It is important to clearly distinguish between temporary erectile problems and the more serious symptom referred to as erectile dysfunction. Depending on a man’s age, his erections can be less rigid or develop less quickly and spontaneous erections can appear less frequently.
Erectile dysfunction is characterized by difficulty developing and/or maintaining enough of an erection to engage in sexual activity. This dysfunction needs to occur with each sexual act over a period of at least 3 months for it to be considered erectile dysfunction.
Diabetes is one of the most common causes. The appearance of the first erectile problems depends on how long the diabetes has been present and the appearance of aggravating symptoms. Erectile dysfunction can be a sign of cardiovascular disease. It is important to tell your doctor about it so the cause of this symptom can be identified and you can change your lifestyle habits accordingly. Depression and anxiety are factors that often influence erectile function. It can sometimes be difficult to determine whether erectile dysfunction causes depression or results from it. A lack of exercise, smoking, alcohol consumption and obesity are also risk factors.
There are many causes of erectile dysfunction:
There are various ways of treating erectile disorders, some more appropriate for a given patient than others. The treatment selected should be discussed with a doctor so that the patient has all the necessary information and is aware of the precautions he must take.
Oral medication, taken on an as-needed basis or daily, is one option. Sexual stimulation is needed to allow blood to flow to the penis and cause the erection. This medication is available by a doctor’s prescription and certain precautions must be taken.
A single-dose applicator delivers a drop of lotion at the extremity of the penis (urinary meatus). Local stimulation is necessary to spread the product. The patient must be trained in the self-application technique by a healthcare professional. The product must be stored in the refrigerator.
These treatments require injections in the upper parts (corpus cavernosum) of the penis, to induce an erection. The patient must be trained in the injection procedure by a healthcare professional.
A device with a tube is inserted into the ureter and releases a micro-suppository into the penis. A doctor must show the patient how to use it and ensure that the patient has learned the technique correctly.
This device is positioned around the penis to create a vacuum. Blood flows to the penis, creating an erection, due to the difference in pressure. A ring must be placed at the base of the penis to maintain the erection.
If all these other methods fail, there is a surgical approach. An inflatable prosthesis (two implants) is implanted in the corpus cavernosum of the penis. These implants create a mechanical erection when pressure is applied to the pump, which is inserted in the scrotum.
These treatments (lotion, pills, intra-cavernous injections) are medications and can be obtained only with a doctor’s prescription. Precautions must be taken when using these medications and the instructions for use must be followed carefully.
In France, it is illegal to purchase these medications online. Some illegal sites offer prescription-free treatments for erectile dysfunction but they are generally counterfeit products.
After prostate surgery, the quality of your erections will change. The two erector nerves, located close to the prostate, can sustain lesions. If these nerves are kept intact, you can regain natural erections. If not, treatments are available to develop an erection mechanically.
Stress, anxiety, fatigue… It is common for men to lose their ability to have an erection. If you have trouble developing or maintaining an erection for at least 3 months, speak to your doctor.
Over 2 million men in France are affected by erectile dysfunction (1 out of every 3 men over 40). It is a common symptom but can appear at any age. Doctors are accustomed to talking about and identifying the cause of this dysfunction. They will reassure you and help you find a solution.