Is erectile dysfunction age-related?
The myth that potency problems occur only in older men has long been debunked. Today, urologists increasingly in their daily medical practice are faced with the need to identify the causes and find ways to restore potency in young patients. Modern technologies and methods for treating erectile dysfunction (impotence) with the timely diagnosis can significantly improve the quality of a man’s sexual life.
Erectile dysfunction is a recurring condition that is characterized by a violation of the quality of the erection, the inability to maintain or achieve it to the extent necessary for full sexual intercourse.
The term "erectile dysfunction" was introduced in 1992, when the American National Institute of Health proposed using it as a broader concept than "impotence". According to the WHO (World Health Organization), relying on numerous authoritative world studies, every tenth man aged 21–29 years old complains of erectile dysfunction, every fifth is 30–35 years old, almost every second is 40–70 years old. These are the scale of the problem today, and experts predict that these numbers may double in the next 25 years.
It is recommended to visit a urologist if the following symptoms are noted:
- An erection not strong enough for sexual contact;
- Problems or inability to achieve a satisfactory level and duration of an erection;
- Premature ejaculation.
The causes of erectile dysfunction can be divided into external (exogenous) and internal (endogenous).
External causes of erectile dysfunction:
- Smoking is one of the most significant factors that have a very negative effect on erectile function.
- Alcohol, especially "beer alcoholism", drug addiction.
- Chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic lack of sleep, constant stay in a stressful situation at work, and in family relationships.
- Environmental factors: unbalanced irrational nutrition, food depleted in vitamins and minerals, GMOs (genetically modified foods).
- Increased radiation background, work in conditions of high-frequency radiation.
- Features of the formation of the personality of a man and the formation of his sexuality.
The most important factors of sexual behavior are laid in childhood when the boy observes the system of actions of older men in the family and subsequently follows the path of either imitating the acquired models or denying them. It was during this period that the sources of youthful self-doubt and timidity, fears of "being underestimated", "not making the expected impression" are often formed. Over time, they can take root and transform into psychological complexes or phobias, having a definite effect on a man’s entire life.
Internal causes of erectile dysfunction:
- Hormonal regulation disorders: hypogonadism (failure to produce testosterone in a man’s testicles), a number of diseases associated with impaired pituitary and adrenal gland function, and some tumors (for example, pituitary adenoma).
- Side effects of taking various medications (some antihypertensive and antiarrhythmic drugs, corticosteroids, psychotropic drugs, and antidepressants, etc.).
- Age-related and acquired changes in the tissue and structures of the penis involved in the mechanism of erection.
- Neurological diseases and disorders (epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, injuries and operations of the brain and spinal cord, pelvis, and perineum).
- Diseases of the cardiovascular system (hypertension, atherosclerosis, etc.).
- Diabetes mellitus, obesity, metabolic syndrome.
The above list contains only the most common causes underlying the development of dysfunction or diseases, the symptom of which is deterioration in the quality of an erection.
According to another classification of the factors of occurrence of disorders, erectile dysfunction is divided into psychogenic and organic (somatic). The table below shows the differences between these types from each other, which largely determine the treatment regimen.
Erectile dysfunction treatments
Modern knowledge in the field of urology-andrology and sexology, as well as the ability to individually select a combination of pharmacological agents, therapeutic and surgical techniques today can solve many problems associated with erectile dysfunction (impotence). When choosing an effective treatment strategy, a lot depends on the causes and degree of manifestation of the disorder, on age, related diseases.
In the arsenal of urologists there are certified modern drugs that help stimulate the restoration of erectile function or even completely pharmacologically replace the lifelong lost links in the mechanism of the occurrence of an adequate erection. Thanks to active advertising, today everyone knows the names of the most famous drugs to restore potency. But doctors urge you to refrain from self-medication, which can lead to negative side effects. Only professional advice and optimal diagnosis guarantee that the prescribed drugs will be effective and will not cause harm to health. For instance, for some men, it is not advised to use Viagra or Cialis because they suffer from severe heart diseases in which sex is in general contraindicated. But if you have no contraindications for erection-enhancers use, you can use them. And if your problem is paired with premature ejaculation that is commonly the case, you can use combination medicines such as Tadalafil with Dapoxetine sold under a generic name Super Tadarise.
Physiotherapy methods that improve blood flow and the quality of an erection are widely used in medical practice, for example, LOD-therapy (negative pressure treatment), shock-wave therapy. The procedures are performed on modern devices and show high efficiency in the treatment of erectile dysfunction, especially when detected in the early stages of vascular pathology.
There are also technologies for prosthetics of erectile function - surgical interventions with the installation of the penile prosthesis of various modifications. This is a radical method of overcoming the true, organic causes of erectile dysfunction, which doctors use only after a thorough comprehensive examination of the patient. The decision on prosthetics must be made with all the diagnostic information available and with full awareness of the responsibility of the choice made. Because no matter how reliable, multicomponent, and modern the installed prosthesis is, after the operation, the restoration of the natural mechanism of erection will become impossible.
To effectively restore erectile function, you must visit a urologist consultation and undergo a full medical examination. By seeking professional help, the patient can receive full information about the causes of the violation and reasoned answers to all questions about the prescribed procedures.
In general, it is advised to achieve a harmonious balance of the regime of work and rest, a scheme of proper, varied, and tasty nutrition and physical exercising.
Erectile dysfunction prevention
Although before facing problems with erection men rarely think about prevention of sexual dysfunction, it is better to work on its prevention than treat the disease.
Measures for the general prevention of erectile dysfunction include:
- Balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals, essential amino acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids;
- Compliance with the regime of work and rest, first of all, a full sleep (it is in a dream that the body restores all its unique settings for self-regulation and eliminates “breakdowns” in them);
- Physical activity, sports, including in the fresh air;
- Lack of prolonged stressful situations at work and at home;
- Refusal from alcohol abuse (including beer), from smoking and taking any narcotic substances;
- Timely prevention and treatment by specialists of diseases leading to erectile dysfunction (hypertension, atherosclerosis, diabetes mellitus, obesity, etc.).
Separately, food products that improve erectile function and can be used as a prophylaxis of its violation should be mentioned: food rich in fat and water-soluble vitamins (olive and sunflower oil, nuts, rose hips, currants, fresh vegetables and fruits, cereals, and legumes), sources of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (fish oil, sesame, corn oil) and essential amino acids (milk and fermented milk products, quail eggs, meat, and fish). Of course, we are talking only about natural ingredients, and not about the "immortal" genetically modified foods. It should be remembered that overeating and excess weight is also a direct path to impaired potency.
Erectile dysfunction is often the result of a disease or disorder in the system of regulation of the process of erection. Violations rarely occur instantly and forever. Therefore, at the first manifestations of dysfunction, a man is recommended to immediately consult a doctor, including just for advice, so as not to miss the moment to start a timely, effective, and safe treatment.
Post by: John Avery, General Practitioner, Manchester, United Kingdom