July 31, 2012
Dealing wih erectile dysfunction
GD is a 55-year-old bus driver who writes Lifeline from a St Catherine address. For about a year or so, GD has noticed a change in his ability to 'have and to hold' on to erections. GD says that recently, his erections tend to be a bit "soft" and sometimes don't last, making sexual intercourse difficult. He is also sometimes experiencing early discharge during sex. GD is frustrated and depressed by these developments and asks Lifeline for advice on how to improve his sexual function. He has not yet visited a doctor.
GD also mentions that he is having some relationship problems as he suspects for over a year now that his lady friend might also be seeing someone else. This has put a lot of strain on the relationship. He is also experiencing some problems on the job. GD asks Lifeline for some advice on "dealing with people".
It is fair to say that with many men their ability to have an erection, or 'stand up', is often linked to their mental state. Depression is an emotionally low situation which is known to be associated with erectile dysfunction (ED), which is a 'low' in sexual function. On the other hand, mania, which is a mentally hyperactive state, is often associated with sexual hyper function or excessive penile stands.
Most men experience ED at some time in their lives and the cause can be physical or psychological in origin. Physical causes include:
Poor general health
Hardening of the arteries, which tends to occurs with ageing.
ED can also be a side effect of several drugs including:
Some anti-hypertensive medications
Nicotine (from cigarette smoking)
Most often, the reason these factors cause difficulty in having an erection is because they interfere in either the flow of blood to the penis, or in the transmission of nerve impulses to and from the penis.
ED becomes more common as men get older, and studies show that by age 60, many men find it more difficult to achieve an erection. It often takes longer to occur. This is not necessarily about age, but is more about health and lifestyle activities. The middle-aged man is more likely to have health issues, take medications which may interfere with erection capabilities, drink alcohol, and in this day and age, be experiencing work stress and trauma related to financial and relational issues. Older men also usually produce less semen than their younger counterparts, and so may experience less of a need to ejaculate (decreased desire).
If the male is only experiencing occasional problems with having an erection, if early morning erections still occur, and if an erection can be achieved by masturbation, then the problem is most likely to be emotional (psychological) rather than physical. Anxiety, depression, stress, conflict with a partner, guilt, fear of impregnating a woman, and lack of real desire (sexual feelings) for a partner can all contribute to ED and impotence. Generalised fatigue and overwork can also result in ED. Sometimes a combination of both physical and psychological problems occur, which can make the resolution of erectile dysfunction more difficult.
If a man who is experiencing ED is also taking medication, he should check with his physician and review all the medications and supplements he is taking for side effects. Sometimes lessening the dose of a medication, or changing the medication, can significantly improve the condition. A full physical examination and emotional evaluation should also be performed by the physician to determine other possible contributing causes of ED. Counselling and psychological support can also resolve ED when there are difficult emotional problems existing.
There are also several pharmaceutical preparations, oral (e.g. Viagra, Levitra, Cialis, etc), or injectable, which assist greatly with enhancing the ability to have erections.
Always, a healthy lifestyle will assist positively with a man having good erections. Obesity can compromise sexual function and losing the excess weight can make a big difference to sexual function. Satisfactory sex involves the use of many muscles in the body, so exercise helps with both fitness and sexual performance. Men who consume a great deal of alcohol tend to suffer with ED. cigarette smoking also cuts off the penile blood supply and affects erection ability adversely. Stop smoking and decrease alcohol consumption and experience better sexual function now!
And remember: almost all men will at some time experience erectile dysfunction. Do not add performance anxiety (worry over sexual function) to the problem as it will only make a difficult situation worse.
PO Box 173