Understanding the nature of the ailment
Erectile impotence is a state of physical being when the person is unable to achieve the erection that one requires for sexual intercourse. The reasons are manifold, but mainly rest on mental or physical disturbances that the person faces. Impotence, to put this disorder in the terms of the ordinary man, is very common.
Erection occurs when the blood flow to the penis increases. This happens when the person is sexually aroused. It may occur through touch or through mental visualization or fantasy. When this happens there is a release of nitric oxide that stimulates the smooth muscle cell and help it relax. This allows more blood to fill the penis causing it to expand.
Erection is sustained when the veins that allow the blood to flow out is compressed. Since, there is no more blood flowing out, the penis remains enlarged. Reversal of erection happens when the smooth muscle begins to contract. This will stop the increased inflow of blood. Healthy nervous system and healthy arteries are essential for proper erection.
Main Causes for Impotence
- Chronic illness
- Poor blood flow to penis
- Lifestyle change
- Excess alcohol
- Excess smoking
- Too tired
Chronic illness will cause the arteries to harden. This reduces blood flow. Hypertension also causes erectile dysfunction. Antihistamines, anti-depressants and medication for treating high blood pressure cause erectile dysfunction. These include Propranolol, cimetidine, verapamil, metoclopramide and lithium among others.
The primary reason for impotence is the decreased blood flow to the penis. Investigations into the causes for this show the following reasons. One is the stress caused when a person moves to a new neighborhood or starts a new job. The person loses the mental equilibrium and this reflects in a dysfunction of the nervous system.
When a person consumes excess of alcohol and indulges in smoking, he suffers nerve damage and atherosclerosis occurs. Another reason may be that the person is not mentally prepared. When the person suffers disorientation, the blood flow is impaired. This happens when the person is too tired also. Aging makes the nerves weaker and is one of the main reasons for erectile dysfunction or impotence.
Diagnosis of Erectile Dysfunction
- Penile nerves function testing
- Duplex ultra sound
- Penile biothesiometry
- Magnetic resonance angiography
Use of bulbocavernosus reflex tests determines whether the nerves are reacting all right. Squeezing the head of the penis causes the muscles of the anus to contract. Prostaglandin is injected and duplex ultrasound testing takes place. There is induced erection and the blood flow is measured. Measurements will show if there is atherosclerosis or venous leak. We can use magnetic vibrations to study the nerve functions of shaft and glans of the penis. In the last study, magnetic resonance imaging gives the images of the blood vessels and these are studied.
- Aerobic exercise
- Lifestyle modifications
The first course of treatment is aerobic exercises. This serves to open the blood vessels and improve the nervous system. The person will need to make changes to his or her lifestyle like abstaining from alcohol and cigarettes, maintaining a regular and healthy diet and eating nutritious food. If all these fail, surgical intervention may be required.
There exist a number of products in the market that claim to be effective. However, there is no scientific evidence and one should proceed cautiously. Erectile dysfunction is a serious problem. For treating impotence one should seek the advice of qualified medical professionals only.