Patient :Hi, well this is embarrassing. My question is, this, for the past 7 years I've been having trouble getting an erection when it's time with my current girlfriend. There's time when everything is good, but most times I can't. I'm 38 years of age, I'm 5'11" and weigh about 220 pounds. I am aware that I'm 30 lbs over weight, I use to be extremely active. I did lose my job and lost my house. So all of that is stressing me and even depressed. I did start working out two weeks ago. I do feel more energetic but not sure if there's anything I could do without having to take medications.
About 2 -3 years ago I did make an appt with my Doctor and explained my situation. He said I am too young to be experiencing E.D. He still did blood samples to test for everything and check it I had low testosterone. He said everything came back normal, just slightly above with my blood pressure. After all that, he said I'm fine and didn't recommend anything. So I'm still in the same situation.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common type of male sexual dysfunction. It is when a man has trouble getting or keeping an erection. ED becomes more common as you get older. But it's not a natural part of aging. Some people have trouble speaking with their doctors about sex. But if you have ED, you should tell your doctor. ED can be a sign of health problems. It may mean your blood vessels are clogged. It may mean you have nerve damage from diabetes. If you don't see your doctor, these problems will go untreated. Your doctor can offer several new treatments for ED. For many men, the answer is as simple as taking a pill. Getting more exercise, losing weight, or stopping smoking may also help.
Relaxation of muscle (in parts of the penis and the walls of the arteries supplying it) allows blood to rush into the cylinder-shaped spongy tissue of the so-called erection chambers, and valves prevent the venous loss of this pressure. The resulting hardness persists until after stimulation has stopped or an ejaculation has happened. This blood flow process is led by nervous and hormonal triggers activated when the brain is stimulated by touch or other stimuli, and these brain signals can be suppressed by anxiety.
Effects against any of the following normal physiological contributions needed for an erect penis could affect normal erectile function:
Vascular causes that affect blood flow, and neurological causes that affect nerve signals are the major medical causes of erectile dysfunction, often due to the underlying disease processes of atherosclerosis and diabetes. Smoking and diabetes often cause atherosclerosis, and this narrowing or 'clogging' of arteries in the penis is the most common vascular cause of erectile dysfunction. Diabetes can also lead to neuropathy - damage to the nerves. Diabetic neuropathy is a common neurological cause of erectile dysfunction, as is nerve damage resulting from various types of surgery around the pelvis. Less common neurological causes are stroke, a type of epilepsy (partial complex seizures), multiple sclerosis, non-diabetic neuropathy, and spinal cord injury. Reducing well-established risk factors for diabetes and atherosclerosis - including diet, physical activity and other lifestyle factors such as smoking - could also prevent erectile dysfunction.
These Q&A’s are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.