Wed | Sep 19, 2018

Tackling erectile dysfunction

Published:Monday | August 27, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Male impotence is an ugly creature that creeps up on several men. Termed in the medical fraternity as erectile dysfunction (ED), doubtlessly, it's one of a man's biggest fears. Dr William Aiken, urologist, has offered to help broaden men's knowledge of the condition. It's important that males and even ladies get a clear understanding of what this truly is.

According to the doctor, being unable to get and/or maintain an erection for one or two weeks is not classified as ED. A man will only be diagnosed as suffering from such if his situation lasts for at least three months. However, in the event that he experiences signs of impotence after undergoing a surgery or other treatment, the diagnosis will be sooner or even immediately.

"There is no one cause for ED. It's causes are classified in two broad categories, organic (physical) and psychological. But by far the former is the most common of the two," Dr Aiken explained.

According to the expert, physical factors such as blood vessel-related problems, low testosterone and an overactive or underactive thyroid gland account for 85 to 90 per cent of impotence in men.

 

No Erection

 

So, what happens when a male is unable to get an erection? It means that there is a decrease in the blood flow channelling into the penis. And it all boils down to a man's lifestyle. Obesity, high blood pressure, cigarette smoking, long-term alcohol consumption, high cholesterol levels, poorly maintained diabetes, and elevated stress are only a few risk factors that put men several steps closer to becoming sexually powerless. Over a period of time, these will lead to a narrowing in blood vessels, limiting the blood flowing not only into the penis, but throughout the entire body.

"This is why when a man has severe erectile dysfunction he is susceptible to a heart attack and stroke. Because the same process is happening in the heart and blood vessels to the brain. And he is at a much higher risk of kidney failure," he said.

 

Treating ED

 

There are several treatment options available to men who are suffering from ED. Speaking with your doctor to rule out risk factors and identifying the possible causes is the first step you should take. The initial option would be oral agents, like Viagra. But if these fail, a penis pump, an injection and penile implant, the last resort could be explored.

With this said, Dr Aiken leaves a word of advice for all the men. "Always remember to avoid consuming an excessive calorie intake and foods high in cholesterol. Never forget to exercise. It can help you in more ways than you can imagine. Living a sedentary life will only contribute to making you incapable of being aroused or sustaining an erection for your moment of pleasure."

rocheda.bartley@gleanerjm.com