Erectile dysfunction is defined as the inability either to achieve an erection at all, or to maintain one long enough for successful intercourse. Both definitions are the typical symptoms of ED as well. Another symptom may be lowered libido. These issues are only classified as ED if the problem is experienced on a persistent and ongoing basis.Does my age put me at higher risk?
There are multiple risk factors for developing ED. As you age, it can take longer to develop erections. You may also require more stimulus and your erections may not be as effective as they once were. Often this is not just due to getting older, but instead reflects an underlying issue like health problems. It may also be a side effect of the medications that are more commonly taken by older men.
Other risk factors include being diabetic or having other heart or circulatory problems, tobacco and alcohol use, obesity, surgery of the prostate or bladder, nerve or spinal injuries, stress, or fatigue. Depression is also a known risk factor, but ED is often seen as an unfortuante side effect of taking anti-depressants as well. Lifestyle choices such as illegal drug use can have an impact. Even too-frequent bicycling can compress the nerves and blood vessels in the region, which can affect function.How is ED diagnosed?
In most cases, a thorough medical history and quick physical exam are enough to diagnose ED before a doctor is ready to prescribe an effective treatment plan like Viagra. This can often be done by your regular family doctor. However, if they feel the ED may be a manifestation of other underlying issues, a specialist may be recommended for further testing. This can include nerve stimulation tests, blood samples, and urinalysis. Other doctors may recommend an ultrasound to investigate possible blood flow problems in the genital area. Sometimes an overnight erection test is suggested. Erections happen normally during sleep, so placing special tape around the penis before going to bed can help determine whether or not they are still physically happening. If the tape is broken in the morning, it’s a good indication that the issues may be psychological and not physical.When should I seek help?
If performance issues become troublesome for either you or your partner, it’s time to see your doctor. You should also see a doctor if you suspect your problem might be related to an already-existing physical issue such as heart disease or diabetes.Can Viagra help me?
Viagra is one of the least costly and most effective forms of treatment for ED, whether it is caused by a physical malfunction or is occurring as a result of stress or fatigue. It allows more blood flow into the penis, which leads to more reliable erections.