The physiology of an erectile dysfunction, commonly shortened to ED, lurks somewhere in the network of systems vascular, hormonal, and psychological. Somewhere in there, something has gone wrong. Though the problem of erectile dysfunction is always vascular in nature (ie. a shortage of blood to the penis), it is usually a combination of hormonal imbalance and psychological issues that stress the vascular system or prohibit it from functioning correctly. Hormonal changes occur with age. This is why boys in their teens and early twenties have a hard time keeping it down, while men from the age of 40 and older have a hard time keeping it up. Couple a man's waning prowess and sexual interest (caused by changes in hormone levels) with the loss of confidence psychologically associated with the "first time" he couldn't get it up, and you've got yourself a full-blown erectile dysfunction. In other words, low levels of male hormones and low self-esteem are often the precursors for male sexual dysfunction.
In this article I will first discuss non-chemical actions that may help cure erectile dysfunction, followed by a section dedicated to possible medical treatments for erectile dysfunction and other male sexual dysfunctions. Natural erectile dysfunction treatments are, of course, found in the right sidebar.
Natural Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction
Of course your first step in curing yourself of an erectile dysfunction should be to see a doctor and be as upfront about the problem as possible. The thing is, there has been a direct correlation made between erectile dysfunction and cardiovascular disease, which means that having sex could actually be a more dangerous activity for some men without them knowing it. Treating a sexual dysfunction without knowing whether cardiovascular disease is an issue can be a life threatening proposition. So, before you do anything, go in and get some tests done. Get a clean bill of health from the doctor and then you can start erectile dysfunction treatment.
Your doctor will tell you that to get rid of erectile dysfunction you have to start treating your body better. In a study entitled "Effect of lifestyle changes on erectile dysfunction in obese men" it was concluded that increased physical activity complemented by a healthy diet cured 31 percent of men with erectile dysfunction. That's an amazing number if you know anything about cure rate statistics. And you know, I don't like running any more than the next guy, but I do love a good workout on the weight machines. Any kind of exercise (anaerobic or aerobic) coupled with a good diet is your best bet for not disappointing your partner during a roll in the hay.
Your doctor may take you off certain medications to help cure your erectile dysfunction. A study entitled "Drug-induced male sexual dysfunction" concluded that of the 12 most commonly prescribed medications on the market today, 8 of those medications list "impotence" as a side-effect of the drug. Perhaps the most common problems with impotence are reported in men taking SSRIs, a very common class of anti-depressant drugs. This doesn't't just apply to legal prescription drugs either. Nicotine, alcohol, cocaine, and heroine all negatively impact male sexual libido after extended use.
Speaking of Nicotine, you should probably quit smoking if you want to cure your erectile dysfunction. There is a chemical in our bodies called nitric oxide which works by relaxing the stuff that helps blood flow into your penis, allowing you to get an erection. With low levels of this chemical present in your penis, it is often quite difficult to get an erection. And guess who has lower levels of this chemical than anyone else? Smokers, that's right. So, if you want to get it up, you're going to have to give it up—smoking, that is.
Sexual therapy, and a boost of self-confidence, is all many men need to cure their erectile dysfunction. As I mentioned in the introduction, the psychological factor is perhaps the most important factor in male sexual dysfunction. After experiencing one or more failures, some psychological issues may crop up that prevent a man from ever getting an erection again. This is what we call psychologic impotence, a kind of mental-sexual funk men can get in if they become accustomed to sexual failure. If you don't think you can overcome the fear yourself, find a sex therapist.
Medical Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction
There are several forms of male sexual dysfunction therapies. These include anything from drugs like Levitra and Cialis to injections of drugs into the penis to vacuum-style penis pumps to penis prosthetics. All of these are considered medical erectile dysfunction therapies, however archaic they may be. Below I will describe medical treatments for the three forms of male sexual dysfunction:
First line treatments for Erectile Dysfunction are usually oral prescriptions of the PDE-5 inhibitors Sildenafil (Viagra), Vardenafil (Levitra), and Tadalafil (Cialis). The two latter drugs are becoming more popular than the former. Drug therapy success rates for all three of these drugs range anywhere from 50% to 80%. These are good numbers, but keep in mind that for people suffering from Psychogenic sexual dysfunction (ie. lack of sexual confidence) the success rates were much lower. You must also keep in mind that cardiovascular health is a requirement to be eligible for treatment with these drugs.
There are two classes of drugs that are used to treat Ejaculatory Dysfunctions in men, and those are SSRIs and (clomipramine). You may remember that I suggested taking yourself off of SSRIs to cure erectile dysfunction. Well, the opposite is true if you want to get rid of premature ejaculations. SSRIs tend to delay or retard orgasm, making them useful for treatment of ejaculatory dysfunctions.
For Psychogenic or Hormonal Sexual Dysfunction, I'm afraid medical science doesn't have much to offer. Two controversial therapies include Yohimbine, whose efficacy is based solely on what we call the placebo effect, and androgen therapy, which is the injection or topical application of the male hormone testosterone. The injection of testosterone is nothing new, and is more commonly referred to as "steroid use."
If you decide to choose drug therapy, under no circumstances should you obtain and consume any medication without an examination and authorization by your doctor. Failure to do so could result in an untimely death.