Penile dysfunction most commonly refers to difficulties getting or sustaining an erection. This is also known as erectile dysfunction (ED) or impotence. Another causes of penile dysfunction is Peyronie’s disease. In Peyronie’s disease the penis starts to bend to the side and intercourse becomes more difficult, if not impossible.
Erectile dysfunction affects many men with the incidence increasing with age. The loss of the ability to have sexual intercourse is devastating for many men and can seriously affect their relationships. Fortunately there are effective treatment options.
The causes of erectile dysfunction.
Until 15 years ago, psychological problems were thought to be the main cause of impotence but this was proved to be inaccurate. Around 70% of men with penile dysfunction have a physical cause for their problems.
The psychological side of impotence can interact with the physical as well so both areas may need to be addressed.
The main causes of erectile dysfunction include
- diabetes, both type 1 requiring insulin and type 2 requiring diet, tablets and perhaps insulin
- being overweight
- hypertension (high blood pressure)
- kidney conditions
- alcohol problems
- neurological conditions such as stroke, Parkinsons and multiple sclerosis
- Peyronie’s disease
- elevated cholesterol levels.
The psychological causes include stress, guilt, tiredness, anxiety and unfortunately sometimes being bored by your wife or partner.
Some prescription drugs have side effects that can affect both your desire (libido) and ability to perform. The patient information leaflet will give you clear advice on this risk.
If you are a keen cyclist and cycle for several hours a week there is a risk of you suffering with penile dysfunction. The nerves that control your erection get bruised and damage by the pressure from the seat of you bike. Stopping cycling for a few weeks to give your nerves time to recover may help and there are also specially designed saddles available.
Treatment of Impotence
There are several things you can do to improve your problems. Stopping smoking is a great first step, getting fitter and exercising regularly is next, drinking less alcohol if you drink excessively is also important. Fortunately there are now also prescription drugs you can obtain.
The three main drugs used are Viagra, Cialis and Levitra. They all work by relaxing the blood vessels to your penis, which increases blood flow and gives you an erection. Viagra was the first on the market and the other two soon followed. They are taken around 30 mins to an hour before intercourse and with the appropriate thoughts and physical stimulation an erection follows.
They work for the majority of men and they are very happy with the results. Combining these modern drugs with lifestyle changes means many men can return to a full and satisfying sex life with their wife or partner.