a wilted flower symbolising erectile dysfunction

Erectile Dysfunction (ED): Symptoms, Causes, And Treatments

A long and hard day can make it tough to get long and hard. However, you’ll need to sound the alarm if this keeps happening. Learn all about erectile dysfunction and how you can combat it.

Humans are funny beings. It’s possible that the most insignificant events are able to trigger an outsized emotional reaction from us, whereas life-changing moments aren’t even given a second thought. Naturally, the reverse is also true. Our state of mind at that point in time affects our mood more than we think.

This applies to sexual arousal too. If you aren’t feeling frisky because of fatigue and stress, it’s an uphill climb to prepare for the devil’s tango. This is visually obvious for males, who will find it tough to pitch the tent and keep it that way if they aren’t feeling it. Fortunately, this isn’t a cause for concern if it happens occasionally. After all, life demands much out of us.

The real problem lies with constantly being unable to get or maintain an erection. What’s more, this isn’t something that plagues senior citizens only. Younger men are susceptible to erectile dysfunction (ED) as well, depending on a number of factors. As you might expect, ED has the potential to harm relationships and affect one’s self-esteem.

Here’s all you need to know about this health issue for men and what you can do to keep it at bay.


What is erectile dysfunction?

ED is easily identifiable but no less harmful than any other health problem. As mentioned above, it refers to being unable to get or maintain an erection. To be precise, getting an erection but not being firm enough for sexual intercourse counts as ED too [1]. If this happens to you once in a blue moon and you’re able to pinpoint the cause, don’t worry.

However, ED is something that you’ll need to tackle if it’s always happening to you. The loudest alarm here would be suffering from ED even when you’re energised and highly sexually aroused. Although you’ll still be able to urinate and even ejaculate, ED is an indicator of more deep-seated issues.

Furthermore, ED can affect the moods of both you and your significant other. It’ll be more difficult for you to cater to your partner’s sexual needs, which causes unnecessary friction in an otherwise healthy relationship. For couples trying to conceive naturally, it goes without saying that ED is a big roadblock as well.

Not all is lost, though. With twoplus Fertility’s easy-to-use Applicator, your partner can self-inseminate in full privacy and comfort after you deposit your semen in the collection cup. You can make the most out of the crucial ovulation window even if you’re suffering from a bout of ED due to stress or low sex drive with this home insemination kit.

Try The twoplus Fertility Applicator Today!


Causes of erectile dysfunction

The symptoms of ED might be clear enough, but the causes often require a little more detective work from both the patient and doctor. It can simply be fatigue and stress from work or personal matters. In this case, getting a good night’s sleep and resolving these issues should do the trick.

Unfortunately, if folks are suffering from prolonged ED, it usually isn’t as simple as just a day’s fatigue and stress. Firstly, certain medications have the potential to cause ED. These include antidepressants like citalopram and duloxetine, and certain blood pressure drugs like atenolol [2]. These either alter the chemicals in your brain or affect blood flow.

Believe it or not, one’s lifestyle can cause ED as well. For instance, regular binge drinking might not dampen your desire for sex, but it increases your risk of ED. Heavy alcohol use has the potential to cause dehydration as alcohol is a diuretic. When you’re dehydrated, the volume of blood in your body falls, which then decreases blood flow to the penis [3].

Suffering from ED after having one too many drinks during a fun night out isn’t a problem, much like temporary fatigue and stress. On the other hand, if you’re regularly binge drinking, it means that you have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol and it’s high time to break up with it.


How does erectile dysfunction affect family planning?

"As a Relationship Counselor and Clinical Sexologist, I feel it is crucial to address this issue [erectile dysfunction] with empathy and understanding, as it can significantly impact both individuals and couples. With my expertise, I am dedicated to helping individuals navigate the challenges of erectile dysfunction, providing personalized support and empowering them to reclaim their sexual well-being. Together, we can strengthen intimate connections and foster a fulfilling and satisfying sex life."
Dr. Martha Tara Lee is the Relationship Counselor and Clinical Sexologist of Eros Coaching. She has a Doctorate in Human Sexuality, a Master's in Counselling and two other relevant degrees. Dr. Lee is also the appointed Resident Sexologist of Singapore Cancer Society, OfNoah and OfZoey. She is also the author of 4 books, including Love, Sex and Everything In-Between (2013) and Orgasmic Yoga: Masturbation, Meditation and Everything In-Between (2015).
Learn more about Eros Coaching here.

For the most part, ED doesn’t affect one’s sperm [4]. At a functional level, it means that family planning isn’t disrupted, especially with tools like twoplus Fertility’s Applicator available in the market. However, ED’s impact on one’s mood and quality of life affects a couple’s relationship as a whole. This might cancel or put family planning on hold.

On the flip side, if both parties in a relationship are committed to conceiving and remedying ED, not all is lost. Apart from fertility tools like the Applicator, a couple can also look towards Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). ART procedures include In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF), surgical sperm retrieval, and gamete intrafallopian transfer.

To determine which procedure is appropriate for you, consult your primary care physician or fertility specialist. At the same time, you should be seeking help from medical professionals to remedy ED. It’s a complex issue that needs time and patience to solve, but there are a wide range of treatments available. Which brings us to the next section.


Treatments for erectile dysfunction

In the U.K., approximately 50% to 55% of men between 40 and 70 years old suffer from ED [5]. In the U.S., ED affects around 30 million men [6]. Although individuals suffering from ED might display similar symptoms, each person’s causes are different. Therefore, a number of treatments are available to help with this ailment.

Firstly, finding the underlying cause of one’s ED is paramount to treating it. This helps the doctor determine whether surgical or non-surgical treatments would be better. Every treatment available has its advantages and disadvantages, so it pays to be honest and thorough when speaking with your doctor.

With regards to non-surgical treatments, it can be as simple as education and communication [7]. Overcoming ED caused by sexual anxiety can be done by learning more about sex and taking the time to speak with your partner about your needs and concerns. Remember, it takes 2 hands to clap in a relationship!

If you need extra help, you can consider a vacuum erection device. These help you achieve an erection by creating a partial vacuum around your penis and helping blood flow to it [8]. Alternatively, your doctor might prescribe oral medication to increase blood flow to the penis, such as sildenafil [9]. If it sounds unfamiliar, it’s better known by its brand name, Viagra. 

On the surgical side of things, implants can be placed in the penis. This allows it to achieve an erection, but keep it mind that these implants do not enhance your sexual desire or sensation [10]. Furthermore, given the risks and range of non-surgical treatments listed above, penile implants should be considered as a last resort [11].


In closing

ED is a deceptively complex ailment. Its symptoms are obvious and it doesn’t affect the penis functionally. However, you cannot understate the psychological impact and damage it causes to one’s personal life and relationship. Even family planning is affected, with the couple needing to seek out fertility tools or ART procedures.

On the bright side, there are more than a few ways to tackle ED. It requires you to be completely transparent with your partner and medical professional, but discovering the root cause makes it easier to select the appropriate treatment. And with affordable and modern tools such as the aforementioned Applicator from twoplus Fertility, you won’t be losing much ground in the meantime.

Learn More About The Applicator

Once you’re back in the game, you can also consider using twoplus Fertility’s Sperm Guide to boost your partner’s probability of conceiving. This fertility product for men is soft and flexible device is specially designed to minimise semen leakage after sexual intercourse. It’s made of 100% medical-grade silicone, so safety is always guaranteed for both of your delicate bits. 

Shop The twoplus Sperm Guide Now

[1] Mayo Foundation For Medical Education And Research, Erectile dysfunction, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/erectile-dysfunction/symptoms-causes/syc-20355776
[2] Healthline, Drug Use And Erectile Dysfunction (ED): What’s The Link?, https://www.healthline.com/health/erectile-dysfunction/recreational-drugs-linked-to-ed
[3] Sexual Medicine Society Of North America, Alcohol And Temporary Erectile Dysfunction, https://www.smsna.org/patients/did-you-know/alcohol-and-temporary-erectile-dysfunction
[4] Give Legacy, Erectile Dysfunction And Male Fertility, https://www.givelegacy.com/resources/erectile-dysfunction-and-male-fertility/
[5] ED Clinics, UK Erectile Dysfunction Statistics: How Common Is It & Why?, https://edclinics.co.uk/advice/erectile-dysfunction-statistics/
[6] National Institute Of Diabetes And Digestive And Kidney Diseases, Definition & Facts for Erectile Dysfunction, https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/erectile-dysfunction/definition-facts
[7] Cleveland Clinic, Erectile Dysfunction, https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/10035-erectile-dysfunction#management-and-treatment
[8] SingHealth, Erectile Dysfunction, https://www.singhealth.com.sg/patient-care/conditions-treatments/erectile-dysfunction
[9] Raffles Medical Group, Erectile Dysfunction, https://www.rafflesmedicalgroup.com/services/specialist-centres/urology/services/erectile-dysfunction/
[10] Mayo Foundation For Medical Education And Research, Penile Implants, https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/penile-implants/about/pac-20384916
[11] Clavell Urology, Penile Implant: The Solution for ED?, https://houstonmenshealth.com/posts/gatekeepersofmen-series/