Erectile dysfunction, or impotence, may be more common that people think mainly because many men are too embarrassed to report the problems to their doctors for proper diagnosis.
But this should not be as impotence has symptoms, causes and treatments that your doctor can recommend in your case.
Your first step toward effective treatment is recognizing the symptoms of erectile dysfunction.
Keep in mind that every individual has a different experience with impotence, said experience of which can range from the inconsistent ability to get and keep a full erection to the complete inability to achieve a full erection and even to enjoy ejaculation.
You should discuss the frequency, severity and types of symptoms you have experienced with your doctor for a more effective treatment plan.
The defining characteristic of erectile dysfunction is the persistent inability to get and keep an erection for the sufficient strength (i.e., firmness) and time it takes to enjoy sexual intercourse.
The emphasis here is on the persistence with which the following conditions occur:
- Difficulty in either getting or keeping an erection
- Difficulty in ejaculation, such as premature or delayed ejaculation
- Difficulty in regards to sexual desire
Doctors usually define erectile dysfunction as the chronic inability to achieve and sustain and erection for sexual activity more than 50% of the time.
Thus, men who experience the inability to get it up, so to speak, on an occasional or transient basis are unlikely to be diagnosed with impotence; all men will experience erection issues at some point of their lives for many reasons.
If possible, you should make notes about the frequency, severity and duration as well as the possible causes behind your erection issues.
If your symptoms develop gradually yet persistently, then your erection issues may be associated with physical causes, such as an underlying medical condition.
If your symptoms develop abruptly, yet you still develop nocturnal and early-morning erections as well as enjoy erections during masturbation, then your erection issues may likely be tied to psychological factors.
In most cases, the physical causes feed on the psychological causes and vice versa. For example, your inability to get and keep erections may be due to diabetes that, in turn, worsens your sexual performance anxiety resulting in lesser erections.
Call Your Doctor
Many men will understandably have inhibitions about calling their doctors about erection issues. But when your erection issues are associated with any of the following symptoms, then you should call your doctor to discuss your health concerns:
- Anxiety And Stress
When your erection issues are the result of or are worsened by anxiety and stress, even depression, then you should consult with your doctor especially when these threaten your personal relationships. You will likely be provided with factual information and medication, which can become useful in your sexual health.
- Persistent Symptoms
Even when you have adopted lifestyle measures to address your erection issues, you will still observe chronic occurrence. Seek your doctor’s advice as persistent symptoms can be warning signs of an underlying medical condition that may or may not be life-threatening, such as diabetes, coronary artery disease, and atherosclerosis. Your doctor may recommend prescription medications, mechanical devices, or penile injections that stimulate normal erections while also providing effective treatment for the underlying health condition.
- Peyronie’s Disease
This refers to the painful and abnormal curvature of the penis when erect.
Indeed, any issue that results in your apparently reduced sexual performance and pleasure including the frequency, strength, and duration of your erections may merit a visit to the doctor.
Your overall health may well depend on it.
Before calling in to set your appointment, doctors suggest the following steps to facilitate a definitive diagnosis and an effective treatment plan for your erectile dysfunction.
- Write down your symptoms, medical history, medications including supplements, and major life stresses, among other useful information. Bring your partner, if possible.
- Write down your questions.
Just be sure to become an active participant in your treatment and you are likely to say goodbye to your symptoms.