Young Men Also Experience Sexual Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is very common, and it occurs for a variety of reasons and at different ages.

ED is characterized by a persistent and recurring inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse. In the past, doctors used to believe that the causes of erectile dysfunction were purely psychological. In recent years doctors have discovered that there are several physical reasons for erectile dysfunction--it is often the first sign of atherosclerosis and heart disease. Diabetes and hypertension can also contribute to the disorder, as can lifestyle factors like smoking, obesity and alcohol consumption. The disorder most often affects older men, because older men are more likely to have the physical ailments that contribute to erectile dysfunction. However, it is possible for younger men to experience both the physical and psychological issues that cause the disorder.

What physical causes are there?

Common physical causes include:
    deterioration of the arteries
    excessive drinking
    being obese and out-of-condition
    side-effects of certain drugs, notably ones for blood pressure and depression
    effects of recreational drugs, like cocaine.

Less common physical causes include:
    excessive drainage of blood from the veins of the penis
    diseases of the nervous system
    injury to the spinal cord or brain
    major surgery in the abdomen, particularly prostate operations
    hormone problems

What should I do if I'm having potency problems?

If you have difficulty getting an erection, seek help. Don't suffer in silence – as so many men do!

Also, don't hide it from your partner. A lot of guys behave like this, and very often the result is that the other person decides that she is being scorned, or that 'he doesn't love me any more'.

Your first move should be to consult your GP.

What treatments are now available?

Treatment depends on the cause of the ED. For instance, psychological causes may require:
    commonsense advice to one or both partners
    relationship counselling.

In some cases of psychologically-induced ED, it's worth trying erection-aiding drugs to help 'kick-start' the man back into action and boost his confidence.

Oral drugs, which help produce an erection in response to sexual stimulation, have revolutionised the treatment of ED over the last 14 years.

They don't work for everybody, but they do work for the great majority – even in diabetes. They can also sometimes help people with neurological and spinal problems.

For a few men, it's not safe to use these drugs. Also, some medications interact dangerously with them. Therefore, before going on any of these pills you should always see a doctor, talk things over with him or her, and have a physical check-up.

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