroid gland;
- pathologies of the pituitary gland, which cause either deficiency of testosterone or excessive production of prolactin;
- reception of sports nutrition containing hormonal supplements;
- use of drugs with anti-testosterone activity.
- Diseases of the nervous system:
- multiple sclerosis;
- spinal cord injuries;
- infringement of spinal cord in spinal canal – displaced vertebral disk;
- swelling of the spine or spinal cord, leading to their infringement;
- blood stroke;
- diseases of nerves coming from spinal cord to penis.
- Diseases of male genital organs:
- cicatricial fibrosis;
- hernia of scrotum;
- Peyronie’s disease;
- the trauma of the penis;
- the curvature of the penis;
- surgery on organs of genitourinary system;
- venereal diseases.
Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction
The disease can make itself felt at any age, but symptoms of erectile dysfunction are more common in men over 35 years old.
Young people most often observe a psychogenic form of dysfunction. It develops dramatically when sexual intercourse (usually preceded by the psychotraumatic situation) suddenly becomes completely impossible, thoughts about it are accompanied by anxiety or fear. At this nocturnal and spontaneous erection is preserved in full.
Organic erectile dysfunction is prone to gradual development. It is manifested by the following symptoms:
- the insufficient firmness of the penis during coition;
- the weakening of erection during sexual intercourse;
- a long time is required to achieve a normal erection;
- the absence of erection at the desire of sexual intercourse;
- decreased sexual desire;
- violation of orgasm.
A man may not immediately realize that he is sick: first symptoms of the disorder are quite insignificant, they can be associated with fatigue or drinking alcohol, beverages containing caffeine. Only much later, with recurrence and aggravation of symptoms, a man understands that consultation and treatment are necessary.
Consequences of Erectile Dysfunction
In absence of normal quantity and quality of sexual life, stagnant and inflammatory phenomena develop in the urogenital system. So, there appear:
- chronic prostatitis;
This is due to the fact that in men the main part of sperm, allocated at the end of sexual intercourse, is occupied by the secret of the prostate gland. And in absence of normal sexual life, it stagnates, it is inhibited with pathogenic microorganisms. Passing on genital tract at sexual intercourse, such prostatic juice infects them. So the above pathologies develop.
In addition, insecurity in own abilities leads to the development of depression, psychosis, neuroses. Thus, the violation can be caused by various factors, which can only be determined by the doctor according to various studies (on symptoms only it is almost impossible).
Based on the etiological factor of the disease, therapy is prescribed. Modern methods of medical and surgical treatment of erectile dysfunction can cure the disease in almost 90% of cases.