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Erectile dysfunction is part of life. It means having difficulty getting an erection or sustaining it for as long as one wants to have sex.
Erectile dysfunction is something that affects all men from time to time. Often men can experience erectile dysfunction when they have sex with other people; sometimes it may also be a problem when masturbating.
During intercourse, an erection will often come and go. You can lose it for a bit and then it will come back. Sometimes it will not come at all.
To get an erection, first and foremost you need to be sexually aroused. It is also important to be relaxed. Worry, stress or anxiety about performance can make you tense, which in turn will make it harder to get and sustain an erection.
Many men experience erectile dysfunction as a considerable problem. They may worry that it will happen again, which makes the body tense and makes it harder to get an erection, which then becomes a vicious circle.
Erectile dysfunction may have medical, psychological or cultural causes.
Some examples of medical causes are cardiovascular, neurological and endocrine conditions. Erectile dysfunction may also be caused by certain medicines.
Stress, anxiety about performance, relationship problems and depression are common psychological causes of erectile dysfunction. Notions and values about how one should have sex can also greatly affect erection.
Erectile dysfunction is often caused by a mixture of medical, cultural and psychological factors. Sometimes one of the aspects will be more prominent.
Treatment can be medical, psychological or information-based. The most common form of treatment is a combination of these three.
If you have a partner, it can often help to talk about the problems. Erectile dysfunction should not result in you avoiding an active sex life. It is possible to have sex even if you don't have an erection, for example by kissing, caressing each other, masturbating together or having oral sex.
There are various medicines that claim to alleviate erectile dysfunction. While they can have some effect on erectile function, they will not increase sex drive, which means you must have a desire for sex in order for the tablets to work.
You can also affect your ability to get an erection by changing your habits, for instance, by giving up smoking, avoiding alcohol and anabolic steroids, by not living too stressful a life, and, if you are a diabetic, by keeping an eye on your blood sugar.
Some sex aids, a penis ring for example, may make it easier to sustain an erection.