Impotency Can Be Treated
What is Impotency?
Erectile dysfunction (ED, "male impotence") is sexual dysfunction characterized by the inability to develop or maintain an erection of the penis during sexual performance.
A penile erection is the hydraulic effect of blood entering and being retained in sponge-like bodies within the penis. The process is often initiated as a result of sexual arousal, when signals are transmitted from the brain to nerves in the penis. Erectile dysfunction is indicated when an erection is difficult to produce. There are various circulatory causes, including alteration of the voltage-gated potassium channel, as in arsenic poisoning from drinking water. The most important organic causes are cardiovascular disease and diabetes, neurological problems (for example, trauma from prostatectomy surgery), hormonal insufficiencies (hypogonadism) and drug side effects.
Psychological impotence is where erection or penetration fails due to thoughts or feelings (psychological reasons) rather than physical impossibility; this is somewhat less frequent but often can be helped. Notably in psychological impotence, there is a strong response to placebo treatment. Erectile dysfunction, tied closely as it is about ideas of physical well being, can have severe psychological consequences. Besides treating the underlying causes such as potassium deficiency or arsenic contamination of drinking water, the first line treatment of erectile dysfunction consists of a trial of PDE5 inhibitor drugs (the first of which was sildenafil or Viagra). In some cases, treatment can involve prostaglandin tablets in the urethra, injections into the penis, a penile prosthesis, a penis pump or vascular reconstructive surgery.
Drugs (anti-depressants (SSRIs) and nicotine are most common)
Neurogenic disorders (spinal cord and brain injuries, nerve disorders such as Parkinsons disease, Alzheimers disease, multiple sclerosis, and stroke)
Cavernosal disorders (Peyronie's disease)
Psychological causes: performance anxiety, stress, mental disorders (clinical depression, schizophrenia, substance abuse, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, personality disorders or traits), psychological problems, negative feelings.
Surgery (radiation therapy, surgery of the colon, prostate, bladder, or rectum may damage the nerves and blood vessels involved in erection. Prostate and bladder cancer surgery often require removing tissue and nerves surrounding a tumor, which increases the risk for impotence)
Ageing. It is four times higher in men in their 60s than in men in their 40s. Kidney failure
Diseases such as diabetes and multiple sclerosis (MS). While these two causes have not been proven they are likely suspects as they cause issues with both the blood flow and nervous systems.
Lifestyle: smoking is a key cause of erectile dysfunction. Smoking causes impotence because it promotes arterial narrowing.
A few causes of impotence may be iatrogenic (medically caused).
Signs and symptoms
Erectile dysfunction is characterized by the regular or repeated inability to obtain or maintain an erection. There are several ways that erectile dysfunction is analyzed:
Obtaining full erections at some times, such as when asleep (when the mind and psychological issues, if any, are less present), tends to suggest the physical structures are functionally working.
Other factors leading to erectile dysfunction are diabetes mellitus (causing neuropathy).
Treatment depends on the cause. Exercise, particularly aerobic exercise is an effective treatment for erectile dysfunction. When pharmacological methods fail, a purpose-designed external vacuum pump can be used to attain erection, with a separate compression ring fitted to the penis to maintain it. These pumps should be distinguished from other penis pumps (supplied without compression rings) which, rather than being used for temporary treatment of impotence, are claimed to increase penis length if used frequently, or vibrate as an aid to masturbation. More drastically, inflatable or rigid penile implants may be fitted surgically. All these mechanical methods are based on simple principles of hydraulics and mechanics and are quite reliable, but have their disadvantages.
Medications carry risk of priapism.
Phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors
The cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases constitute a group of enzymes that catalyze the hydrolysis of the cyclic nucleotides cyclic AMP and cyclic GMP. They exist in different molecular forms and are unevenly distributed throughout the body.
One of the forms of phosphodiesterase is termed PDE5. The prescription PDE5 inhibitors sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra) and tadalafil (Cialis) are prescription drugs which are taken orally. They work by blocking the action of PDE5, which causes cGMP to degrade.
Alprostadil in combination with the permeation enhancer DDAIP has been approved in Canada under the brand name Vitaros as a topical cream first line treatment for erectile dysfunction.
Gene therapy is being developed that would allow for weeks or months long effect, supporting erections. This gene therapy involves injection of a transfer gene, calcium-sensitive potassium channel (hMaxi-K), into the penis.
Another treatment regimen is injection therapy. One of the following drugs is injected into the penis: Papaverine, Phentolamine, and Prostaglandin E1.
Often, as a last resort if other treatments have failed, the most common procedure is prosthetic implants which involves the insertion of artificial rods into the penis.
Adopted From wikipedia.org