Believe it or not, many men experience problems getting an erection or keeping an erection after he gets an erection. Many men find themselves worried about size, performance and other sex related problems; however, there is no need to be discouraged. There is help available and one of the most powerful aids in your favor is information. It is important that you understand your body, how it works and how you can deal with any erection problems.
What is Erection?
Erection, sometimes called impotence, refers to a man’s consistent inability to get or maintain an erection sufficient to have satisfactory sex. It does not mean a lack of sexual interest or desire or the occasional difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection that affects all men at some time in their life. Normally, an erection occurs when your imagination or one or more senses (vision, hearing, touch, smell, taste) are stimulated and you become aroused. Your central nervous system sends nerve impulses that increase blood flow to your penis. Four requirements for a normal erection are:
● A properly functioning nervous system that sends the necessary signals to the penis.
● An intact system of blood vessels to allow blood to flow into and out of the penis.
● Normal smooth muscle in the penis, which must relax so the penis can fill with blood and enlarge.
● The ability to trap the blood in the penis so that it stays firm.
Erectile dysfunction can occur at any age but is more common in older men, who often have additional health problems or who may be taking medications that may interfere with normal erectile function. Treatment of erection problems in older men can be as effective as in younger men. Doctors prefer to use the term erectile dysfunction instead of impotence. A man’s sexual function involves more than an erection, and the term impotence often carries negative implications. For ease of reading, this topic uses the term erection problems to refer to erectile dysfunction. Erection problems can affect your sexual life and your relationship. Discussing the issue with your partner and exploring other forms of intimacy can help improve your relationship and the erection problem.
The anatomy of the penis
Corpora cavernosa: two cylindrical tissues run the length of either side of the penis. Like sponges, they are capable of filling with blood. When the penis is soft, the muscle fibres in the corpora are contracted. Tunica: a tough outer sheath that surrounds the corpora and limits the amount they can expand. As the tunica becomes tight, blood flowing into the penis raises the pressure within it, making it hard. Corpus spongeosum: a third cylinder of tissue between the two corpora. This contains the urethra, through which urine and semen pass out of the body. It thickens towards the tip of the penis to form the helmet-shaped0 glans, which is covered by foreskin in uncircumcised men.
How an erection happens
1. Touch, sights, sounds, erotic memories, fantasies etc, cause sexual excitement.
2. These stimuli increase signal output from a part of the brain called the para-ventricular nucleus.
3. These signals then pass through special autonomic nerves in the spinal cord, the pelvic nerves and the cavernous nerves that run along the prostate gland to reach the corpora cavernosa and the arteries that supply them with blood.
4. In response to these signals, the muscle fibres in the corpora relax, allowing blood to fill the spaces between them.
5. Muscle fibres in the arteries that supply the penis also relax, and there is an eight-fold increase in blood flow to the penis. The increased blood flow expands the corpora, then stretches the surrounding sheath (the tunica).
6. As the tunica stretches, it blocks off the veins that take blood away from the corpora cavernosa. This traps blood within the penis, the pressure becomes very high and the penis becomes erect.
7. During an erection pressure in the penis is at least twice the pressure of blood in the main circulation. This is possible because the muscles of the pelvic floor contract around the base of the corpora cavernosa.
8. At orgasm, the signalling from the brain changes dramatically. There is a sudden increase in noradrenaline production from nerves in the genitalia. This seems to both trigger orgasm and contract the muscle fibres in the corpora cavernosa and their supplying arteries.
9. The pressure within the corpora drops, which also relaxes the tunica and so allows blood to flow out of the penis.
What causes erection problems?
The cause of erection problems may be physical (such as injury to nerves or loss of blood supply to the penis or psychological (such as anxiety or depression. Medications you are taking for other conditions, alcohol consumption, smoking, or illegal drug use also can cause erection problems.
Some of the main causes of ED are mentioned below:
(i) Diabetes mellitus is perhaps the most leading cause of ED observed in men. They are observed in as many as 35 to 50% of diabetic men.
(ii) Other diseases that can cause ED are neurological disorders, cardiovascular disorders, atherosclerosis and multiple sclerosis among others. These diseases along with diabetes mellitus constitute 70% of the total weak erection complaints of the world.
(iii) Addictions such as alcoholism, drug addictions and smoking also cause them. The main reason for these addictions to cause it is that they tamper with the nervous system of the man, thus disallowing the impulses to go freely from the brain to the male organ.
(iv) They can be caused due to a large number of therapeutic drugs that act on the nervous system. This list includes antihistamines, tranquilizers, appetite suppressants, anti-depressants, etc.
(v) Surgeries in the groin area can numb the nerve endings in that region, thus making it unable for impulses to reach the male organ. Prostate cancer surgery and bladder removal surgery are notable in this category.
(vi) One very important cause, though it occupies a low percentage of the total male population with them, is the nervousness before sex. Men who are nervous will not be able to get an erection.
(vii) Age also plays a very important factor. As the age advances beyond 40, there is decrease in the hardness of the penis during erection; and by the age of sixty five years, most men cannot get an erection at all.
(viii) Hormonal imbalances can also cause ED. The absence or deficiency of the male secondary sex characteristic hormone, testosterone, will disable the man from getting substantial erections.
What are the symptoms?
The only symptom of an erection problem is the inability to have or maintain an erection that is firm enough to consistently have sexual intercourse. This inability may or may not be related to sexual interest or the ability to have an orgasm and to ejaculate. Research the causes of these related symptoms that are similar to, or related to, the symptom Erection symptoms:
● Erectile disorders
● Penis symptoms
● Sexual symptoms
● Kidney disease
● Liver disease
● Hormonal abnormalities
● Testosterone deficiency
● Testicle disorder
● Pituitary disorder
How are erection problems diagnosed?
A health professional can diagnose an erection problem using a medical and sexual history and a physical examination. Your health professional will want to know whether the erection problem occurs all the time or occasionally. The initial exam, laboratory tests, and possibly psychological tests can help determine whether the problem is physical, psychological, or a combination of the two.
Can I prevent erection problems?
To reduce your risk of developing an erection problem, avoid smoking, drinking too much alcohol, and using illegal drugs. Because erection difficulties are most often caused by a physical problem, maintaining good health through diet and exercise is very important. A relaxed approach to lovemaking and good communication with your partner can help prevent erection problems caused by psychological factors.
Living With Weak Erection
You need to talk to your partner and also study material on weak erection. You should discussing and asking questions from your medical consultants. If possible you can meet community health researcher for possible advice and prescriptions for appropriate treatments. Research confirms that weak erection is not disease to be hopeless in life. There is hope to lives with Weak Erection.
Dr. Tariq Mahmood Taseer is a Herbal and Sex Specialist having years of experience in the field of Sexual Health Care.
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