Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile Dysfunction

What is erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is a condition in which a man is unable to attain or sustain an erection sufficient to perform a satisfactory sexual intercourse. ED is commonly reported among old men, affecting approximately 1.2 men in United States alone. It can present acutely, occasionally or even as a chronic condition which can be extremely stressful.

ED can be due to a disturbance in any of the components involved in sexual response pathway; organic, psychological and relational.  In order to produce a sufficiently firm erection, all of the bodily systems act together harmoniously.

What Causes Erectile Dysfunction?

The causes of erectile dysfunction in an individual can be broadly classified into vascular, endocrine, psychogenic, neurogenic or metabolic.

Several common conditions leading to ED are as follows:

Neurogenic causes

  • Parkinsonism
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Cerebrovascular accidents
  • Encephalitis
  • Epilepsy
  • Dementia

Vascular Causes

  • Arterial insufficiency
  • Venous leakage
  • Pelvic fracture leading to urethral injury
  • Polyarteritis

Metabolic Syndrome

  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Hypertension
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Obesity
  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • Aging

Psychogenic Causes

  • Performance Anxiety
  • Relationship issues
  • Depression
  • Low Self-Esteem

Endocrine Causes

  • Testosterone Deficiency
  • Treatment for prostate cancer
  • Hypopituitarism
  • Pituitary Tumor
  • Hyperthyroidism

Others

  • Substance use like tobacco, alcohol and antidepressants
  • Dehydration

What is the link between dehydration and Erectile Dysfunction?

As already discussed, different systems in the body work in harmony to initiate and maintain erection. Similarly, Adequate hydration is also essential for sexual health. Dehydration causes several complications and side effects, one of which is temporary Erectile Dysfunction. Proper hydration maintains plasma volume, allowing adequate blood flow through penile arteries and veins.

Consequently, dehydration means lack of proper blood flow, delivery of oxygen and other essential nutrients required for proper erection.

Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction

The usual treatment of Erectile Dysfunction ranges from non-invasive to the invasive ones. Depending on the etiology, your treatment regimen might include:

  • Phosphodiesterase type-5 inhibitors
  • Testosterone Therapy
  • Penile Injections
  • Intraurethral medication
  • Vacuum Erection Devices
  • Penile Implants
  • Surgery to bypass penile artery damage