When It Won’t Stay Up – Erectile Dysfunction (Impotence)
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When It Won’t Stay Up – Erectile Dysfunction (Impotence)

The inability to achieve and maintain an adequate erection for satisfactory sexual performance is extremely common and probably affects most men at some stage in their lives.

This important men’s health issue is called erectile dysfunction (ED). The word ‘impotence’ is derived from the Latin for ‘loss of power’ and implies a complete inability to get an erection. The term ‘erectile dysfunction’ cheap priligy australia is preferred because there is a whole variety of erection-related problems. For some men this is only a temporary effect, perhaps when they are under stress, tired or have drunk too much alcohol; for others it can be a more long-lasting problem. However, ED can be an early sign of damage to the blood vessels elsewhere in the body, for example, the heart, the brain or the legs. It can have a significant impact on the quality of life for a man, his partner and their relationship.

What Is the Cause of Erectile Dysfunction?

There is no easy answer to this as there may be several different factors involved. We do know that many men still suffer needlessly in silence, as they either feel too embarrassed to raise the issue or they feel it is part of ‘normal ageing’. Fortunately, these types of issues are no longer taboo and have benefited from a great deal of media exposure in recent years. This has been helped enormously by the arrival of effective medical treatments for this condition, such as Viagra. As a result, men should have the confidence to discuss this important health issue with their family doctor and get appropriate help and treatment.

How Common Is Erectile Dysfunction?

It can occur at any age but is more common as a man gets older. About 50 per cent of all men aged between 40 and 70 and about 70 per cent of men aged over 70 are affected by erectile dysfunction issues.

How Normal Erections Work

Knowledge of how an erection works can be helpful in understanding the causes of erectile dysfunction (ED) as well as the treatment options. Normal erections require healthy arteries, veins and nerves, a mind that is ‘tuned in’, enough testosterone in the system and a chemical called nitric oxide. It is a complex process that starts with physical arousal or erotic thoughts. Penile erection is usually triggered by one of two main mechanisms: direct stimulation of the genitalia or stimuli coming from the brain (fantasy, smell, etc.). This causes messages in the form of chemicals (nitric oxide) to go from the brain down the spinal cord to the penis. The penis is an organ with spongy erectile tissue composed predominantly of muscle. These chemicals then cause the penis to enlarge by increasing its blood supply. This increased blood flow into and storage of blood within the spongy erectile tissue of the penis leads to an increase in its pressure and the development of rigidity (hardness). The increased pressure of blood in the penis helps to prevent blood from escaping out of the penis. Ongoing sexual arousal results in more chemicals going from the brain via the spinal cord into the nerve endings of the penis. Both of these processes help to maintain the erection.

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