Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is the inability (or great difficulty) to achieve or maintain an erection, which prevents an affected person from having a satisfying intercourse. To determine if a patient has erectile dysfunction, he should have these problems for at least 6 months.
Erectile dysfunction affects about 8 percent of men in Poland. Although the percentage of people affected by this problem increases in particular age groups, this problem also applies to younger men. Erectile dysfunction should not be underestimated also because it can be a symptom of broader health problems, primarily regarding the cardiovascular system.
Read more: Problems with erection
The main causes of erectile dysfunction include: psychogenic causes (in which case the erection problems are “in the head”), hormonal disorders, and chronic diseases. The ED can also result from taking certain medications, a poor diet or lifestyle.
Read more: Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
Treatment for erectile dysfunction – what methods can be used?
The methods used to treat erection problems should be individualy applied to each patient seeking help. Only a thoroughly collected interview and comprehensive tests (physical, psychological, laboratory) will allow to determine the cause of disorders and apply appropriate treatment. Currently, several methods of treating erectile dysfunction are used:
- First of all, a healthy lifestyle, physical activity, getting rid of excess weight, if any, is recommended.
- Psychotherapy that makes use of a variety of techniques to reduce tension, anxiety, cope with stress or tension arising during intercourse.
- Training methods based on getting to know your body and how it responds to stimulation.
- Imaginary methods combined with relaxation.
- Drug treatment is mainly based on drugs from the group of phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors, such as Viagra, Levitra, Cialis.
- Vacuum devices that use blood pressure to inject blood into the cavernous bodies of the penis, resulting in an erection.
- As a last resort, surgical procedures are used (implantation, reconstruction of arteries supplying blood to the penis).
In many cases, it is recommended to combine different forms of treatment for erectile dysfunction, e.g. pharmacological treatment with psychotherapy.
Read more: Psychotherapy for Erectile Dysfunction
Despite this, only a very small proportion of men affected by erection problems decide to undergo treatment. In Poland, it is only about 5 percent of them. This state of affairs can be explained in different ways. First of all, it seems that not all men realize that the ED can be cured. Many also feel uncertain and ashamed about visiting a sexologist. However, it is worth overcoming these fears and turning to a specialist for help.