All You Need To Know About Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

UPGUYS > Blog > Sex > All You Need to Know About Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

Medically reviewed by Mat Rezaei
Pharm.D., RPH, CEO-UPHEALTH
Written by the UPGUYS Editorial Team
Published on October 09, 2021

Good quality of life and healthy sex are inextricably linked; good sex helps boost your mood, improves sleep, decreases stress, increases immunity, and lowers the risk of prostate cancer, to just name a few of its benefits. 

For the hundreds of millions of men worldwide with erectile dysfunction (ED), all or most of these benefits are non-existent. The good news is we now understand many, if not all, of the root causes of ED. 

With the right lifestyle changes and support from a medical professional, a return to healthy sex life is within reach.

ED affects lots of people. Source: BCMJ


What you will find in this article:

- What is erectile dysfunction (ED)?

- What are the symptoms of erectile dysfunction (ED)?

- Is erectile dysfunction (ED) curable?

- What can you do about erectile dysfunction (ED)?

- What medications are available for treating erectile dysfunction (ED)?

- How to prevent erectile dysfunction (ED)?

- Risk factors for erectile dysfunction (ED)

- How is erectile dysfunction (ED) diagnosed?

- Could erectile dysfunction (ED) be the sign of other diseases?

- Important statistics about erectile dysfunction (ED)

- What does erectile dysfunction (ED) mean in other languages?

- Erectile dysfunction (ED) is highly treatable

- Key takeaways

- Disclaimer


What is erectile dysfunction (ED)?

A man suffers from ED when he cannot consistently get or maintain an erection that permits satisfactory sexual activity.

Most men go through isolated instances where they cannot become sufficiently aroused. But if you can’t get or maintain a firm erection for three consecutive months, you most likely have a form of ED that requires attention. 

The process for becoming erect is complex, combining physical, emotional, psychological, and environmental factors. The good news is that addressing just some of these factors can remedy ED—and some are easy to treat. 

Read more: Erectile Dysfunction’s Most Common Causes


However, it’s important to note that ED can, on occasion, be a signal for more severe underlying issues that require medical attention. Here are some common causes of erectile dysfunction: Heart and cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, kidney disease, enlarged prostate, and prostate cancer.

You can read about these underlying causes below.

There are, on the other hand, some sexual problems that are often mistaken for ED, such as:

- Decreased interest in sex

- Occasional trouble having an erection 

- Structural problems that affect ejaculation 


What are the symptoms of erectile dysfunction (ED)?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) Symptoms include but are not limited to:

- Being able to get an erection, but not EVERY TIME you need to

- Being able to get an erection, but NOT LONG ENOUGH for having sex

- NOT being able to get an erection anytime

Depending on the root cause of your erectile dysfunction, some symptoms such as decreased desire in sex may also appear, and the severity of symptoms may vary from man to man.

Erectile dysfunction (ED) symptoms


Is erectile dysfunction (ED) curable?

The short answer is: Yes!

About 95% of ED cases are treatable. In most cases, ED is treated with medication or surgery; sometimes, finding the underlying mental or physical cause and treating it might reverse the symptoms altogether. 

Even in those cases where ED cannot be cured entirely, treatments help alleviate the symptoms.


What can you do about erectile dysfunction (ED)

The best treatment may depend on the person. Depending on which of the above causes contribute to your erectile dysfunction, many proven treatments are available.

Several solutions available for ED treatment


1- For some, a change in lifestyle that includes more exercise and less processed food can do the trick. 

2- For others, reconnecting emotionally with their partner through communication and spending more time together could be the answer. 

3- Medications for ED that can be taken orally are also highly effective—and there are a few to choose from depending on your needs. Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra (with the generic sildenafil, tadalafil, and vardenafil) can all be part of your return to high sexual performance. 

4- More invasive treatments like testosterone injections, penis pumps, and implants can also be appropriate for more severe cases. 

Whatever the cause, a healthcare provider will be able to help diagnose and treat your ED. Whether it’s one, or a combination of the above-mentioned treatments, help is available. 

Remember that most men experience some form of erectile dysfunction, so you’re far from alone in this.

All in all, the first step in returning to a satisfying and healthy sex life for you and your partner could be closer than you think.


What medications are available for treating erectile dysfunction (ED)?

If you have ED, in addition to therapy to address the psychological causes, several medications are available to alleviate symptoms and make life easier for you.

UPGUYS makes it easy for you to get a tailored treatment plan by connecting you with a licensed Canadian physician and delivering the medication they prescribe right to you.

- Sildenafil (Generic Viagra)

- Vardenafil (Generic Levitra)

- Tadalafil (Generic Cialis): Available in single-dose tablets, it alleviates ED symptoms and is another option for patients who cannot use Sildenafil and Tadalafil.

- Tadalafil (Generic Cialis): Available in daily tablets, it is more suited for men who like to have spontaneity in their sexual activity.  

RECEIVE YOUR ED TREATMENT PLAN TODAY.

UPGUYS ED treatments


How to prevent erectile dysfunction (ED)?

Peripheral vascular disease can often be the cause of erectile dysfunction. Therefore, the same risk factors associated with heart attack and stroke may cause narrowing of the arteries that supply the penis. 

Of course, you can take measures to prevent erectile dysfunction. 

But how?

Let’s be very clear: Erectile dysfunction prevention requires lifelong attention and control of high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Other factors such as smoking cessation, weight loss, and regular exercise will also help maintain sexual function.

How to prevent erectile dysfunction (ED)


This is the to-do list to help prevent erectile dysfunction (ED):

Quit smoking

There are comprehensive studies linking smoking to ED, on top of other heart and blood vessel diseases.

Eat healthily

A healthy eating plan leads to maintaining a good shape and controlling blood pressure. To be more specific, choose whole-grain foods, low-fat dairy, fresh fruits, and green vegetables, and lean meats. Avoid dishes that are high in fat, especially saturated fat and sodium. Last but not least, avoid drinking too much alcohol.

Maintain a healthy weight

Maintaining a healthy weight can prevent or delay the start of diabetes. Also, staying in shape can help you manage your blood pressure. High blood pressure and diabetes are both risk factors for ED.

Stay physically active

Physical activity helps with the blood flow through your body, including the genital area.

Avoid using illegal drugs

Some illicit drugs may cause ED, while some others may mask many psychological, emotional, or physical factors that may be causing your ED.


Risk factors for Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

There are direct and indirect risk factors that may contribute to erectile dysfunction.

Direct risk factors include:

- Prostate problems

- High blood pressure

- Diabetes (Type 2)

- High blood cholesterol levels

- Low levels of HDL

- Vascular problems

- Drugs and alcohol consumption

- Smoking

- Depression or anxiety and sleep problems

- Poor sexual knowledge or techniques

- A wide range of chronic diseases such as kidney problems

- A wide range of neurogenic diseases such as Peyronie's disease 

Indirect risk factors include:

- Age: Age seems to be a solid and definitive indirect risk factor for ED since it contributes to the development of other direct risk factors.

This means that if you have any of these conditions, the likelihood of experiencing ED may be higher in your case.


How is erectile dysfunction (ED) diagnosed?

A professional diagnosis of erectile dysfunction (ED) is usually required for beginning the treatment process. For most men, a physical exam is all a doctor needs to confirm their condition. 

However, if the doctor suspects that ED may be a symptom of other underlying diseases, further tests may be required. 


Erectile dysfunction (ED) diagnosis


Tests for identifying any underlying condition include:

- Physical test: Examination of testicles and penis for checking the sensation of nerve endings.

- Blood test: A blood sample is necessary to determine if you have heart diseases or diabetes conditions, etc.

- Urine test: A urine sample is necessary to determine if you have any STIs, diabetes, or other health conditions.

- Ultrasound test: An ultrasound is necessary to check for vessel abnormalities or other health conditions.

- Psychological test: A psychological screening test is necessary for your doctor to rule out causes like anxiety and depression.

At any step of the process, your doctor may refer you to specialists or recommend you to take a test. We recommend you cooperate with your doctor to get to the root of your problem and get a professional diagnosis.


Could erectile dysfunction (ED) be the sign of other diseases?

Your penis can be a barometer of your overall health. 

When your penis is not functioning properly, that may be an early symptom of other conditions.

Underlying conditions with ED symptoms


Heart and other cardiovascular diseases

The artery that supplies blood to the penis is much narrower than an artery in your heart, so conditions that affect your cardiovascular health can affect your sexual function long before they affect your heart—sometimes up to 10 years before symptoms appear.

Diabetes

The link between erectile dysfunction and diabetes is the most striking—approximately 50 percent of men with diabetes experience erectile dysfunction.

Kidney disease

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common condition among male chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients. Approximately 80 % of the patients with CKD are affected by ED.

Enlarged prostate

Enlarged prostate and ED go hand in hand in many cases, especially in older men. A study suggests that urinary tract problems caused by an enlarged prostate, like getting up several times during the night for urination, may be associated with erectile dysfunction and other issues relating to sex in older men.

Prostate Cancer

Sudden erectile dysfunction happens in some people with advanced prostate cancer. If your erectile dysfunction is accompanied by spotting blood in urine or semen, pain in the hips, and a weak urine stream, call your doctor.

Read more: Erectile Dysfunction And 4 Other Warning Signs Of Prostate Cancer

 

Important Statistics About erectile dysfunction (ED)

Epidemiological studies of ED suggest approximately 5% to 20% of men have moderate to severe ED.

Another cross-sectional study of 3921 Canadian men, age 40 to 88, found the overall prevalence of erectile dysfunction (ED) was 49.4%, and therefore an estimated 3 million Canadian men over 40 are affected by it.

So you are not alone in this! 

If you want to know more read this article: Erectile Dysfunction: More Common Than You Think

It is also important to note that a recent study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found a remission rate of 29 % after five years. Meaning only 29 % of men with cured ED will have another case of it after five years.

The odds are in your favour!

Overall, about 40% of men experience some degree of inability to have or maintain an erection at age 40 compared with 70% of men at age 70. Therefore, men with erectile dysfunction increase from 5% to 15% as age increases from 40 to 70 years. Although, erectile dysfunction can be treated at any age. 

And, you are never too late!

Erectile dysfunction (ED) statistics


What does ED mean in other languages?

Sexual dysfunctions, including impotence or ED, affect over 20 percent of all ages worldwide. It is crucial to keep in mind that in Erectile Dysfunction, no ethnic group is immune or more in danger.

Here, you can find the meaning of erectile dysfunction (ED) in some languages:

- Erectile dysfunction (ED) in Urdu: ایستادنی فعلیت کی خرابی [Istadani Faaliat Ki Kharabi]

- Erectile dysfunction (ED)in Hindi: नपुंसकता [napunsakata]

- Erectile dysfunction (ED)in Tagalog: Erectile Dysfunction, ED [same]

- Erectile dysfunction (ED)in Punjabi: ਫੋੜੇ ਨਪੁੰਸਕਤਾ [Phōṛē napusakatā]


Erectile dysfunction (ED) is highly treatable

Erectile dysfunction is a common sexual dysfunction among men of all ages and ethnic groups. ED can happen due to a number of reasons, including physical and mental, and it is highly treatable in most cases. Yet, it is always a good idea to check if ed is a symptom of a more serious underlying disease. You can prevent erectile dysfunction by having a healthier lifestyle, and several treatment methods are available to have a better sex life. Using medication is the most popular and effective way to alleviate ED symptoms. However, consulting a professional before medicating is necessary in all cases.


Key takeaways

- Erectile dysfunction (ED), is when you cannot consistently get or maintain an erection.

- Several factors may cause ED, including emotional and physical

- Experiencing erectile dysfunction may signal an underlying medical condition such as diabetes, kidney diseases, heart problems, or prostate problems.]

- You can prevent erectile dysfunction by choosing a more healthy lifestyle

- There are several available methods for treating ED, such as therapy, or medications.

- Forty percent of men experience some sort of ED, regardless of their race.