Impotence is not a death sentence



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The
ageing process is a curious one for many reasons, especially because it
comes with a barrage of health issues that need to be confronted
headlong as the biological clock ticks on.
In addition to other issues that
accompany old age, experts say,

erectile dysfunction happens to be
another challenge that men — and, by implication, their partners — have
to contend with.

Although opinions differ as to whether
erectile dysfunction is unavoidable natural fallout of ageing, the fact
still remains that it happens, especially as men cross the threshold of
age 50.
Indeed, according to the National
Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, United State of
America approximately five per cent of 40-year-old men and between 15
to 25 per  cent of 65-year-old men experience erectile dysfunction.
This being the case, for men who are
still able to hold their own sexually, we say bravo. However, for those
who have noticed that their sexual prowess has diminished remarkably,
physicians say there is hope.
What is erectile dysfunction?
Physicians describe erectile dysfunction —
otherwise called impotence — as a medical condition in which the
erection of the penis is not of sufficient quality for the certain
interval of time required to have normal, full sexual intercourse. When
erectile dysfunction occurs, doctors say, a man cannot fully satisfy
both himself and his partner.
Worse still, experts in human anatomy
warn that impotence could be a sign of other health problems, as it may
mean that your blood vessels are clogged. They also advise that it may
mean that you have nerve damage from diabetes.
In any or all of these cases, experts
say, if you don’t see your doctor, the problems will go untreated and
may worsen. “The most common problems related to sexual dysfunction in
men include ejaculation disorders, erectile dysfunction and inhibited
sexual desire,” physicians say.
Causes of ED
Experts contend that most men experience
impotence during their sexual life; but they recommend seeking
professional help when the problem becomes persistent.
Scientists say there are many reasons why men experience erectile dysfunction. Drug abuse is one of them.
General Practitioner, Dr. Hakeem Olajire,
warns people that taking drugs — including the common pain killers —
that are not prescribed by doctors over a period of time could lead to
erectile dysfunction, among other side effects.
He notes that individual reactions to
drug intake vary, and that some antidepressants and other psychiatric
medications could lead to erectile dysfunction over time, hence the need
to take all drugs under the supervision of a competent physician.
Drug-induced impotence
Olajire adds that other classes of drugs
that may lead to ED include high blood pressure medicines and diuretics
(drugs that make you urinate more), Parkinson’s disease medications, and
recreational drugs such as alcohol, amphetamines, barbiturates,
cocaine, marijuana, heroin and nicotine.
According to a research published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine,
certain drugs that are used to treat male pattern hair loss and
enlarged prostate may also produce side effects such as impotence and
loss of libido in some men.
“These drugs work by reducing the amount
of dihydrotestosterone circulating in the blood,” a surgeon and ED
expert at the University of Maryland Medical Centre, Dr. Andrew Kramer,
warns.
Dihydrotestosterone is the male sex
hormone that helps maintain sex drive. Kramer posits that while the
drugs may help with hair loss and alleviate urinary tract symptoms due
to an enlarged prostate, the hormonal changes can also lead to the
inability to get an erection.
Indeed, an online portal, the BBC Health,
notes that around 70 per cent of impotence cases have medical causes
and around 30 per cent have psychological causes. “Psychological and
medical causes combined are responsible for the majority of cases,” the
portal explains.
Hypertension
In addition, experts note that healthy
blood vessels and sufficient blood flow are essential to getting and
keeping an erection. However, they warn, uncontrolled hypertension
damages blood vessels in the body, making them less elastic and less
able to transport the same volume of blood quickly.
Again, experts say, stress, financial challenges and other psychological issues can cause ED.
The age factor
Olajire says biologically, testosterone,
the principal male sex hormone, plays a key role in the development of
male reproductive tissues such as the testes and prostate, as well as
promoting secondary sexual characteristics such as increased muscle and
bone mass and hair growth.
Professor of Reproductive Endocrinology,
Oladapo Ashiru, notes that as a man ages, however, testosterone
decreases, causing changes in his sexuality. “This includes loss of
libido and impotence, which can result in the inability to gain or
sustain an erection,” he states.
He adds that testosterone is important in
regulating the frequency and magnitude of penile erection, such that
the younger a man is, the easier it is to achieve and keep an erection.
Underlying concerns
Researchers from Australian National University, in a recent study published in the journal PLOS Medicine, found that the more severe a man’s erectile dysfunction is, the greater his risk of being hospitalised for heart problems.
They suggest that erectile dysfunction
may be a marker that signals underlying heart disease. “It has been
hypothesised that atherosclerosis (plaque in the arteries that limits
blood flow) might first manifest itself in smaller blood vessels, such
as those in the penis,” the researchers say.
The way out
A pharmacist, Mr. Ola Ijimakin, notes
that, for many men, the answer to impotence is as simple as taking a
pill. “Getting more exercise, losing weight or stopping smoking may also
help,” he adds.
He notes that a drug, such as Vigomax
Forte, is a rational aphrodisiac formulation that is safe simply because
it is non-hormonal, and it is known to increase sexual desire, while
also correcting sexual weaknesses.
Physicians note that the efficacy of any
effective ED drug is its ability to reduce performance-related anxiety,
promote strength and stamina, while also increasing testosterone levels.
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