Erectile dysfunction (ED) or impotence, is sexual dysfunction which is characterized by the inability to get or keep an erection that’s firm enough for sexual intercourse ED affects more than 40 million men.
While most men may experience issues with achieving erections from time to time. It is considered ED when this happens more than half of the time. ED can be psychological in nature as well as organic due to health problems. The organic cause can be due to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, trauma, surgery, hormonal or due to side effects due to medications. Psychological ED can also be caused by anxiety, stress or emotional reasons. ED is typically considered an early indicator of a more serious health problem. Heart disease, high blood pressure and high blood sugar can all cause and increase your likelihood of getting ED. If you are experiencing some form of ED it is advised to consult your physician to find the cause and discuss your options with them in more detail.
An erection is caused by two mechanisms. The first is a reflex mechanism in which an erection is achieved due to direct stimulation. The second is a psychological mechanism which causes an erection due to an emotional stimulus. During sexual arousal, the nerves receive messages from the brain to release nitric oxide (NO), causing the smooth muscle relaxation of the corpora cavernosa. This allows for increased blood flow into the spongy tissue (corpus cavernosum) or erection chamber of the penis. The “smooth muscle” in the erection chambers relaxes, which lets blood enter and stay within the chambers. As the surrounding tissues at the base of the penis swells, they pinch off the veins preventing the black flow of blood out of the penis, causing the formation of an erection. Once an orgasm is achieved, the blood flows out of the chambers and the erection goes away. Having normal erections, whether nocturnal or otherwise is an indicator of overall health and continued wellbeing. It is therefore essential to address any and all issues of ED when it arises.