Causes and treatment of Erectile Dysfunction


May 10, 2016

Dear Readers,

FD writes Check Up from a Kingston 8 address. He is an active 74-year-old man, who is married and is still working for a living.

He enjoys marital relations with his wife but, since the latter part of 2015, he is taking a significantly longer time to achieve full erection.

He doesn't know what has happened to him. He feels well enough, physically. He said he does not smoke or drink alcohol. He thinks maybe he needs a check-up and asked Check Up for advice.

FD seems to be experiencing erectile dysfunction (ED), which occurs when a man finds it difficult or impossible to either achieve an erection or to keep it once it is present.

This can be quite devastating when it occurs, to both the man and his partner.

As people live much longer these days and older people are healthier than they used to be, they also enjoy sexual relations for a longer period of time. FD has been quite happily active until recently. At age 74, FD is far from being alone in his plight. Nearly all men will, or have already, experienced, even transient ED, at some time in their lives.

The specialists now believe that physical factors are often the cause of ED in men over age 50. The incidence of atherosclerosis, hypertension and diabetes Mellitus increases with age. These diseases, as they progress, will tend to block blood flow to the penis. Hormonal imbalances and prostate surgery are other causes of ED as men age.

Men also take medication to treat chronic diseases, which occur more often and are often more debilitating with advancing age. Some of these drug treatments can cause some measure of ED. This is particularly so if the man is taking several drugs.

It is important not to stop taking medicines which treat serious diseases but to report the problem to a physician, who can check on the possible side-effects and make changes, where warranted. To discontinue medication without medical guidance is to risk your life.

Diuretics (water pills), antihistamines, high blood-pressure medications, cancer and anti-depressant medications can decrease libido (the urge to have sexual intercourse) and sexual performance. Alcohol and tobacco smoking can also adversely affect erectile function.

In younger men, ED is more likely to be due to emotional and psychological causes, although physical causes can also occur. Tension, anxiety, depression, overwork and fatigue, life stress, low self-esteem, marital and partner problems all serve as causes which contribute to ED.

Men usually suffer in one or more of three sexual disorders:

• Problems with erection

• Problems with ejaculation

• Loss of interest in sex

All recent indicators confirm that erection problems become more frequent with age. The penis is a muscle with tissues, which fill with blood to achieve erection.

With ageing, muscles become weaker, generally, all over the body, and this will affect the penis also.

Ageing is associated with decreased concentration of elastic and smooth muscle fibres, which play a great part in the erection process in the penis.

When you add this to the injuries caused to the body by Diabetes, high blood cholesterol and other chronic diseases, ED becomes quite common in the older years.

Exercising a great deal, keeping slim and fit are associated with a lower risk for ED. Obesity, watching TV and drinking alcohol are associated with increased incidence of ED.

As long as the man does not have significant heart disease or use a group of medicines called nitrates, such as drugs Viagra and Cialis will often improve sexual performance in most men.

These medications are available by prescription. Weight loss, exercise, proper diet, adequate sleep and stress control also go a long way towards keeping the male body healthy and functional!

It would be best for FD to visit his family doctor and have a full physical check-up. He should also take in all medications and supplements, which he may be using, so the doctor can check them for possible ED side-effects.

Write to:

Check UP,

PO Box 1731,




Other Lifestyle Stories