Understand the causes, types, and how to prevent and treat erectile dysfunction, a problem that affects many men.

Erection is an intricate system that depends on the nervous system, circulation, and various structures in the penis area. The center of the male genital organ, from base to head, is formed by the corpus cavernosum, which are two types of interconnected cylinders that function as chambers, and a third cylinder that surrounds the urethra and is called the corpus spongiosum…


How does an erection occur?

After an erotic stimulus that affects any of the senses, the brain sends nerve signals to the penis area, which causes a large blood flow to the penis area. As the cavernous bodies are filled, the spongy body expands, and the penis lengthens. With the help of a system resembling a valve, the blood is retained in the chambers, which guarantees sufficient rigidity for penetration. After ejaculation, blood flow decreases, the valvular system opens, and the structure becomes flabby again.

For this process to occur satisfactorily and consistently, there must be nerve endings that bring in the stimulus, arteries that can dilate and carry blood at a high flow, and a corpus cavernosum that is relaxed enough to activate this valvular system. This internal structure of the penis is a mixture of blood vessels with smooth muscle cells that are not voluntarily controlled but respond to stimuli like a heart muscle. Nitric oxide is the main chemical messenger involved in the relaxation of the circulatory bodies.

What is erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is defined as the inability to initiate or maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory intercourse. The concept is broad and may arise due to difficulty or failure in the functioning of one or more structures involved. While many people use the term “sexual impotence” to refer to the problem, experts avoid its use due to the negative connotation it carries.

Causes and types There are several classifications of dysfunction, but most experts distinguish three main types of ED: Organic. More common after 40 years, has a physical cause. Cardiovascular, metabolic, neurological, hormonal problems, surgery, or the use of certain drugs or substances are the most common causes of the problem.

Psychogenic. In the absence of a physical problem, explain the difficulty that is more common in young people. The main culprit for this type of erectile dysfunction is anxiety and fear of failure. In this case, psychological factors have physical consequences: bursts of adrenaline lead to the contraction of structures that must be relaxed in order for the valve that maintains an erection to work.

Mixed When the difficulty is related to physical and psychological factors. One of the main differences between psychogenic and organic erectile dysfunction is that in the first case, the difficulties simply disappear in certain situations. This is why one of the first questions that a doctor asks when complaining is about non-sexual erections, such as masturbatory or night and morning erections, which usually occur. If everything is fine in these situations, anxiety is probably behind the problem.


Every man who has election-related complaints should see a urologist. In addition to evaluating the patient’s symptoms and history, the doctor may order some tests, such as a hormonal profile, penile doppler echo (which assesses arterial blood flow and valvular function), and a nocturnal penile swelling test (using a device that analyzes the quality of erections). during the night).


How to help a partner suffering from erectile dysfunction?

Very often, erection difficulties are interpreted offensively, as a result of loss of desire or even extramarital relationships. This only increases the pressure on the man, generating fear, anxiety, anxiety, and, as a result, the likelihood of a second failure. That’s why it’s important that everyone has information about erectile dysfunction – partner support is needed to overcome the problem.


A healthy lifestyle with regular physical activity, a balanced diet, and control of cardiovascular risk factors such as high cholesterol and obesity are preventive measures against erectile dysfunction. In certain circumstances, such as after treatment for tumors of the prostate, bladder, or rectum, there are protocols doctors follow to maintain erectile function. In cases of psychogenic dysfunction, learning to manage anxiety as well as investing in dialogue and intimacy with a partner can prevent potential setbacks from becoming a recurring problem.


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