There are few situations that cause more anxiety for a man than the possibility of an equipment failure (so to speak) in the bedroom. Those of the male gender often take great pride in their sexual prowess, and an inability to perform (whether for the first time or repeatedly) can be embarrassing, frustrating, and potentially emasculating, even if they have a supportive and understanding partner. However, most men don’t realize that impotence, or erectile dysfunction, is a fairly common, well-documented, and generally treatable (or even reversible) condition. While the causes of ED may be physical, mental, emotional, or some combination of the three, the disorder is almost always curable with some form of therapy.
For starters, men should know what erectile dysfunction entails; it is the inability to have or maintain an erection to the point of sexual satisfaction. In other words, even if you can attain an erection, you can’t reach climax before it subsides. There are a number of causes for this condition, from the physical (as a symptom of circulatory problems, cardiovascular disease, diabetes (read more about ED and diabetes), or neurological trauma, just to name a few), to the hormonal (decrease in testosterone levels), to the psychological (thoughts or feelings that repress or override sexual desires). Another avenue to explore is any drug use (prescription or otherwise) that may be producing the erectile dysfunction.
In each case, there are options for treatment. Surprisingly, ED that is linked to mental or emotional causes may be the easiest to treat (although it is less common than other forms). Because psychological impotence has no overarching physical defect to be addressed, it can often be treated quite easily through a combination of therapy and “medication”. In many cases, people convince themselves that there is a physical problem of some sort, and so they are susceptible to the placebo effect. In other words, they don’t even need medication, but if they are provided with what they think is a drug to stimulate erection, they can produce the intended result. And once they have overcome their inadequacies, they can then be taken off the placebo since they have proven themselves capable (although they should still attempt to work through whatever psychological factors led to dysfunction in the first place).
As for drugs that produce ED as a side effect (namely certain anti-depressants, although alcohol and nicotine may also play a role), users will have to weigh the benefits of taking those drugs against their desire to lead an active sex life, or see if they can participate in a concurrent course of treatment to curb these side effects. In terms of physical problems such as vitamin deficiencies, a decrease in hormones, and so on, these are most often addressed with some form of consumable medication (Viagra or other PDE5 inhibitors), injections, a pump, prosthesis, or even surgery. Rarely, there are cases of erectile dysfunction that cannot be treated, but the majority of causes can be managed by one of the many methods listed above. And often, men who face this disorder can go on to lead a satisfying sex life, should they so choose.