Erectile dysfunction is a condition that can affect adult men of all ages. This condition inhibits a man from achieving or maintaining an erection for long enough to have sex. It’s quite normal for men to have occasional trouble achieving an erection, but if you are unable to do so for a prolonged period of time, then it’s best to seek medical advice. The most disheartening thing is that men often shy away from discussing this issue with their doctors.

How Erections Work

When a male is sexually aroused, nerves stimulate the release of chemicals that promote blood flow towards the penis. The increased blood flow settles in two erectile chambers made of spongy muscles and makes the penis firm.

After ejaculation, an extra set of nerves sends a message that lessens the penis muscular tissues. Blood that was earlier trapped in the spongy tissues is released back into circulation, and erection ceases.


ED can be caused by several health problems and some emotional issues. Some of the common physical risk factors are:

  • Obesity
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Diabetes (diabetic men are 3.5 times more likely to suffer from ED)
  • Heart disease
  • Hypertension
  • Smoking
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Being over 50 years of age (as found in this study)

Emotional Causes

A man can only enjoy sex if the body and mind are coordinating. Therefore, emotional or relationship issues can result in erectile dysfunction.

Here are some emotional issues commonly associated with ED:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Performance anxiety
  • Stress

The Various Erectile Dysfunction Treatment Options

Oral Medications 

Erectile dysfunction can be treated with oral medications such as Avanafil, Tadalafil, and Sildenafil.

The medicines mentioned above intensify the effect of nitric oxide. This is a natural chemical produced by the body, which causes muscles in the body to relax. When muscles relax, blood flows more easily into the penis, hence allowing for trouble-free erections.

However, it is important to know that taking these tablets won’t automatically result in an erection. The process must still begin with sexual stimulation so that your nerves will cause the release of nitric oxide. The primary role of oral medications is to accelerate that signal.

Men must know that these medications do not cause sexual excitement; hence men who do not suffer from erectile dysfunction should not use them. Discuss your issue with your physician so that they can determine the right medication for you.

Penis Surgery, Pumps, And Implants

If medications are not effective in your case, your doctor might consider other treatments. These treatment options include:

Penis implant: This is a surgical treatment option. This method is characterized by placing devices on both sides of the penis. The implants will consist of malleable or inflatable rods. With inflatable rods, you can decide how long to maintain an erection. On the other hand, malleable rods keep your penis firm during sex but slightly bendable too.

However, penile implants are an extreme option and should only be utilized when other methods fail.

Penis pumps: This is a hollow tube that is placed over your penis. A pump is then used to suck the air out of the tube, creating a vacuum which causes blood to flow into the penis.


According to scientists, vigorous aerobic exercises can diminish the effects of erectile dysfunction. However, exercise might fail to improve the condition, especially if it is the result of medical problems such as heart disease.

Lifestyle changes

Change of lifestyle involves abandoning unhealthy behaviors that may lead to erectile dysfunction. Here are some things you can do:

  • Reduce alcohol intake
  • Lose excess pounds as obesity can worsen the situation
  • Quit smoking – studies have found this to improve ED in a considerable proportion of smokers.
  • If you are stressed, see a counselor and solve relationship issues with your partner