Modern medicine uses a term such as “erectile dysfunction” (ED) to refer to disorders associated with the partial or complete loss of a man’s ability to perform sexual intercourse (signs of impotence). Previously, this sexual impotence was called “impotence”, it was usually attributed to the natural age-related (along with this psychological and physiological) changes in the body.
The diagnosis of “erectile dysfunction” (“impotence”) can be made only to those men who have more than 25% of sexual acts were unsuccessful. Often, in the presence of physical abnormalities, the libido in these patients persists, which creates additional psychological problems. Modern medicine has reached a level of its development, thanks to which the diagnosis allows you to detect erectile dysfunction (impotence) in the early stages and select an adequate prevention. This gives a high chance of restoring a man’s sexual abilities after undergoing special therapy.
Symptoms of erectile dysfunction
The initial manifestations of the disease can be observed in more than 30% of the stronger sex at the age of 18-59 years. The first signs of impotence in men are expressed in the following symptoms of sexual disorders.
Lack of erection. The first sign of impotence (erectile dysfunction) may be the absence of not only adequate, but also spontaneous morning and night erections. In cases where there is no adequate erection, but at the same time there is a spontaneous one, it is more likely that impotence is psychological in nature. With a simultaneous violation of both adequate and spontaneous erectile function, specialists diagnose the disease of an organic form.
Weak erection. One of the most important symptoms of impotence is a decrease in rigidity and the frequency of erections. This group also includes the lack of firmness of the penis during sexual intercourse. In this case, impotence can be a sign of vascular, neurogenic, hormonal and other organic disorders, somewhat less often it appears due to psychological problems.
Inability to maintain an erection. One of the first manifestations of erectile dysfunction (impotence) is premature ejaculation – an uncontrolled release of seminal fluid that occurs immediately at the very beginning of sexual intercourse or even before it. The cause of this sexual dysfunction is organic in nature and, as a rule, this symptom is associated with vascular disorders. Premature ejaculation in psychogenic impotence is quite rare.
Despite the widespread prevalence of organic causes of impotence, experts have found that in 9 out of 10 cases, sexual disorders appear against the background of unfavorable psychological factors. If a man notices at least one of the above manifestations, he should consult a doctor as soon as possible, identify the causes of the disease and choose methods of treatment and prevention of erectile dysfunction.
Stages of diagnosis of erectile dysfunction
If there are signs of impotence in men, it is necessary to promptly conduct a diagnosis and a number of therapeutic measures. In this case, it is necessary to develop a system of prevention of impotence together with a specialist. Diagnosis of erectile dysfunction can be carried out in several stages.
Determination of patient complaints. At the first appointment, the doctor should ask the patient about problems in their sexual life. Symptoms of impotence (erectile dysfunction) are detected after filling out a special questionnaire – the International Index of Erectile Function (ICEF-5). The survey form includes 5 simple questions. The answers to them allow the specialist to assess the degree of impotence, choose prevention and treatment.
Psychosocial examination. Great importance in the diagnosis of sexual disorders is given to the analysis of the psychological state of the patient. The doctor needs to find out what kind of relationship the patient has with a sexual partner, what kind of reaction they both show to erectile dysfunction. Effective treatment and prevention can not be prescribed without determining the presence or absence of a man’s anxiety and depressive states. In these cases, the most effective treatment is not medication for erectile dysfunction, but a consultation with a neurologist or psychotherapist.
Collection of medical history. In about 21% of cases, the causes of organic forms of impotence are regular medication or surgery. The collection of a medical history is necessary to identify these actions and their impact on the body of a man. Also, in the anamnesis, information should be collected about bad habits, systemic and chronic diseases, taking medications and narcotic drugs, conducting radiation therapy on the pelvic organs, etc.
Physical examination. During the examination, the doctor evaluates the patient’s physique, special attention is paid to the severity of secondary sexual characteristics in the man. One of the main tasks of the examination is to identify problems associated with the improper functioning of the thyroid gland. This includes physical examination, changes in pulse rate, skin problems, etc. A medical examination of the external genitals shows the condition of the scrotum, possible changes in the shape of the penis (congenital or with Peyronie’s disease). Prostate diagnosis (to determine inflammation) is performed rectally. Physical examination allows you to determine the causes and degree of erectile dysfunction. For example, if a weak sensitivity of the penis is detected, then the cause of impotence may be a lesion of the nervous system. In the case when the patient is diagnosed with an increase in the mammary glands, a small size of the testes, slow growth of facial hair, these are signs of problems with low testosterone levels in the blood.
Laboratory tests. Diagnosis of erectile dysfunction involves measuring the blood pressure in the vessels of the penis, conducting ultrasound and radioisotope scanning. The most effective method for detecting signs of impotence is to monitor spontaneous nocturnal erections. Normally, their duration is at least 20% of the total sleep time. This percentage of erections with reduced rigidity increases significantly with age.
Erectile dysfunction (impotence) is a treatable sexual disorder. In 95% of cases, if the course of therapy was started in a timely manner, the patient comes to a full recovery. Prevention of impotence includes a number of simple actions: maintaining a healthy lifestyle, limiting alcohol intake, complete abstinence from smoking and taking drugs, maintaining a regular sexual life (without frequent changes of partners, sexual excesses and prolonged abstinence). Before taking any medications for impotence, you should first consult with a specialist. If a man has undergone surgery on the pelvic organs or has had an injury, he will need the help of a urologist.