Impotence – Causes, Symptoms, Treatments

Your sexual health is as important as your overall health. There are several sexual conditions that men experience or develop, which can have a great impact on the relationship with their partner. Impotence or erectile dysfunction is one of the most commonly developed sexual conditions amongst men of all ages. This condition is characterised by the disability to achieve or sustain an erection when engaged in sexual intercourse.

This condition is said to affect nearly 2.3 million men in the UK. Generally, impotence is a temporary problem amongst men, but some may experience the condition for a prolonged period of time.

How this condition arises

When you are sexually aroused, the blood flowing to your penis increases. With the rise in sexual stimulation an anti-atherosclerosis agent nitric oxide is released, which stimulates the enzyme guanylate cyclase. This enzyme converts a chemical GTP into the nucleotide called cGMP. This nucleotide works towards relaxing the twin chambers in your penis known as corpora cavernosa.

As these twin chambers relax, there is an increase in the blood that flows into your penis.. The relaxed corpora cavernosa also blocks the veins that are responsible for draining out the blood from your penis.

When sexual stimulation decreases, another PDE-5 is released which starts converting cGMP back into GTP. As the amount of cGMP decreases, you loose the erection and your penis becomes flaccid. However, men suffer from erectile dysfunction because of the disturbance in this process. In men suffering from impotence, the nucleotide PDE-5 is released before sexual stimulation decreases, as a result of which the erection is lost before completion of sexual intercourse. At times, this nucleotide is released even before you can achieve an erection.

How impotence is caused

Although we know that PDE-5 is responsible for causing erectile problems, the change in this mechanism can be caused by several factors that are either physical, psychological or lifestyle in nature. The physical factors that can lead to impotence include atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes, injury to your spinal cord or nervous system and prostate or abdominal cancer.

The psychological factors that can cause impotence are stress, depression, guilt, anxiety, sexual boredom, conflicts with your partner. Smoking and alcoholism have also been found to be responsible for causing impotence in men.

How impotence can be treated

A variety of treatment options are available for men suffering from erectile problems. There are penile implants, penile injections, over the counter pills, vacuum pumps and prescription medications available on the market that can help in treating erectile dysfunction. Among the above mentioned treatment options, prescription medications have proven to be the most effective method of treatment for impotence.

Some of the most common and popular prescription medications used by men for treating erectile problems are Viagra, Cialis and Levitra. These pills belong to the category of medicines known as PDE inhibitors.