ED: Definition, symptoms, and causes
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a sexual disorder penis-owners experience. People with ED find it difficult to get and/or sustain an erection for long enough to orgasm, both during solo and partnered sex. Research shows that ED is a fairly common condition. ED can be occasional or frequent. Either way, it can be treated through medicines, therapy, and lifestyle changes.
Symptoms of ED
Some common symptoms of ED include:
- Trouble getting an erection
- Trouble maintaining an erection long enough for penetrative sex
- A decrease in libido or sexual desire
Physical and psychological causes
ED can be caused by a number of factors, such as:
- Physical illnesses, such as diabetes, heart diseases, obesity, or kidney diseases
- Certain medication, like antidepressants and high blood pressure medicines
- Excessive alcohol, drug, or tobacco use
- Sleep disorders
- Another sexual disorder, like premature ejaculation
You can read more about ED here.
How to know if it is ED or something else?
ED needs an official diagnosis. However, just because you’ve found it difficult to maintain your erection a few times does not automatically point toward ED. It can be a consequence of several other physical or psychological concerns.
Wondering how to differentiate? For starters, here are a few factors you should consider if you are having trouble maintaining an erection:
Are you sexually aroused?
If you are not adequately aroused, it would naturally be hard for you to get an erection.
Our libidos are dynamic, making it normal for you to sometimes take longer to get turned on. It also means that what usually turns you on might not always work; so, trying out different things - alone or with a partner - if you are finding it hard to achieve an erection can help. You might just find out that all this while, it was simply a matter of preferences!
Is everything alright in your relationship?
Relationship problems, especially unresolved ones, can manifest in numerous ways. For instance, if there is a past fight that did not reach a conclusion or if you have been hurt by something your partner said or did, you might find it difficult to get intimate with your partner as naturally as you otherwise would.
In situations like these, it is best to have a clean, honest discussion with your partner about both of your feelings and how to constructively address any hurt that has been caused. If that does not work out, you can also consider attending couple’s therapy.
Did you recently sustain an injury?
If you have recently sustained a pelvic or perineal injury, chances are that is affecting your erections. Other than that, nerve damage and spinal cord injuries can also contribute to ED. In case that seems like a possibility, see a doctor ASAP for proper medical assistance.
How is your mental health?
Finally, your performance in bed is severely affected by your mental health as well. So, if you are not feeling the best, or have been recently diagnosed with clinical depression, anxiety, or a mood disorder, that might be a reason why you are having weak(er) erections. Plus, several common antidepressants can also lead to a reduced sex drive, which might make it hard for you to achieve an erection or orgasm.
If you have not been diagnosed, it would help to see a therapist and openly discuss your concerns about both your mental and sexual health. On the other hand, if you have been diagnosed and are on medication, you can see your doctor and explain your problem. They might be able to alter your dosage or prescribe you a different medication altogether.
Almost 52% of penis-owners experience erectile dysfunction. If you are one of them, we want to remind you that ED can be cured and is definitely not the end of your sex life. If you suspect what you are experiencing is not occasional weak erections, consult a doctor ASAP.
At Rocket Health, we match you with an expert who is non-judgmental and can guide you in the best possible way. By adopting healthier lifestyle habits and seeking the right treatment, you can easily overcome ED.