Erectile Dysfunction Could be Symptomatic of Another Underlying Health Condition

A bad day at work, stress about finances or the state of the world, even excess alcohol can lead to temporary erectile dysfunction (ED). However, those aren’t the only culprits, and this condition may signal that you have a more serious underlying health condition that needs attention.

Whatever is causing your ED, our experienced team here at Greater Hartford Urology Group, with locations in Hartford, Enfield, and Glastonbury, Connecticut, can help you get to the bottom of it and address the root problem, so you can get back to a more satisfying sexual life.

ED basics

Under normal circumstances, you don’t have to put a lot of effort into obtaining a successful erection. If you’re a healthy male, arousal comes easily and quickly without much thought.

You may be surprised to learn that erections are actually a complex process that requires cooperation between your brain, emotions, blood vessels, hormones, nerves, and muscles. Any glitches along the way throughout that system may result in erectile dysfunction.

The problem could be merely mental. For instance, stressing about satisfying your partner could create anxiety, which could interfere with the messages between your brain and your reproductive system — and voila, ED.

Understanding male sexual arousal

It’s easy to think that male arousal begins and ends with a visual or mental stimulus. But there’s so much more going on in the physical realm. When you become sexually aroused, penile nerves are stimulated, and impulses flowing between your brain and penis cause penile muscles to relax.

Once relaxed, blood flows in and fills open spaces in the penis, which absorbs the excess blood and becomes engorged. The extra blood volume creates pressure that causes the penis to expand and become erect. A tissue membrane traps the blood and helps sustain your erection.

When your penile muscles contract, the flow of blood stops and flows out of the penis, and the erection softens and reverses.

Problems in this process occur when nerves fail to interact with your brain or can’t stimulate the muscle contractions needed to get or maintain an erection. If blood flow is decreased due to problems within your blood vessels, you may not achieve a satisfactory erection.

Health conditions associated with ED

If your ED can’t be attributed to simple lifestyle choices or habits, you may have a more serious health condition. Often, treating these issues can improve your overall health and reverse ED.

Here are a few of the health conditions that can cause or exacerbate ED:

It’s also important to keep in mind that certain medications, substance abuse, drinking too much alcohol, and smoking may also increase your risk of developing ED. Treatments for prostate cancer and surgeries involving the pelvic region or spinal cord may also result in ED.

Treating ED

The good news is that ED is highly treatable. In most cases, treating the underlying cause is all it takes to reverse the problem. Furthermore, simply adding exercise to your daily routine may reduce the stress that could be responsible for your ED.

If you have ED, we can help. For a thorough evaluation and plan for treatment, book an appointment online or over the phone with Greater Hartford Urology Group today.

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