Erectile dysfunction is a male sexual problem that affects hundreds of millions of men all over the world. To understand what is erectile dysfunction or ED, we need to understand how an erection occurs in the first place. For a male to achieve an erection, several factors need to come into play.
Erection begins when the brain receives a signal that makes it elicit single or more sexual responses. This signal can be visual, auditory, smell or tactile in nature. The brain decodes this signal and in turn responds by sending signals to the neural centers at the base of the spine. The neural centers connect directly to the penis via nerves located in the pelvis. The signals cause the blood vessels inside the penis to dilate allowing blood into the penis to make the penis large and erect. The smooth muscles in the corpus cavernosum regulate the blood flow in the penis and when these muscles relax, the blood vessels in the penis fills up with blood and erection occurs. Simultaneously, the veins responsible for draining blood away from the penis are shut to help sustain the erection.
Anything that impairs or lessen the flow of blood into the penis can result in erectile failure. Several factors can cause this and the more common ones include nerve damage, diabetes and obesity, illness, anxiety and stress. Certain medications and surgery can also cause ED
There are two types of erectile dysfunction, psychological and physiological.
Psychological Types of ED
The psychological type of ED can be caused by depression, stress and anxiety. An occasional erection problem can in itself result in an emotional state called performance anxiety which can lead to frequent ED. Problems in your relationship, financial or work problems, sexual nervousness or anxiety can also cause ED.
Physiological Types of ED
The physiological type of ED is often caused by maladies in the body. These can include low hormone levels, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. This type can be corrected by exercise and/or diet. Other sicknesses known to also cause ED include Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, epilepsy, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cirrhosis and kidney failure. Surgery resulting in nerve damage near the penis can also cause ED.
Taking medications can also be a factor for ED. Medications like drugs for lowering cholesterol, drugs for prostate cancer, antiulcer meds, antihypertensives, antipyschosis meds and antidepressants can likely cause you to develop ED. You need to consult with your doctor for better alternatives. However, do not stop taking these drugs without recommendation from your doctor since these meds are usually for health problems far worse than ED. If there are better natural alternatives, try to see what your doctor’s opinions are first before taking them