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Birla Fertility & IVF
Birla Fertility & IVF

Erection Issues- Symptoms, Causes & its Treatment

  • Published on September 12, 2022
Erection Issues- Symptoms, Causes & its Treatment

What are erection issues?

Erection issues refer to problems that men may face in developing and maintaining an erection

What is an erection

Erection refers to the state of a male penis when it is firm, enlarged, and filled with blood. When we define erection, we can also note that it is the state of a penis when it is firm and elevated to engage in sexual intercourse. 

What causes an erection? When a man is aroused sexually, his body responds by stimulating certain muscles to relax so that there is increased blood flow into the penis tissue. This makes the penis firm and enlarged.

Once the blood fills the penis, it is said to be erect, meaning it is in an erect position. The blood vessels constrict so that it can be maintained. Subsequently, the blood vessels open up, allowing increased blood to leave the penis.

These are the stages of getting erect

 

What are the symptoms of erection issues? 

The symptoms of erection issues include the following:

  • Facing difficulty in developing an erection
  • Facing issues with maintaining or sustaining an erection
  • Lack of sexual desire or reduced sex drive 

 

What are the causes of erection issues?

Erection issues may be caused by medical or physiological factors as well as psychological factors or a combination of such causes. So, what really causes a man to not stay erect? Keep reading to understand more. 

Medical or physiological causes

These usually occur because of disorders that affect the process of erection or the nerves and blood vessels involved. These causes may include:

  • Heart conditions
  • Conditions affecting the arteries such as atherosclerosis (clogged up arteries)
  • High blood pressure 
  • High levels of cholesterol
  • Diabetes 
  • Obesity 
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis 
  • Issues affecting the liver or kidney
  • Curved penis (a condition called Peyronie’s disease)
  • Side effects of medications like antidepressants and muscle relaxers 
  • Substance abuse (drugs and alcoholism)
  • Trauma, injury, or congenital conditions affecting the genital region
  • Nervous system disorders or conditions affecting the nerves 
  • Hormonal conditions (lack of testosterone)

 

Psychological causes

Psychological and emotional issues can prevent a man from becoming aroused and interfere with his ability to develop an erection. Understanding underlying emotional problems or persistent fears can help in finding how to stop an erection issue. 

Erection problems can be caused by factors such as: 

  • Anxiety, stress, persistent emotional distress
  • Relationship issues or conflicts
  • Performance anxiety or feeling pressured or worried about developing an erection
  • Depression 
  • Fatigue 
  • Preoccupied mind 

 

What are the risk factors? 

Certain factors may increase the risk of facing erection issues. The risk factors for erection problems include the following: 

  • Medical conditions like diabetes or problems affecting the heart 
  • As you get older, it may take longer to develop an erection
  • Tobacco consumption restricts blood flow and can lead to erection issues over time 
  • Obesity and being overweight
  • Certain medical treatments like treatment for prostate cancer 
  • Injuries that damage the nerves or blood vessels involved in erection
  • Medications like antihistamines and blood pressure medications
  • Ongoing psychological conditions like chronic stress, anxiety, or depression
  • Drug and alcohol addiction 

 

What are the complications of erection issues?

Ongoing erection issues can lead to certain complications since they affect sexual activity. These include:

  • Lack of sexual satisfaction
  • Stress, anxiety, and lack of self-esteem
  • Relationship issues 
  • Inability to conceive as a couple 

 

Diagnosis for erection issues 

Your doctor will ask about symptoms and the issues you face with your erection. You don’t need to feel embarrassed as it is a common concern faced by men.

The doctor will also ask about your medical history and any medical conditions that you have. You may be asked about your lifestyle and overall mental health.

The doctor may need to conduct a physical examination of the genitals to check the nerves for sensation.

To help diagnose the cause of your erection issues, your doctor will suggest different kinds of tests. These may include the following tests:

  • Blood tests to check the complete blood count and check for indications of medical conditions like heart disease or diabetes 
  • Tests to check testosterone and prolactin levels like 
  • Ultrasound scan 
  • Urinalysis to measure the levels of certain proteins and testosterone 
  • A test to check whether the erection takes place during sleep 

 

Treatment for erection issues 

The treatment for erection issues depends on what factors or conditions may be causing it, and the severity. Identifying the cause will help the doctor determine the appropriate treatment. 

Treatment for erection problems may include the following options:

  • Medications that are injected into the penis 
  • Medication that is injected into the urethra (the opening at the tip of the penis) 
  • Oral medications (such as Viagra)
  • Treating the medical conditions that are causing it 
  • Lifestyle changes 
  • Treating the psychological conditions through therapy or medication
  • Relationship counselling to resolve relationship issues or conflicts that may be contributing to it

 

How to prevent erection issues 

Erection issues can be prevented over time with the help of certain measures. These measures include the following: 

  • Treatment of chronic medical conditions such as heart conditions or diabetes
  • Quitting addictions like smoking, drugs, and alcoholism
  • Regular exercise
  • Taking steps or introducing lifestyle changes to mitigate stress
  • Seeking therapy or medical treatment for psychological conditions like anxiety and depression
  • Losing weight
  • Seeking counselling for relationship problems 
  • Taking measures to improve sex drive or resolving medical conditions (like hormonal imbalance) that affect sex drive 
  • Cardio exercises such as running, swimming, and aerobics 
  • Dietary changes such as avoiding saturated and trans fats, excess sugar, and excess salt
  • Stopping medications that are affecting erection, if this is medically feasible 
  • Finding alternative treatments for chronic conditions that do not affect erection

 

Conclusion

Facing erection issues is not in itself a cause for concern. However, if it is a persistent concern, there may be an issue that needs to be addressed. Erection problems can affect a man’s confidence and well-being and his partner’s well-being. It can also affect the relationship and sexual health of a couple and their ability to conceive. 

If you and/or your partner face difficulties with conceiving or are concerned about your fertility, it is best to visit a fertility specialist. For the best fertility consultation, treatment, and care, visit Birla Fertility and IVF or book an appointment with Dr. Deepika Mishra. 

 

FAQs

1. What are the lifestyle changes to erection issues?

Lifestyle changes that can help with erection issues include:

  • Making space for more exercise in your daily activities
  • Improving your diet and reducing weight 
  • Quitting addictions like smoking, alcoholism, or drugs  
  • Leading a more balanced lifestyle to reduce stress 
  • Taking steps to improve self-confidence and mental well-being
  • Taking steps to improve your relationship, such as spending more quality time or engaging in recreational activities together 
  • Taking steps to reduce blood pressure or cholesterol
  • Taking steps to reduce obesity 

2. What are the potential complications of erectile issues?

The potential complications of erectile issues include the following: 

  • Lack of satisfaction in your sex life 
  • Lack of intimacy or closeness in a relationship
  • Low self-confidence, low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression
  • Relationship problems 
  • Inability to conceive as a couple 
Written by:
Dr Puja Singh

Dr Puja Singh

Dr. Puja Singh has been a senior resident at the Hindu Rao Hospital and NDMC Medical College, New Delhi and has been previously attached with Nova IVF Clinic, Ahmedabad in fertility services. She completed her post-graduation in Obs & Gynae from Hindu Rao Hospital & NDMC Medical College, New Delhi. She completed her FNB training in reproductive medicine.She has done fellowship in Minimal Access Surgery from AMASI. Her main area of interest is reproductive medicine. She has done her MBBS & Internship at Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar Hospital, Raipur. She is dexterous and precise in surgical treatment procedures. 

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