I'm having trouble getting and maintaining an erection.


Q: I'm having trouble getting and maintaining an erection. I'll get them most mornings, but when the evening hits, I either can't achieve one or keep it up. I'm 29, and recently separated from the Army. Is there anything I can do to get my erections back to where they need to be?


A:   Thank you for writing to us.

You seem to suffer from erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a medical term that describes the inability to achieve and or maintain an erect penis adequate for sexual function. This condition is one of the most common sexual problems for men and increases with age. Most men have difficulty with erections from time to time, yet in some men, it is a regular and more severe problem. It can cause low self-esteem, performance anxiety, depression and stress. ED may affect the quality of a marriage or intimate relationships. The good news is that erectile dysfunction can usually be treated safely and effectively.

In many cases day to day stress may cause erection problems that tend to resolve with time. Persistent erectile problem may result from psychiatric illness or more commonly, poor stress management. Medical problems like diabetes and cardiac diseases may also cause ED.

Depending on whether the cause of the erection problem is physical or psychological, the urologist may prescribe a change in medication, hormone replacement, antidepressant therapy, devices or self-injection to promote erections. In some cases, the patient may opt for a surgical alternative, such as insertion of a penile implant.
In general, a balanced diet, quitting smoking or alcohol and getting enough exercises may help.

Please, see your Doctor for further help

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