Male Sexual Problems
Causes of Impotence
Here we will look at the causes of impotence and low libido and in many
instances all that you need to do is make some lifestyle changes to reignite
your sex drive. The problems are listed below you should also check our
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dysfunction (ED), or impotence, is the term used when
a man has difficulty with either getting an erection
or with keeping an erection for long enough to allow
satisfactory sexual activity.
It is probably the most common sexual problem and affects
around 50% of all men over 40 at some point in their
lives. It generally becomes more common and severe as
a man gets older. However, most men are too embarrassed
to seek help for a condition, which in most cases is
How an Erection Occurs
The shaft of the penis has two chambers that fill up
with blood during sexual arousal. These are known as
the corpora cavernosa. When a man has sexual feelings,
the brain communicates this sexual excitement through
the nerves, and these eventually reach the genitals.
The nerves then bring about a relaxation of the muscle
cells in the walls of the blood vessels entering the
penis. This increased blood flow then fills up the two
corpora cavernosa resulting in an erection of the penis.
Cause & Cure of ED
There are a number of causes of ED. In around 70% of
cases there are physical problems affecting the supply
or blood flow to the penis. However, there is also a
complex relationship between the physical and psychological
aspects of sexual function. For example, physical health
problems can cause psychological distress that can have
an additional effect on erection problems.
General Physical health
Several conditions can prevent sufficient blood getting
into the penis resulting in ED. These include the following:
1. Diabetes and vascular disease (furred-up blood
There can be problems with keeping the blood within
the penis (veno-occlusive disease), resulting in erections
that are quickly lost.
2. The nervous system
Problems with the nervous system can affect the transmission
of signals from the brain to the blood vessels in the
penis. This occurs in conditions such as multiple sclerosis,
spinal cord injury and Parkinson's disease.
The nerves involved in sexual arousal can also be damaged
by surgery to the pelvic area, such as removal of the
4. Hormone Levels
In a minority of cases, problems with hormone levels,
can also affect the ability to get and maintain an erection.
The side-effects of medicines such as some treatments
for high blood pressure can cause ED. Medicines can
also affect sexual drive and desire (libido), or cause
problems with ejaculation and orgasm.
Psychological problems can also influence the ability
to get and maintain an erection. Stress at work, depression,
boredom with current sexual partners, relationship problems,
and unresolved issues about sexual orientation (such
as homosexuality) may also cause problems.
Many people lead lifestyles that are detrimental to
their overall health, and sexual problems naturally
occur as a by product of such a lifestyle
Heavy alcohol consumption affects the ability to get
and maintain an erection. "Brewer's droop", as it is
commonly called, can occur in heavy drinkers of all
ages. Longer term, heavy alcohol consumption is proven
to interfere with the production of the male hormone
testosterone, which reduces Libido
Smoking damages the circulation, so smoking increases
the risk of erection problems as these circulation problems
result in the inability for blood to flow into the penis.
3. Recreational Drugs
Other recreational drugs such as cocaine, can also have
an affect on the ability to achieve and maintain an
Being physically inactive also contributes to poor cardiovascular
fitness and may increase the risk of, and contribute
5. ED and Age
In younger men the initial problem is often anxiety
over the reliability of an erection. Occasional problems
are common and do not mean there will be persistent
problems. Normally these problems are purely psychological.
However, as men get older, it is common for them to
need greater tactile stimulation by themselves or their
partner, to achieve an erection. More sexual foreplay
may be necessary to ensure a sustained erection, as
physical stimulation is needed because mental stimulation
is not enough.
In around 95% of cases, a suitable treatment for ED
can be found either by prescription drugs, a change
in diet, herbal supplements, or a general lifestyle
The first step to finding a cure is to isolate the problem.
Is it caused by physical problems, psychological problems,
or a combination of the two? Once the problem is isolated
or diagnosed, then a cure is possible.
Psychological Problems: If the problems are psychological
then a skilled councillor may be able to help. Being
able to discuss the problem and understand it, is sometimes
in itself enough to relieve the anxiety and fear of
sexual activity, and can lead to a more fulfilling sex
Physical Problems: If the problems are physical,
then there are a number of options available, from changes
in diet, prescription pills, herbal remedies, testosterone
replacement and general lifestyle changes.
Go To Curing ED
Curing Erectile Dysfunction
What's The Problem? The diagnosis of ED
Many men feel embarrassed to discuss ED problems with
their doctor or nurse. However, since the launch of
the drug sildenafil, (Viagra), and the increased awareness
that it has created, more men are overcoming their embarrassment
and fear and consulting a professional.
As we have seen in the section covering the causes of
ED, there are many reasons it occurs and some of them
may not be obvious to the patient, so a proper consultation
The doctor will ask about your general health and about
your erections. This will include whether or not you
wake up with an erection in the morning, and the strength
of the erection compared with the past. The doctor will
ask about any medicines you are on, and about any changes
in your life that may be having an influence on your
A physical examination includes taking blood pressure
and checking the pulse in the legs - an indicator of
how healthy body blood circulation is. The penis and
scrotum will be examined. The doctor may carry out blood
tests to look for medical problems, such as anaemia,
diabetes, high cholesterol or hormone abnormalities
that could be contributing to the problem. Other tests,
to assess blood flow and the way the nerves are working,
can also be done in specialist hospital clinics.
The doctor will also probably ask questions regarding
your life generally. Work, stress, relationship problems,
worries about sex etc. and from the physical tests will
be able to build up an an overall picture of how far
the problem is physical mental, or both.