Erectile Dysfunction Explained

Once simply known as male impotence, Erectile Dysfunction or ED is, by definition, the inability to achieve or sustain penile erection. However, what that definition partially obscures is the fact that erectile dysfunction can manifest itself in different types and to different degrees.

Nearly every male old enough to have had an erect penis will be unable to do so when desired at some time in his life. When the event is isolated, it really does not deserve the name of intimidating sounding conditions like erectile dysfunction or impotence. Whether the cause is due to excess alcohol consumption, drugs, stress and anxiety about work or sexual performance or for any other reason, the lack of a stiffened penis does not by itself call for medical attention.

It is only when the situation is chronic or long-lived that men will generally need to seek out professional advice, and only then if erections are needed for sex or peace of mind. Sex is a healthy and desirable part of life but there are periods in the lives of many men when not achieving an erection is simply not a problem.

When it is a problem, it is one that usually comes in degrees. Because of the underlying physiology, coupled with external circumstances, a penis may be maximally erect, partly erect or limp. In many cases, partly erect may be sufficient to satisfy the man alone or him and his sexual partner.

That underlying physiology, in broad outline, is fairly simple.

The penis is similar to a series of concentric cylinders or tubes, filled with small chambers and other tubes. One major cylinder is called the corpora cavernosa. Spongy tissues line the cylinder. The spongy tissue is composed of smooth muscle fibers, blood vessels (veins and arteries) and fluids.

Under usual circumstances, stimulation causes several times the resting amount of blood to flow. It moves to fill the space and engorge the muscles. The resulting fluid pressure causes the penis to elongate and stiffen which results in an erection.

Because those relatively simple systems in turn rely on an enormously complex set of nerves, hormones, circulatory and other body functions, there are a corresponding number of things that can go wrong. Blood pressure changes, inability of nerves to send signals properly, failed muscle stimulation and many other circumstances are possible. Those in turn have their own dependencies and possible failures.

Insomnia drugs such as Restoril and anti depressants can all have a negative impact on a mans ability to either get or maintain an erection. A case of the mind is willing but the body is not.

Equally important are the psychological features of the human male that have to function in a certain way for an erection to occur. Stimulation is partly physical, a function of the nerves, particularly those located in and around the penis. But stimulation is also a function of the limbic system, the part of the brain associated with emotions. Even when there is no obvious physical defect, the limbic system and the mind are heavily invested in imagery, fantasy, expectation and other psychological aspects of sex.

Those psychological features, while harder to objectively observe and measure, can go astray. Depression, anxiety, self-deception and other issues can cause failure of erection for extended periods or in multiple sexual encounters.

Fortunately, whether the underlying issues are psychological or physiological or a combination of the two, there are a number of effective treatments and medications available for erectile dysfunction.

What are the Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction

Discussing the symptoms of erectile dysfunction can be somewhat misleading, since male impotence itself is typically a symptom of an underlying condition, usually physiological

Psychological Effects of Erectile Dysfunction

While the majority of medical conditions cause more physical pain than male impotence does, the psychological effects of erectile dysfunction are as difficult as any to cope with

Diagnosing the Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

Since the causes of erectile dysfunction are usually due an underlying condition, it is that underlying cause that needs to be diagnosed and not the ED itself

What are the Physical Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

Several underlying physical causes of erectile dysfunction can make diagnosis and treatment somewhat difficult. Some are temporary whilst others might be long term or even permanent

How to Discuss Erectile Dysfunction with your Partner

If you are a man with ED, admitting to your impotence and then figuring out how to discuss erectile dysfunction with your partner can be more difficult than the actual condition itself

How Erectile Dysfunction Counseling Can Help You

Erectile dysfunction counseling plays an important role in the treatment of a large number of ED cases. Counseling for impotence is an active process, often guided by a professional psychotherapist

Peyronie's Disease Explained

Peyronie's disease is a relatively rare condition affecting around one percent of the male population. Its onset tends to be around middle age, although men of any age may be afflicted

Do Erectile Dysfunction Cures Really Work

Prior to the 1990s, erectile dysfunction cures were fewer and far less effective, and came with greater side effects. Today however, the options available have expanded greatly

New Treatments for Erectile Dysfunction

New treatments for erectile dysfunction cover a wide range of options from medication and surgery through to prosthetic's. Which therapy is best can only be determined by professional diagnosis

Herbal Remedies for Erectile Dysfunction

There are a number of herbal remedies for erectile dysfunction that are recommended by herbalists and naturopathic doctors which have historically been associated with arousing desire

Natural Remedies for Erectile Dysfunction

When it comes to natural remedies for erectile dysfunction, you only have to look at foods that have always been thought of as aphrodisiacs and consume those as part of a healthy diet

What Are The Best Drugs For Erectile Dysfunction

The three most popular male impotence drugs for erectile dysfunction treatment are Viagra, Cialis and Levitra. All are similar in function, but there are distinct differences

Side Effects of Erectile Dysfunction Meds

The majority of the side effects of erectile dysfunction medication involves possible interactions with medications taken for other conditions although for most men, those side effects are few, if any

Once A Day Cialis Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction Approved by the FDA

Once a day cialis is an FDA approved low dosage cialis treatment for erectile dysfunction patients and is claimed to improve erectile function over the course of therapy

Adverse Viagra Side Effects

Male impotence drug Viagra, which is used to treat ED, has become very popular but there are also some adverse side effects that you should be aware of

Penile Implant Types For Erectile Dysfunction

Penile implant types for erectile dysfunction fall into two main categories which are either malleable or inflatable with the inflatable prosthetic being the more popular option for penile implants
Page Updated: November 14, 2016
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