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Erectile dysfunction (ED) affects as many as 30 million men in the United States. Almost half of men over age 75 experience ED, according to the National Institutes of Health.
ED is commonly called “impotence.” It’s a condition in which a man can’t achieve or maintain an erection during sexual performance. Symptoms may also include reduced sexual desire or libido.
These kinds of issues can happen at any time and to any man. Causes mainly include:
Your doctor is likely to diagnose you with ED if the condition lasts for more than a few weeks or months.
Standard treatments include pharmaceutical medications, vacuum pumps, implants, and surgery, but many men prefer natural options. Research has found that some natural options can improve your ED symptoms.
What Causes Erectile Dysfunction?
A number of factors can increase your risk of ED. Attaining an erection involves the brain, hormones, muscles, nerves, and blood vessels. A problem with any of these components can block the normal functioning of the penis.
Some common causes of ED include:
enlarged prostate gland
One study found that persistent alcohol use induced ED as well. Seventy-two percent of men diagnosed with alcohol dependence syndrome were diagnosed with sexual dysfunction. This includes premature ejaculation and ED.
Why You Need to See Your Doctor
It’s important to check with your doctor because ED may be a sign of additional health problems. For example, if you have heart disease, you can take a number of steps that will likely improve both your heart health and your ED. This includes lowering your cholesterol, reducing your weight, or taking medications to unclog your blood vessels.
Your doctor will likely prescribe some common treatments if other health issues aren’t found to be the cause of your ED. However, you may also choose natural options.
Common Treatments for ED: Medications
Standard treatments for ED include lifestyle changes, such as:
curbing alcohol intake
Medications like Viagra, Cialis, or Levitra increase blood flow to the penis. But they can also cause side effects, including:
Men who have experienced a stroke or have uncontrolled diabetes or low blood pressure should not take ED medications.
Testosterone replacement and erection-inducing injections are also available. Side effects may include:
aching in the penis
gum or mouth irritation
Common Treatments for ED: Non-Drug Options
Non-drug treatments for ED include penile vacuum pumps, penile implants, and blood vessel surgery. A pump is used right before intercourse to pull blood into the penis. However, this method can cause bruising. Implants must be surgically inserted into the penis. They can then be inflated when necessary. Risks include those typically associated with surgery, such as infections.
Blood vessel surgery is recommended only when leaking vessels cause ED. Even though all these methods may help some men, natural alternatives can be just as effective, but less invasive.
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Addiction is the absolute dependency on a particular substance or situation. Substance addiction includes a variety of substances apart from alcohol and drugs. Examples include porn, food, chocolate, nicotine, etc. Situation addiction includes gambling, shopping and sex among others. The problem in our society with addiction is it is treated like a choice than as a major problem faced by an individual. De-addiction is the process of ridding the individual of his dependence on certain substances or activities.
- Rehabilitation psychology studies the process of de-addiction and helps addicts blend with the normal lifestyle. Rehab centers offer several forms of therapy to reduce substance usage.
- Group therapy is always the go to form of therapeutic technique to deal with cases of addiction owing to the common feeling among users that people who aren’t addicted and do not know what they’re going through. In those cases, it is rather important to have support from a group of people who are exactly where they are.
- Family therapy is also essential to make the individual know how their loved ones feel and also remind them of the unconditional support. Some rehab centers also use the horse therapy (focuses on interaction with horses which facilitates emotional and occupational development in patients) which is rather interesting to witness.
- In addition to therapy, rehab centers teach life skills and cooperation. Apart from all this, drugs are also prescribed to deal with addiction along with the weekly scheduled personal therapy sessions.
Although an unfamiliar concept in India, halfway homes are the next step after the rehab. The individuals learn different skills and ways to manage themselves outside the house while still continuing their therapy. This is done to make sure one doesn’t relapse right after the rehabilitation has been completed. Most rehabs also suggest support group meetings. Even otherwise support groups are extremely effective in the de-addiction process. ‘Alcoholics Anonymous’ and ‘Narcotics Anonymous’ are two of the most widely managed support groups around the world.
Addiction is an immense issue which has spiraled out of control in today’s times. However, it is necessary to understand it isn’t the question of the individual’s morality. The removal of labels and stigma is essential in the entire process. Support from loved ones is an extremely important step towards de-addiction, right after the acceptance that one is addicted. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a psychiatrist.