Before 1998 with the advent of Viagra, ED was thought of as a personal failing. Today, we know it’s a medical condition. That breakthrough drug, Viagra, was originally a heart medication. Currently, it’s part of an arsenal of treatments available to combat ED. Unfortunately, even today, with so many treatment options available, most men are still reluctant to approach a physician with the condition. Yet, studies have shown that the underlying problem is often serious, meaning it’s important to address it properly. So what is ED? This is considered not being able to form an erection sufficient for penetrative intercourse. Usually, a man can’t form an erection or he forms one too weak for penetration. In some cases, his erection softens shortly after insertion. The problem is either medical or psychosocial. Usually, it’s medical. But the two in many cases are intertwined. Sometimes, medical conditions affect a man’s psychology, and this further impacts his erection.
The most common cause is something that interferes with blood flow. If the penis cannot become engorged with blood, it can’t form an erection. Heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and other such conditions restrict circulation. A lack of blood flow the first thing a physician will look for. Next are conditions which effect the nerves. Here, diabetes may be the cause. Many men today have type 2 diabetes, and don’t even know it. An elevated blood sugar level can damage nerves, a condition known as diabetic neuropathy. If they are the ones that help form an erection, a man’s sex life may be in trouble. There are lots of other conditions which cause ED, like low testosterone, obesity, smoking, illicit drug use, a neurological disorder such as Parkinson’s, the development of prostate cancer, and more. So how do you know when it’s time to get checked out? See a doctor or urologist if it happens once every fourth encounter or if it’s been happening for several weeks consistently.