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WHAT IS ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION (ED)?
Erectile dysfunction can be a sign of more serious health problems. But often a simple procedure or treatment may be all you need to resolve the problem.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability of a man to maintain a firm erection long enough to have sex to the mutual satisfaction of both partners. Although erectile dysfunction is more common in older men, this common problem can occur at any age. Having trouble maintaining an erection from time to time isn’t necessarily a cause for concern. But if the problem is ongoing, it can cause stress, strain relationships, and affect self-esteem.
Formerly called impotency, erectile dysfunction was once a taboo subject. It was considered a psychological issue or a natural consequence of growing older. These attitudes have changed in recent years. It’s now known that erectile dysfunction is more often caused by problems, such as chronic health issues, the side-effects of certain medications, or a combination of health conditions.
Although it can be embarrassing to talk with your doctor about sexual issues, seeking help for erectile dysfunction can be worth the effort. Erectile dysfunction treatments range from medications to surgery and can help restore sexual function for most men. Sometimes erectile dysfunction is caused by an underlying condition such as heart disease. So it’s important to take erectile trouble seriously because it can be a sign of a more serious health problem.
The brain plays a key role in triggering the series of physical events that cause an erection, beginning with feelings of sexual excitement. A number of things can interfere with sexual feelings and lead to — or worsen — erectile dysfunction. These can include:
The physical and psychological causes of erectile dysfunction interact. For instance, a minor physical problem that slows sexual response may cause anxiety about maintaining an erection. The resulting anxiety can worsen erectile dysfunction.