Erectile dysfunction is a fairly common problem. You can never say for sure what causes it, but the good news is that in most cases, it can be cured. And here's how.
Let's start with some basics. Erectile dysfunction is characterized by the loss of penile volume and hardness. Simply put, you’re no longer able to develop an erection or maintain it. Episodic problems with erection can’t be considered erectile dysfunction. All men can experience problems with potency, regardless of health condition. Erectile dysfunction can be diagnosed only when a man isn’t able to perform sexual intercourse in more than 25% of cases.
Erectile dysfunction causes
Problems with erection can occur for many reasons. Here are the main causes of erectile dysfunction. Let's not take age-related changes into account.
Psychogenic causes. Psychogenic erectile dysfunction is characterized by stresses, overwork, depression, some phobias, deviations, and other psychological traumas. Under the influence of psychological factors, the cerebral cortex adversely affects the mechanism of development of an erection. In particular, the cortex can have a direct depressant effect, which reduces the erection. Besides, under the influence of stress factors, the level of adrenaline and norepinephrine hormones increases, which also has a negative effect on erection.
Arterial damage. Such erectile dysfunction develops from the vascular lesion. It can be atherosclerosis, some penile traumas, congenital anomalies of the penis vessels, hypertension, smoking (which worsens blood vessels), and other pathologies.
Damaged veins. In this case, erectile dysfunction develops due to the disruption of the veno-occlusal mechanism’s work.
Disorders of the nervous system. In this case, erectile dysfunction develops from various diseases of the brain and spinal cord. Peripheral nerves damage due to injuries or surgical interventions, when the nerve endings responsible for erection are affected, is also one of the causes of potency loss.
Anatomical disorders. This pathology is associated with disruption of the anatomical structure of the penis. For example, the curvature of the penis can cause impotence. Erectile dysfunction can also be a result of the fibrosis of cavernous bodies which is often associated with injuries and surgical interventions.
Hormonal causes. The vessels of the penis expand due to a specific enzyme, which is responsible for the synthesis of nitric oxide. This enzyme depends on the male sex hormones. The less testosterone the body provides, the less active this enzyme is, which, respectively, leads to a deterioration of the erection.
Some medications. Some drugs depress the production of male sex hormones. Among them are some narcotics, as well as drugs that reduce the function of the cerebral cortex.
Signs of erectile dysfunction
- Erection weakening: in the morning the penis is poorly erected, and it doesn’t get hard enough even during sexual intercourse;
- The penis loses its firmness during sexual intercourse, which doesn’t allow to finish it;
- Ejaculation occurs with a weak erection or happens prematurely;
- Complete or partial absence of an erection during intercourse.
Can masturbation cause erectile dysfunction?
There’s a common belief that excessive masturbation can result in potency loss. However, there are no facts that prove it. In other words, masturbation doesn’t cause any problems with erection, at least directly. But together with porn addiction, it can negatively affect your libido.
Porn and erectile dysfunction
Recently, the number of men, who have problems with potency due to porn addiction, has increased significantly. The accessibility of adult movies is harmful both for mental health and normal functioning of the reproductive system.
How can porn cause problems with potency?
Porn-induced erectile dysfunction has physiological, not psychological causes. The weakening of libido occurs due to the process that makes the brain of porn addicts less receptive to pleasure. Years of pushing the natural limits of libido desensitize the body’s susceptibility to a neurochemical called dopamine.
Dopamine is responsible for motivation, desires and all addictions. We get small bursts of dopamine every time we come across something potentially pleasant, new, surprising, or even something that causes anxiety. Sexual desire and erection also arise from dopamine impulses. Usually, the nerve cells that produce dopamine activate the sexual center of the hypothalamus, which, in its turn, activates the center of the erection in the spinal cord that sends nerve impulses to the genitals.
In most cases, erectile dysfunction is associated with the state of the cardiovascular system, and the nerves, blood vessels, and penis are the main problem. However, in men with addiction to porn, the weak link is not the penis, but rather the “atrophied” dopamine system in the brain.
Natural remedies for erectile dysfunction
Here’s how to cure erectile dysfunction naturally and permanently and prevent this problem from bothering you again.
The importance of food in maintaining good health is hard to overestimate. Unfortunately, not many people pay attention to what they eat. Erection is largely dependent on the necessary vitamins and minerals, involved in the production of male sex hormones. To increase erection, andrologists recommend supplementing the diet with certain types of products. Here are a few of them.
Seafood. Sea fish, such as mackerel, herring, saury, and anchovies can be very beneficial for men's health. You should also include shrimp, crab, and mussels in the diet. Seafood contains a large number of minerals, such as zinc and selenium, necessary for the production of testosterone. Besides, fatty fish contains many polyunsaturated omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which play a big role in maintaining the health of the cardiovascular system.
Cereals. Cereals contain a lot of minerals and vitamins that improve metabolism. Fiber, contained in grains, improves digestion and prevents cardiovascular diseases.
Celery. Celery can be called the most “male” vegetable. It’s rich in such natural supplements for erectile dysfunction as vitamins of B, C, A, E, PP, and K groups, zinc, potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and magnesium. It also contains an analog of the male sex hormone called androsterone which enhances the sexual desire and improves erection.
Oysters. This delicacy is a powerful aphrodisiac. Oysters contain a large amount of zinc which increases sexual desire.
Meat. Meat contains a lot of protein, needed for the growth of muscle mass. Meat dishes must necessarily be included in the diet, especially if you’re engaged in sports.
Natural herbs for erectile dysfunction
Ginkgo biloba. This herb has been used in the East for several millennia. It has many healing properties, including oxygenating the blood and increasing blood flow to the penis, thereby improving the erection and beneficially affecting sexual function in general.
Rhodiola Rosea. This herb contributes to the restoration of physical strength. Rhodiola Rosea can also influence the duration of sexual intercourse and prevents premature ejaculation.
Change in lifestyle
Bad habits, obesity, and hypodynamia kill potency, so leading a healthy lifestyle is an effective way to prevent erectile dysfunction. Often, it’s a key condition for restoring normal potency. You should give up smoking and fast food. Besides, alcohol and erectile dysfunction go hand in hand, so it’s better to limit yourself to minimal doses.
Physical exercises. Physical exercises are the best way to prevent erectile dysfunction. But daily workout should become a habit; otherwise, the result will be disappointing. To begin with, you have to overcome laziness. Start with jogging and light exercises, complementing your physiotherapy with yoga and healthy diet.
Erectile dysfunction treatment
If natural remedies for erectile dysfunction failed to help, it’s time to resort to conservative treatment. It includes following treatment measures.
Hormonal therapy. If erectile dysfunction is caused by hormonal disorders, the only way to restore the normal hormonal background is to undergo the hormone replacement therapy. There are many ways to normalize the balance of testosterone in the body, like gels that regulate the level of male sex hormones in the blood. Such drugs are prescribed only by the doctor, determining the dosage for each patient individually.
Vacuum Therapy. This is a non-medical form of therapy for erectile dysfunction which is aimed at increasing the flow of blood to the penis. For such therapy, a simple vacuum pump is used to stimulate the blood flow to the penis.
Psychotherapy. Often, the cause of potency loss lies in psychology, and in this case, only a competent psychotherapist knows how to fix erectile dysfunction. A specialist discusses all the issues related to the sexual life of the patient, as well as emotional experiences that can contribute to the development of erectile dysfunction. At the first stage, the doctor carefully collects information and studies possible causes of the dysfunction, helping the patient deal with his problem, curing it in most cases. Besides, the therapist gives practical recommendations concerning the patient's intimate life.
Behavioral Therapy. Another type of psychotherapy is a behavioral therapy which gives a good effect when treating psychogenic erectile dysfunction. The basis of this technique is simple: a person’s feelings largely depend on his thoughts. In other words, misconceptions and harmful thoughts can adversely affect a man's self-esteem, sexuality, and relationships, not only with the sexual partner but also friends and relatives. Behavioral therapy is aimed at eliminating bad thoughts. The psychotherapist helps the patient develop a correct (realistic) picture of himself and his sexual relationships.
Surgical treatment of erectile dysfunction. In case of serious disruptions of the blood supply to the penis, a man may be recommended to undergo surgical treatment. Usually, surgical intervention is resorted to when no other treatment methods have a positive effect. In case of venous or arterial insufficiency, surgical treatment allows to restore the full blood supply to the penis, leading to a normal persistent erection. With serious congenital abnormalities of the penis, doctors may recommend performing an implantation of the prosthesis of the penis.
Erectile dysfunction is an unpleasant problem, but it’s easy to solve if you turn to a specialist’s help on time. So deal with this issue as soon as possible.