What is Erectile Dysfunction (Impotence)?
Erectile dysfunction is the inability to have or maintain an erection. Erectile dysfunction is often known as impotence.
In general, impotence can also be indicated by a low sex drive. Impotence can happen either suddenly or gradually. Men over 40 are more prone to impotence.
Causes of Erectile Dysfunction (Impotence)
Erection occurs due to blood flow to the penis. Thus, impotence or erectile dysfunction is generally caused by low blood flow to the penis.
The low blood flow can be caused by various physical factors, such as:
- Injury to the penis
- Peyronie’s disease, development of scar tissue inside the penis
- Treatments for prostate cancer or swelling prostate
- Complications from surgery, such as surgical removal of the prostate
- High cholesterol level
- Clogged blood vessels
- Tobacco use and alcohol use
- Drug abuse
- Have other diseases such as diabetes mellitus, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, kidney disorders, heart problems
- Low testosterone levels and other hormonal imbalances
- Age-related factor
There are also several psychological disorders that can cause impotence, such as anxiety, depression, stress, past trauma and problems in relationships.
When to See a Doctor for Erectile Dysfunction (Impotence)
Impotence or erectile dysfunction often does not require special consultation with a doctor, but you can monitor your condition. However, to form a more definite diagnosis, your doctor may carry out several examinations, such as:
- Hormone test
The primary problem of erectile dysfunction when the hormones testosterone and LH (Luteinizing Hormone) are affected. Through hormone tests, the exact cause of impotence can be identified.
- Duplex ultrasound
Since the common cause of impotence is due to low blood flow to the penis, it is necessary for your doctor to examine your blood flow and blood vessels. This exam helps identify blood vessel disorders such as atherosclerosis.
- Penile sensitivity test
This exam uses vibration as a penile stimulus to assess its sensitivity. It is possible that impotence when the penis has sexual arousal problems due to an increased threshold for vibrations or penile sensory disorder.
- Penile injection therapy
This exam is performed by injecting drugs into the penis to stimulate erection and see how long it lasts.
- Ultrasound Exam
An ultrasound can provide an overview of the condition of the blood vessels in the penis and evaluate if there are problems with blood flow to the penis.
- Psychosocial testing
If necessary, a psychological exam for men who have impotence may need to be carried out. During this test, you will be asked to fill in a number of questions about your symptoms, medical history, and sexual contact history. This test helps identify the cause or the severity of the impotence.
Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction (Impotence)
Impotence may be indicated by the inability of the penis to get an erection, to maintain an erection, and the loss of sexual drive. Although those are symptoms of impotence, it is actually common to occur in some men.
In addition, people with impotence usually experience similar symptoms, such as premature ejaculation, delayed ejaculation, and anorgasmia or the inability to reach an orgasm despite receiving a lot of sexual stimulation.
Impotence is often mistaken for premature ejaculation. Despite having similar symptoms, there are differences between the two. Impotence is the inability of the penis to get an erection at all or only for a short time. Meanwhile, premature ejaculation is a disorder when you can have an erection, but it does not last long and reaches orgasm in a short time.
Judging from the cause, impotence is caused by either lifestyle factors, nerve problems or blood vessel problems. Meanwhile, premature ejaculation is generally caused by male psychological factors
Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction (Impotence)
There are numerous ways to treat impotence or erectile dysfunction. First, you can increase blood flow to your penis by consuming medications called phosphodiesterase inhibitor class. Phosphodiesterase inhibitors work by increasing the caliber of the blood vessels in the penis.
The medications included in this group include vardenafil, sildenafil, and tadalafil. In addition, there is another treatment method, which is an ointment and applied to the surface of your penis
Another type of treatment besides taking medications is by injecting the hormone testosterone. In some cases, impotence is caused by low levels of the hormone testosterone. Hormone injection helps increase testosterone levels in the body.
Another treatment method for impotence is to use a special pump that resembles a suction device. This device serves to draw blood to your penis. After you successfully have an erection, remove the device, then attach a rubber ring on the base of the penis to maintain an erection.
If the methods above still do not work, you may perform surgery. In cases where impotence occurs due to disease or other health problems, it is necessary to treat the disease first.
Treatment Cost for Erectile Dysfunction (Impotence)
Treatment cost for impotence treatment may vary depending on the number of tests taken and the treatment method chosen. To help you calculate the estimated cost for impotence treatment, find hospital recommendations, and make appointments with doctors at home and abroad, contact Smarter Health.
Prevention of Erectile Dysfunction (Impotence)
Implementing a healthy lifestyle can help prevent impotence, such as:
- Exercise regularly
- Get enough rest
- Quit smoking
- Eat foods with balanced nutrition
- Perform regular medical checkups
- Avoid excessive alcohol consumption
- Avoid the use of narcotics and hazardous substances
Home Remedies for Erectile Dysfunction (Impotence)
There are several home remedies that you can try to implement to treat erectile dysfunction at home, including:
- Weight loss
- Kegel exercises
- Aerobic exercises