What is Erectile Dysfunction / ED?
What is Weak Erection / Impotence / Erectile Dysfunction / ED ? Erectile dysfunction is the inability to obtain or maintain an erection that is rigid enough for complete sexual intercourse, provided that this occurs in more than 50% of attempts. This means that if failure of erection occurs every once in a while, less than 50% of attempts, it is not considered as ED. Synonyms of erectile dysfunction include impotence, weak erection and ED.
How common is Erectile Dysfunction / ED?
Several studies accessed the prevalence of ED. The Massachusetts Male Aging Study reported a prevalence of 52% for Erectile Dysfunction / ED, in men 40-70 years old, with ED increasing with age. This does not mean completely weak erection though. The prevalence of complete Erectile Dysfunction / ED was 5% at age 40, up to to 15% at age 70.
Erectile Dysfunction / ED versus Low Libido
Low libido is low sexual desire. Low libido is not Erectile Dysfunction / ED, although low libido can be a cause for Erectile Dysfunction / ED. For example, one can have excellent sexual desire and good libido, but cannot have a rigid erection ( can’t get it up ). In that case, there is ED despite normal libido.
Weak Erection versus Premature Ejaculation / PE
Premature ejaculation / PE is when a man cannot postpone ejaculation when he desires to, and ejaculation happens too fast, in less than three minutes, all causing distress to the couple. It is only natural that one looses erection after ejaculation. Many men present to the doctor complaining of erectile dysfunction / Ed, when in fact the have premature ejaculation / PE.
What happens is that either the patient cannot express his problem correctly mixing up erectile dysfunction / Ed with premature ejaculation / PE, or that the patient thinks that loss of erection after ejaculation is erectile dysfunction / Ed.
Erectile dysfunction / Ed is when the erection that is there before ejaculation is weak.
Premature ejaculation / PE can be an indirect cause for weak erection, since PE causes dissatisfaction with the sexual relationship, making the male fear the repeated PE and dissatisfaction. This fear leads to psychological stress that results in impotence.
However, the treatment of rapid ejaculation is very different from the treatment of impotence.
How to tell if you have Erectile Dysfunction?
Just the mere complaint of weak erection does not mean you actually have ED. It has to be consistent, repetitive. There is a validated questionnaire used by us, doctors, to diagnose if you do have erectile dysfunction and what its grade is. This is the International Index of Erectile Function. You can take the erectile function questionnaire on our website and receive a preliminary evaluation.
What are the causes of ED?
Weak erection can result either from psychological causes such as stress, or organic ( disease related ) causes such as diabetes, low testosterone among others. Proper diagnosis of the cause of weak erection can help identify underlying diseases that may affect general health, and treat them before they do. Click here for the detailed causes of erectile dysfunction.
Morning erection! Morning erection or ” nocturnal penile tumescence ” is erection that occurs during sleep, so called morning boners. If you find that this happens to you every once in a while and that the morning erection is quite strong occasionally, then most probably your weak erection is psychological.
When do I need to see a doctor for my weak erection?
If you think you have weak erection and its been with you for more than one month and was on regular basis, check if you have morning erections when you wake up. If you do, then may be you just need to relax a little and abstain from sex and masturbation for a while. If not, or if this does not work, then you should consult a specialist is erectile dysfunction.
What is the treatment for erectile dysfunction ?
There are many treatment options for ED that have rendered it treatable in most cases. First, a diagnosis of the cause of weak erection is necessary. Accordingly, the decision for treatment can either be treatment of the cause of weak erection such as diabetes, hyperlipidemia, low testosterone, or erection enhancing medications whether natural erection medicines or medical-grade compounds.
If medical treatment for impotence fails, there is always the time-tested surgical option. Penile implant surgery has been used for at least four decades to restore full erection for millions of people. Penile prosthesis implantation can result in erections that can last for as long as you want to. Following implantation of a penile prosthesis, the penis will still look and feel normal. There will be no change in sexual desire or enjoyment. Learn more about penile implants, or consult the expert.