What is Erectile Dysfunction?

What is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is common among males, whether young, middle-aged, or old. At some point, virtually every sexually active male may have experienced erectile dysfunction. Occasional erectile dysfunction is normal and happens from time to time. A common cause of occasional erectile dysfunction is stress.

However, it’s a health problem when erectile dysfunction frequently occurs during intimacy. This health problem is sometimes referred to as impotence, though this is hardly used because it sounds offensive. Frequent erectile dysfunction requires treatment. It primarily stems from emotional difficulties and physical problems.

The first course of action to treat erectile dysfunction effectively is to contact a urologist to determine the cause first.

Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction can happen due to issues triggered at any stage of sexual excitement. For example, enhanced flow of blood to your penis triggers an erection, and it can be stimulated mostly by sexual thoughts. In other cases, direct contact with the penis also triggers an erection.

Sexual excitement triggers a muscle (usually located in the penile blood vessels) to relax. This enables more blood to flow through the arteries, occupying two chambers in the penis and making the penis rigid. An erection stops the moment the muscles within the penile blood vessels contract, triggering the blood there to flow out through the veins.

There are several cases of erectile dysfunction. Some of the common causes are listed below:
Cardiovascular diseases
High blood pressure or hypertension
Kidney disease
High cholesterol levels
Hormonal imbalance or low testosterone
Relationship or emotional issues
Advancement in age
Drug abuse
Usage of certain medications, for instance, treating depression or high blood pressure
Damages to the pelvic area because of surgery or injury and so on.

Any of the causes mentioned above can cause erectile dysfunction.

Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction

Unlike most health problems, erectile dysfunction can be self-diagnosed. If you can’t have an erection or find it challenging to sustain an erection during sexual intercourse, it is a symptom of erectile dysfunction. Related disorders to erectile dysfunction include:
Delayed ejaculation
Premature ejaculation
Inability to reach orgasm after sufficient stimulation (anorgasmia)

If any of these symptoms persist for about three months, you should consult your doctor so a diagnosis can be carried out to determine the underlying cause.

How Do You Fix Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is treated more effectively when the cause has been diagnosed. Depending on the underlying cause or condition, you may have to resort to one or multiple treatments. Treatment usually involves therapy and medication.

Medications for Erectile Dysfunction

Your doctor may prescribe certain medications to treat erectile dysfunction. You may even need to experiment with multiple medications before discovering the one that works for you. The below medications can help to trigger or enhance blood flow to your penis:

Sildenafil (popularly known as Viagra)
Vardenafil (Staxyn, Levitra)

These medications are orally administered. Another medication that treats erectile dysfunction is Alprostadil (MUSE, Caverject, Edex). One can take it either as a self-injection at the side, bottom of the penis, or a suppository for the penis. However, alprostadil is rarely prescribed alone for injection. Instead, trimix, a combination of alprostadil, papaverine, or phentolamine, is mostly used.

If the cause of erectile dysfunction is low testosterone levels, your doctor may prescribe TRT (testosterone replacement therapy) to treat it.

Medications taken to treat other medical conditions can also cause erectile dysfunction. This is why it’s important to discuss any current medication you’re using. The doctor will then determine if the symptoms of your erectile dysfunction are one of the side effects of those medications.

In such cases, instead of treating erectile dysfunction directly, your doctor may recommend replacing the medications you’re currently using. However, we don’t recommend you stop taking your current medications without first discussing them with your doctor.

Medications specifically for erectile dysfunction can also cause side effects. So if you’ve been experiencing some side effects since you began taking medications for erectile dysfunction, consult your doctor for a recommendation of an alternative treatment.


Therapy is the ideal treatment for erectile dysfunction stemming from psychological factors such as anxiety, depression, stress, and post-traumatic stress disorder. During your therapy sessions, you and your therapist can discuss a variety of subjects such as:
Your feelings about sex
Subconscious conflicts that can negatively affect your sexual wellness
Major anxiety or stress factors

If erectile dysfunction has become an issue in your relationship, ensure you consult a relationship counselor. They can help you emotionally reconnect with your partner, which may improve your sexual wellness.

Vacuum Pump

This device triggers blood flow into your penis to achieve an erection. It’s made up of components such as:
A plastic tube: This will be placed on top of your penis.
A pump: This creates a vacuum by sucking the air out of the tube.
An elastic ring: This will be moved to the bottom of your penis when you remove the plastic tube.

The function of the elastic ring is to maintain the erection by keeping the blood in your penis and stopping it from flowing out. You can keep the elastic ring in place for up to 30 minutes.

What Causes Sudden Erectile Dysfunction?

Usually, erectile dysfunction takes some time to develop, principally because of the nervous system or circulatory issues. This means it usually occurs gradually. However, there are instances that it can happen suddenly. It’s commonly caused by:
Using medications such as antidepressants, sedatives, blood pressure medication, and appetite suppressants
Smoking or drug abuse

Psychological causes include:
Chronic stress
Performance anxiety
Low self-esteem


Despite having causes or symptoms in common, each person’s case of erectile dysfunction is unique and may require different treatments. While your case may stem from stress or performance anxiety, another case of erectile dysfunction may stem from heart diseases or high blood pressure. This is why consulting your doctor before seeking medications cannot be emphasized enough. You can get erectile dysfunction medication from ZipRX.

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