Knowing about erectile dysfunction and its link to other diseases

Erectile dysfunction is a condition that affects more men than we know. Oftentimes some overlook getting treatment because they are embarrassed about how, unlike other men, they fail to keep an erection that is firm enough for sexual intercourse. If this is you, then know that you do not need to suffer in silence. There are various factors that may influence your condition like underlying diseases that may even be fatal to your health. Read more about this and the available ED treatments in Singapore in this article.

What are the causes of Erectile Dysfunction?

At some point in their lives, numerous men may experience letting their partners down when it is time to get intimate as they fail to get an erection. This is understandable due to multiple reasons like being exhausted, stressed, or because of excessive alcohol consumption. However, if the condition occurs more frequently even when a man is at his most relaxed state, then the reasons for not getting stiff down there may be more serious.

The frequent occurrence of erectile dysfunction may be an indication of underlying health conditions, such as:

  • Medications and other substances
  • Neurological disorders
  • Psychological conditions
  • Vascular disease

Medications and other substances – Certain medications or substances can alter hormones in men and have an influence in their ability to get an erection. The following medications and substances can lead to erectile dysfunction:

  • Anti-anxiety, anti-depressants, and antieplieptic drugs
    • Sample generic names: Fluoxetine, Valium
  • Antiarrythmics
    • Sample generic names: Disopyramide
  • Antihistamines
    • Sample generic names: Diphenhydramine, Meclizine
  • Diuretics and high blood pressure medications
    • Sample generic names: Clonidine, Hydrochlorothiazide, Propranolol
  • Muscle relaxants
    • Sample generic names: Cyclobenzaprine, Orphenadrine
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
    • Sample generic names: Naproxen, Indomethacin
  • Parkinson’s Disease medications
    • Sample generic names: Benztropine, Bromocriptine

Note that you should first consult with your doctor before discontinuing any medicine if you feel like your erectile dysfunction is caused by your medication intake.

Other substances that can restrain the function of the central nervous system causing erectile dysfunction are alcohol, amphetamines, barbiturates, cocaine, marijuana, methadone, nicotine, and opiates.

Neurological disorder – Conditions or diseases that affect the brain and nerve’s ability to function normally is important to achieve and keep an erection. There are several neurological conditions that can cause ED, including:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis

Stroke and injuries to the spinal cord can also be reasons why erectile dysfunction happens.

Psychological conditions – The inability to get or maintain an erection for sexual intercourse can be caused by psychogenic erectile dysfunction. This condition may be caused by different factors that affect an individual’s way of feeling and thinking. Below are some of these:

  • Anxiety and Stress
  • Beliefs relating to culture or religion
  • Depression
  • Low self-esteem
  • Performance anxiety
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

A condition worth highlighting concerning psychological conditions causing ED is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a condition that may develop after experiencing an event that is extremely dangerous, frightening, or shocking. Many may associate PTSD with war veterans, but this condition can actually be due to any experience that triggers trauma in a person resulting in symptoms that remain for a long time. Men with PTSD may have problems with erection as the thoughts of the trauma they have disables their mind to focus on getting aroused, which is important to function sexually.

All other health conditions that may be related to erectile dysfunction are usually ruled out first by doctors before looking into the possibility that ED is caused by psychological factors.

Vascular diseases – One important aspect of having an erection is healthy blood flow. Hence, doctors look into the condition of the heart when symptoms of ED arise as the cause may be due to the inability of blood to flow to the heart smoothly as a result of plaque build up in the arteries. Other conditions that may be linked to cardiovascular diseases and erectile functions are:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure

How is erectile dysfunction diagnosed?

Diagnosing erectile dysfunction can be done by undergoing health screenings, such as:

  • Blood tests – Samples of blood extracted from your body are sent to the laboratory for evaluation to check for underlying cardiovascular diseases, hormonal imbalances and other medical conditions.
  • Physical exam – This will require your doctor to do a thorough assessment of the condition of your penis and testicles as well as your nerves for any condition that may affect the body’s sensation in this area.
  • Psychological exam – Questions regarding your mental health may be asked by your doctor to check for symptoms of depression and other psychological conditions that may influence your failure to get an erection.
  • Ultrasound – This uses a powerful medical imaging equipment that uses a handheld device which is gently placed against the penis to check whether there is a problem with the blood flow that leads to erectile dysfunction.
  • Urine test – Similar to a blood test, urine samples are sent to a laboratory to see signs of other medical conditions like diabetes.

What are available for ED treatments in Singapore?

There are several available ED treatments in Singapore. Your doctor will be able to recommend the best treatment plan based on your symptoms and diagnosis. These treatments are:

  • Changes to lifestyle – Whether your erectile dysfunction is caused by an underlying medical condition or other factors, your doctor will recommend certain lifestyle changes that will make you healthier and help improve your ability to have an erection.
  • Changes to medications – Your doctor may suggest to cut back on the intake of your medications or replace it with a different kind if the medicine you are taking causes ED.
  • Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) – This is a more advanced treatment for erectile dysfunction. ESWT is a low intensity shock wave treatment that is administered to the various parts of the penis to improve blood flow and stimulate production of new blood vessels.
  • Oral medications – Phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitors are drugs that may be taken orally. This medication increases the effects of nitric oxide in the body, which is a chemical that relaxes the muscles in the penis and improves blood flow.
  • Psychotherapy – Therapy sessions that address mental health and teach ways to develop positive thoughts can help lessen anxiety and stress that is a common reason for erectile dysfunction.
  • Surgery – Penile implants or vascular surgery can restore a man’s ability to achieve an erection. Prostheses or penile implants are devices that can help stimulate and achieve erection. When ED is caused by poor blood flow due blocked arteries, a vascular surgery to repair the blocked veins may be done.

There is no need to be embarrassed about erectile dysfunction. Our doctors at Zest Clinic can help you in your journey to get cured from this condition and recover you and your partner’s intimacy. Talk to us today.

Zest Clinic

Precious Medical Centre

80 Marine Parade Road

#01-11B Parkway Parade

Singapore 449269

+65 9176 9378