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What do we know about extremely common male sexual problems

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Facts all men should know about male sexual problems and dysfunctions

By Professor Hassan Azadeh &

Dr Kehinde O Oduntan

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Let talk about Male sexual problems.

Male sexual problems are a medical condition that affects men of all ages. Although it is more common in older men, it can occur in younger men as well. Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to get or keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. It can have a significant impact on a man’s quality of life and can be a source of embarrassment and stress. In this essay, we will discuss the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of ED.

What are the causes of erectile dysfunction?

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There are many possible causes of ED, and it can be a result of both physical and psychological factors. The most common causes of ED are:

Diabetes: Diabetes can cause erectile dysfunction (ED) by impacting the nerves and blood vessels that play a crucial role in the process of achieving and maintaining an erection. When a person has high blood sugar levels, as is the case with diabetes, this can damage the blood vessels and nerves responsible for sexual function. This can lead to reduced blood flow to the penis, making it difficult to achieve and sustain an erection.

Additionally, over time, diabetes can cause damage to the lining of the blood vessels, leading to atherosclerosis, or plaque build-up. This plaque can block blood flow to the penis, causing erectile dysfunction., Moreover, diabetes can cause hormonal imbalances in the body, affecting testosterone levels, which can further contribute to the development of erectile dysfunction. Overall, managing blood sugar levels and seeking medical help can help prevent the onset and worsening of erectile dysfunction caused by diabetes.

Hypertension: Hypertension, or high blood pressure, can lead to ED due to its impact on the blood vessels and nerves that play an important role in achieving and maintaining an erection.

Having high blood pressure can damage the blood vessels and arteries responsible for carrying blood to the penis. This can restrict blood flow to the penis, making it more difficult to achieve or maintain an erection. Additionally, hypertension can also damage the nerves that are involved in sexual arousal and erections. This can result in decreased sensitivity and responsiveness, making it harder to achieve an erection or maintain it long enough for sexual activity. It’s important for individuals with hypertension to manage their blood pressure through lifestyle changes and medications to reduce the risk of developing erectile dysfunction.

Heart disease: Heart disease can cause ED by impacting the blood vessels and nerves that regulate the process of achieving and maintaining an erection., heart disease can damage the inner lining of the blood vessels, leading to a condition called atherosclerosis, where the blood vessels become narrowed and hardened. This can reduce blood flow throughout the body, including to the penis, making it difficult to achieve an erection. Furthermore, many of the same risk factors that contribute to heart disease, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and obesity, also increase the risk of ED. Additionally, medications such as beta-blockers or diuretics that are commonly prescribed to treat heart disease may also contribute to ED.

Obesity: Obesity or being overweight can cause ED by impacting the blood flow to the genital area and affecting the hormones and nerves that are involved in the process of achieving and maintaining an erection. When a person is obese, extra body fat can mean higher levels of oestrogen, a female hormone, in men. This can lead to lower testosterone levels, which can affect sexual function. Additionally, obesity can contribute to insulin resistance, which can damage blood vessels and nerves, leading to decreased blood flow to the genital area and impaired nerve function. Moreover, obesity is often associated with other health problems such as high blood pressure and diabetes, which can also contribute to erectile dysfunction.

Smoking: Smoking can greatly impact erectile function by interfering with the blood flow to the penis. Smoking is known to cause the blood vessels to constrict, which reduces blood flow to the penis, making it difficult to achieve and maintain an erection. It can also cause damage to the delicate tissues and nerves that are involved in the process of achieving an erection, which can contribute to erectile dysfunction. In addition to these physical effects, smoking can also have psychological effects, such as increasing anxiety and stress, which can also contribute to ED.

Medications: Some medications can cause ED by affecting blood flow or nerve impulses to the penis. These medications may include: blood pressure medications, antidepressants, antihistamines, anti-anxiety medications, muscle relaxants, chemotherapy drugs, hormone therapy drugs.

These medications may block the effects of hormones or neurotransmitters that are essential for sexual arousal and function. They may also affect blood vessels, making it difficult for blood to flow into the penis and causing erectile dysfunction. In some cases, medications may interact with other substances, such as alcohol or illicit drugs, to exacerbate the effects of erectile dysfunction. If you are experiencing erectile dysfunction as a side effect of medication, talk to your healthcare provider about alternative options or adjusting your dosage.

Hormonal imbalances: Hormonal imbalances can have a significant impact on erectile function. Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone and plays a crucial role in sexual function, including the ability to achieve and maintain an erection. Low levels of testosterone can lead to erectile dysfunction, decreased libido, and other sexual problems. Additionally, hormonal imbalances, such as high levels of prolactin or thyroid hormone, can also affect sexual function. These hormonal imbalances may be caused by medical conditions such as hypogonadism or hyperthyroidism or as a side effect of certain medications. If you are experiencing erectile dysfunction or other sexual problems, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider about the possible role of hormonal imbalances and undergo appropriate testing and evaluation. Treatment options may include hormone therapy or medication adjustments to help regulate hormonal levels and improve sexual function.

Psychological factors: Psychological factors can also have a significant impact on erectile function. Stress, anxiety, depression, and other emotional issues can affect sexual desire and arousal, leading to difficulties with achieving and maintaining an erection. Performance anxiety is a common psychological factor that can contribute to erectile dysfunction. This involves feeling nervous or worried about sexual performance, which can interfere with the ability to achieve an erection. Additionally, relationship problems, past trauma, and other psychological factors can all play a role in the development of erectile dysfunction. Treatment options may include therapy, counselling, or medication to address underlying psychological factors and improve sexual function.

How do you know if you have ED? 

The main symptom of ED is the inability to get or maintain an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. However, some men may experience other symptoms, including:

Reduced sexual desire: ED can reduce sexual desire and make it difficult to become aroused.

Premature ejaculation: ED can cause premature ejaculation, which is when ejaculation occurs too quickly during sexual intercourse.

Delayed ejaculation: ED can also cause delayed ejaculation, which is when ejaculation takes longer than usual or does not occur at all.

Inability to ejaculate: In some cases, men with ED may not be able to ejaculate at all.

To be continued next week.

Prof. Hassan Azadeh

Senior Consultant Ob-Gy

Email: [email protected]

Dr Kehinde O. Oduntan                     

Consultant General surgeon.

Email : [email protected]                    

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