Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and many couples wish to celebrate their love and togetherness on this day. There is also a considerable amount of pressure to perform well in bed, and men with erectile dysfunction (ED) may find it difficult to look forward to this day of love.
You’ll be shocked to learn that many relationships break down because of this stress around Valentine’s Day.
Learn about the causes, symptoms, and effective treatments of erectile dysfunction in this helpful blog so you can celebrate Valentine’s Day with your loved one in a joyful way.
Erectile dysfunction, also known as ED or impotence, is a common condition affecting men of all ages.
For most people, the inability to achieve or maintain an erection can cause significant stress and anxiety. This can also negatively impact relationships and self-esteem.
Special days like anniversaries or Valentine’s Day are meant to be joyous and something you can look forward to. In this article, we explore the symptoms, causes, and treatment options for erectile dysfunction, so that ED does not become a hindrance to a compatible and happy relationship or marriage.
Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction
The most common symptom of erectile dysfunction is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection. But the most important takeaway is that this is not something that should be hidden as an embarrassment. In 1995, a startling 150 million men worldwide were estimated to have been affected by ED.
ED may occur during sexual activity or when trying to achieve an erection during masturbation. Other noticeable symptoms may include:
- Reduced sexual desire: The effects of this may be seen as lack of interest in sexual intercourse and reduced self-esteem.
- Difficulty achieving an erection: Not being able to do so from time-to-time is not a cause for concern, but it needs medical intervention as an ongoing problem.
- Difficulty maintaining an erection: Some men may not find difficulty achieving an erection, but maintaining it is equally important for healthy sexual activity.
- Premature ejaculation: This is when men ejaculate too quickly during sexual intercourse. As many as 1 out of 3 people have this sexual complaint some time or the other.
Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
Sexual arousal in men is not as simple as achieving an erection. It is a complex biological process that involves hormones, nerve impulses, muscles, blood vessels and even psychological factors.
So, one cannot point out a single factor as the cause for ED. It can also vary for each person.
Erectile dysfunction can be caused by a variety of factors, both physical and psychological. Some common causes include:
- Atherosclerosis: This is characterized by hardening of the arteries. ED can also be a precursor to heart attack. So it’s always wise to get checked for atherosclerosis when you get diagnosed with ED.
- Obesity: More than aging, obesity has been found to be a greater cause for ED in men.
- Metabolic syndrome: Studies found that combined conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels, usually results in high risk of ED.
- Parkinson’s disease: Symptoms of Parkinson’s like anxiety or apathy, as well as medications for it can reduce libido, cause ED and an inability to achieve orgasm.
- Multiple sclerosis: MS can cause sexual dysfunction by decreasing genital sensation and decreasing libido.
- Peyronie’s disease: This is a situation where scarring of the penis has occurred and causes ED.
- Sleep disorders: Sleep apnea has a particular effect by causing ED since it affects your testosterone and oxygen levels.
- Low testosterone: This hormone is extremely important for libido and sexual performance in everyone, especially men.
- Depression, anxiety and stress: This can cause a vicious cycle with depression and anxiety causing ED and having ED being a cause for the same mental issues.
Diagnosis of Erectile Dysfunction
Being diagnosed with ED can be overwhelming and disheartening. Many men report feeling depressed and frustrated because of this, further causing shame and isolation.
Fortunately, a lot of research has been conducted on ED and its causes. Almost all combinations of causes can be identified and treated by a doctor accordingly:
- For most people, diagnosis of erectile dysfunction only requires a physical examination and review of medical history.
- In case of other health conditions, your doctor may also order blood tests to check for underlying health conditions, such as diabetes or low testosterone.
- They may also refer you to a urologist for further evaluation.
–> SEE ALSO: Don’t Ignore Erectile Dysfunction; Deal With It
Treatment Options for Erectile Dysfunction
Once you have been diagnosed, your doctor will suggest the best treatment that is most suitable for your causes and symptoms.
Treatment for erectile dysfunction always depends on the underlying cause. Your partner’s sexual preferences may also be taken into consideration for treatment choices. Some of the common treatment options that doctors recommend include:
- Medications: Medicines like sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), and vardenafil (Levitra) have a successful track record for ED treatment in men.
- Hormone therapy: This is to increase testosterone levels when tests show low levels.
- Vacuum erection devices: Also called a penis pump, this hand or battery powered pump is used to increase blood flow to your penis. Always use a doctor prescribed device from a reputed manufacturer.
- Penile injections: Generally, drugs like alprostadil and/or phentolamine is injected into the base or side of your penis. This creates an erection that lasts around an hour.
- Penile implants: An inflatable or bendable rod is surgically placed in the penis. This is usually recommended after attempting the other conservative methods. This also has a high degree of success and satisfaction among users.
- Psychotherapy: Sometimes, psychological causes like stress, anxiety or depression can cause erectile dysfunction. Visiting a counselor or psychologist can help resolve tensions within the relationship as well.
- Lifestyle changes: In some cases, lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, quitting smoking, and exercising regularly, may also reduce symptoms of erectile dysfunction.
Herbal Treatments for Erectile Dysfunction
Herbal treatments for erectile dysfunction have been used for centuries in traditional medicine. While these treatments are not considered a first-line therapy by conventional medical practitioners, many men turn to these natural remedies as an alternative to pharmaceutical options.
It is also necessary to consult a doctor before using over-the-counter herbal supplements and remedies. Ayurvedic medicine, offers a number of remedies for erectile dysfunction (ED).
–> SEE ALSO: 5 Powerful Herbs in Ayurveda With Health Benefits
Some of the most commonly used herbal treatments for erectile dysfunction include:
1. Ginkgo Biloba
Ginkgo biloba is an ancient Chinese herb that has been used to improve blood flow and circulation.
This herb works by dilating blood vessels and increasing blood flow to the penis, which may improve erectile function. In case of ED caused by anti-depressants, a study found that ginkgo biloba may reduce symptoms of erectile dysfunction in some men.
2. Panax Ginseng
Panax ginseng, also known as Asian ginseng, is a traditional Chinese medicine that has been used to improve sexual function. The use of this herb dates back to almost 2000 years!
The bark of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is commonly used to improve sexual function and increase testosterone levels. It is a powerful aphrodisiac that boosts libido and reduces symptoms of premature ejaculation.
Studies show that it also reduces stress and anxiety, which are huge factors that negatively impact sexual function. In addition, it may also boost levels of the hormone testosterone, which plays a key role in maintaining sexual health in men.
Gokshura, also known as Tribulus Terrestris, improves sexual function by increasing the amount of nitric oxide in the penis tissue.
Gokshura also widens arteries to improve blood flow and strengthens penile tissues, thus improving penile erection. Additionally, it is a potent aphrodisiac that arouses sexual desire and improves sexual function in men. It is also thought to boost levels of the hormone testosterone, which is important for maintaining sexual health in men.
Shatavari is called the “Queen of Herbs” for no simple reason. It prevents ageing, increases longevity, imparts immunity, improves mental function, vigour and adds vitality to the body. It maintains healthy energy levels and strengthens the body.
Shatavari in powdered form is known for increasing libido. It also induces a calm state of mind by helping overcome emotions of irritability and anger.
Vidarikand, commonly called Indian Kudzu, improves sexual performance due to its aphrodisiac quality. It also increases the levels of the testosterone in men which is very important for processes like sperm production.
This herb is known in Ayurveda for reducing symptoms of sexual weakness in men and improves overall male sexual health.
7. Shwet Musli
It also calms down nerve cells and prevents the risk of ED caused by depression, anxiety and stress. It is beneficial for addressing issues like erectile dysfunction, loss of libido, and infertility.
A paste or powder made of the flower head of Akarkarabha is known in Ayurveda to be a potent sexual stimulant and promotes sexual desire.
Akarkarabha improves sexual pleasures and erectile problems without causing side effects. It also increases testosterone levels, libido and sperm count which are extremely important factors for male sexual health.
Jatiphal, otherwise called the Nutmeg or Jathikai/Jaiphal, has nervous stimulating properties which enhance libido and sexual function in men.
Kaucha, or kaunch beej, is a legume that has a positive effect on male reproductive functions in terms of hormone profile, organ weights, semen quality and quantity. For this reason, it is called “The magic velvet bean”!
This herbal supplement helps with infertility by improving sexual function and increase energy levels. The origins of this Ayurvedic medicine is mysterious, found in the Himalayan rocks by gradual decomposition of a number of plants my microorganisms.
Pure, good quality Shilajit, extracted from a safe source provides the best benefits when consumed with milk.
Also called Mucuna Pruriens, this herb is believed to improve sexual function and increase sperm count. But beware, touching the plant and its seed pods in the fresh state can cause extreme itchiness!
This herb is believed to improve sexual function by increasing blood flow to the penis. It basically comes from the bark of a West African tree.
Mussk for Male Sexual Health
Mussk increased sexual desire in men with 90 days of therapy along with an increase in sexual encounters.
Further, this is hygienically manufactured from safe and pure sources of herbs, making it a safe formulation for men with ED.
Remember, that it is important to consult an Ayurvedic doctor before taking any of these remedies, as they may interact with other medications or have side effects.
Be it Valentine’s Day or any other special day for a couple, erectile dysfunction is a common condition that can cause significant stress and anxiety.
The good news is that by understanding the symptoms, causes, and treatment options, men can work with their doctors to find the best solution for their individual needs. With the right treatment, most men can successfully manage their erectile dysfunction and regain their sexual function.