Researchers Finds Many Risk Factors for ED
Commonly associated with multiple psychosocial and medical risk factors, erectile dysfunction (ED) is a prevalent, age-related disorder in males. Various cardiovascular risk factors have also been associated with ED in several studies. Using these results as a basis, erectile dysfunction has been put forth as an unexpected event or possible predictor of future risks for cardiovascular problems in both younger and older males, suffering from ED.
Other trials have shown a link between depression and/or low levels of happiness and ED in many males. Using recent analysis of data from the Massachusetts Male Aging Study, researchers have proven that almost 33% of those with erectile dysfunction display remission (symptom improvement over a period of time). On the other hand, 66% experience progression (worsening) or no changes in their symptoms with time. Worsening of ED was most prevalent among older men who also had other health risks.
Recent Boston Area Community Health (BACH) studies indicated that apparent correlations between race/ethnicity and erectile dysfunction are mainly the result of socio-economic status differences between groups. The apparent effects of other medical conditions, their associated medications and certain lifestyle factors were also highlighted.
Overview of ED
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is defined as the medical condition where an adult male is unable to achieve and/or maintain a firm enough erection to have successful sexual intercourse. While the occasional problem with erections is not always a cause for great concern, stress, relationship and/or self confidence issues can result when ED is ongoing.
ED can be a signal of more serious health problems including heart disease, diabetes and mental health conditions. Treatment for an underlying condition can often rectify erectile dysfunction.
Causes, Signs, and Symptoms
In addition to either persistent problems achieving and/or maintaining an erection, a man may experience a decrease in libido (desire to have intercourse).
• Atherosclerosis (clogged blood vessels).
• Heart disease.
• High cholesterol levels.
• Hypertension (high blood pressure).
• Parkinson’s disease.
• Multiple sclerosis.
• Low testosterone levels.
• Various prescription drugs.
• Smoking – restricts flow to all blood vessels.
• Long term substance abuse (both alcohol and drugs).
• Prostate cancer treatments like radiation therapy and/or an enlarged prostate gland.
• Injury and/or surgery that affects the spinal cord or pelvic area, particularly if nerves causing erections are damaged.
• Long periods of riding a bicycle – pinched nerves can cause temporary ED due to reduced flow of blood to the penis.
Psychological conditions can have an adverse effect on a male’s libido, resulting in erectile dysfunction. These include:
• Mental health conditions including anxiety and/or depression.
• Chronic stress.
• Relationship problems with a sexual partner caused by stress, poor communication, etc.
Management of ED
There are several treatment options for erectile dysfunction including:
• Oral Medications – Drugs used include Viagra, Cialis and Levitra. Dosages and side effects vary but potential side effects can include headache, flushing, visual changes, nasal congestion and upset stomach.
• Alprostadil – Self injectable, into the base or side of the penis, this medication results in an erection lasting for approximately one hour.
• Alprostadil Suppository – A very small suppository put into the penile urethra. An erection will begin within ten minutes. It can be maintained for up to an hour.
• Testosterone Replacement – Testosterone therapy may be needed if a patient’s ED is the result of low levels of the male hormone, testosterone.
• Penis Pump – This is a hollow tube with a battery or hand powered pump that is placed over the penis. It sucks air out of the tube which creates a vacuum and pulls blood into the penis. After a tension ring is put over the penis base, an erection will last long enough for sexual intercourse to occur.
• Penile Implants – Tend to be a last resort. Either semi-rigid or inflatable rods are surgically placed into the sides of the penis.
• Psychological Counseling – If stress, anxiety and/or depression are determined to be the reasons for ED, individual or couple’s counseling can be helpful.
Patient’s Choice Medical Center Can Help
If you have no medical insurance coverage and you are looking for a low cost solution to your medical condition, book an appointment today at Patient’s Choice Medical Center, the discount alternative to other pricey Las Vegas medical clinics. At this clinic, you can be treated for many acute illnesses and several chronic diseases. A general health and wellness screening includes lab work, an affordable option for people who need cholesterol and diabetes screenings.