Hello! I am Dr. Praveen Tripathi.
I am a consultant psychiatrist and sexual disorder specialist. Today I want to talk about a very common male sexual problem which is erectile dysfunction. So, what is erectile dysfunction. An inability to achieve erection or sustain erection is called as erectile dysfunction. So there are cases in which people are not able to have significant erection to have sexual intercourse or in other cases, though they are able to have erection but they are not able to sustain it.
They loose erection mid-way of the intercourse. So this condition is called as erectile dysfunction. They are the one of the commonest sexual disorder in males. So, let's discuss the causes of the erectile dysfunction. We can divide the causes into 2 components. On what we call as organic. So they have the problem with blood vessels. We know that erection happens in the blood flows into the penis. It because of any reason there is a disturbance in blood flow, it may result in poor erection.
People who have been having the issue of long term hypertension or diabetes or who have been smoking for a long time. All this people are susceptible to develop abnormalities of blood flow and that can in turn result in erectile dysfunction. The other abnormality which usually seen in abnormality in the nerve functioning. The nerves which are responsible for the erection, if there is some dysfunction in them because of the similar reasons, long standing hypertension, diabetes, injuries, smoking, in these cases also erectile dysfunction developed.
A third important cause which primarily seen in the younger individuals is what is called as psychogenic erectile dysfunction. So, what happen is say a person is trying to have sex and while attempting it, say he is not able to do it, now this thought place is heavy on his mind. To the extend, when they try to do next time, instead of focusing on the act per se, he start focusing on himself. And lot of things keep rushing into the mind like would I will be able to do it, what would my partner think about me, it will cause lots of embarrassment.
All this thoughts may create a lot of anxiety in the mind of the person and when this anxiety develops, the person again looses erection. This is called as psychogenic erectile dysfunction. Now in order to differentiate and reach a conclusive diagnosis, usually we do couple of test. So these test include the routine blood test which will tell us about the lipid level, blood sugar level. The other routine things that we usually see in the blood test. Apart from it the hormones, especially the testosterone level because at times the abnormalities of hormone can also result in development of erectile problem. Thirdly, now we have a very important test of libal which is called as penile study, it's basically an ultrasound which tells us whether there is abnormality in the blood flow, in the penile vessels or not.
If you are able to find out normal results of all these tests in that case we can confidently say that possibly the cause is psychogenic. There is nothing wrong with the body. Just the fact, that the person is becoming anxious which is responsible for this problem. Another crude indicator is the history of morning erections. Normally male tends to have morning erections. If there is no morning erections for a long period of time, again we have to look for the causes if there is the problem with the blood flow or nerve supply of the penis. Coming to the treatment. Many times people who have erectile dysfunction, keep on looking for alternative ways of therapies. I often see patients who come and tell me that I am trying to eat dry fruits, I have been trying to eat certain fruits, certain vegetables but things random help.
As I said that erectile dysfunction is caused by by a particular abnormality, if we have to treat it, we have to take care of the abnormality. So, the best treatment is in the form of medications. The medications which help in the improvement of the blood flow. Again as far as medications are concerned we have got certain over the counter pills available. But I would strongly recommend against use of them because they can cause lots of side effects and if you are using pill every time before having sex, you become dependent on it. Rather than going for the, these shortcuts, the proper treatment is a proper evaluation followed by use of particular medicines.
Finally, please remember that the erectile dysfunction problem is not only dependent, is not only treated with the medications, but proper counseling and proper way of going about it equally important. So, if you are having this problem or if you know somebody who is having this problem, ask him to meet a doctor near by as soon as possible.