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Erectile Dysfunction: The Bane of Male Sexual Health

Fortunately there are several measures that can be done to correct this problem. Some try out pills, stretching exercises, certain lengthening devices, and even penis surgery. But many are inclined towards convenience, which is why male enhancement supplements have become widely popular.

Let’s look into the the business and promise of these products, and see why it remained to be huge in the market. But before all that, it is important that we also take up on these important facts. We will also look into some of the male enhancement supplements in the market today and how they fare.

Sexual Dysfunction in Men

WebMD defines sexual dysfunction as a problem that occurs during the any phase during the sexual response cycle. This prevents the person, or the couple, to experience satisfaction from the sexual activity. It can be due to stress, an illness, medications and/or emotional problems.

It is even estimated that one in ten males have problems related to having sex. Erectile dysfunction is actually more common that most people realize. Not only is it a problem for older males, but it also affects even those who are still in their twenties.

According to Dr. John Tomlinson of the Sexual Advice Association, there are 7-8% of those within the 20-40 year old age group who are affected by erectile dysfunction, and 11% from the 40-50 age group who have this problem. The numbers are considerably much larger for those over 60 as it affects 40% and more than half for those who are aged over 70.

Physiology of the Male Reproductive System


  • Penis

This is the part that is mainly used for sexual intercourse. It is composed of three parts which is the root, the shaft and the glans.

  • Scrotum

The scrotum is the pouch of skin that hangs behind the penis. It is lined with nerves and blood vessels, and it also contains the testicles. It also controls the temperature of the testes, making it conducive for the sperm to thrive in.

  • Testicles

These are oval-shaped organs that are encapsulated by the scrotum, and it is responsible for the production of testosterone and sperm.

  • Epidedymis

This part acts as sperm storage. But also one of the major function of the epididymis is to help bring the sperm to maturity.

  • Vas Deferens

This brings that sperm from the testes to the seminal vesicles.

  • Urethra

For the males, the urethra has an added function. Aside from being the passageway to expel urine, this also helps in ejaculating semen during orgasm. The flow of urine in an erect penis is blocked in the urethra, which is why semen is the only fluid ejaculated during orgasm.

  • Seminal Vesicles

These sac-like structures produce a fluid that gives the sperm the energy to move. The fluid from the seminal vesicles actually makes up most of the volume of a man’s ejaculate.

  • Prostate Gland

The prostate gland actually controls two primary functions. It assists in controlling urination and it also plays a significant role in sexual activity. In its sexual function, it is responsible for producing a whitish glandular secretion that is then directed into the urethra during ejaculation. This fluid is important for sperm motility.

  • Bulbourethral Glands

Also referred to as the Cowper’s glands, and these are pea-sized structures that are found at the sides of the urethra just below the prostate gland. The duct of each duct is about an inch long and it opens to the penile part of the urethra. Its function is to produce pre-ejaculate the viscous secretion produced during sexual arousal. It also lubricates the urethra and neutralize any residual activity making it easier for sperm to pass. With age, the size of the bulbourethral glands diminish.

What Happens in an Erection

The process of having an erection actually starts in the brain. This is caused by physical and/or mental stimuli that signals the brain to send chemical messages to the nerves that line the penis. It tells the penile blood vessels to relax so to allow blood flow to go through freely to the structure. Once the blood runs through the penis, high pressure traps it in causing the structure to expand and maintain an erection.

An erection subsides when the flow of blood to the penis is stopped and the channels to which it is released opens. This causes the penis to become soft.

How Does an Ejaculation Occur?

An ejaculation is controlled by the central nervous system, and it occurs when a man reaches a certain level of excitement that is also combined with a certain degree of friction. This brings certain impulses that is sent through the spinal cord and to the brain. The brain then sends signals to the spinal cord, then to the genital area causing the pelvic muscles to contract.

This sets a series of reaction where the sperm is transported from the testes squeezing it through the prostate towards the base of the penis. Simultaneously the seminal vesicles also release secretions at the back of the urethra. When this happens ejaculation is most certain to happen. The muscles at the base of the penis contracts forcing the semen through the urethra and out of the penis.

Causes of Sexual Dysfunction


It is a widely known fact that man’s sexual function gradually falls with age. This is because his testosterone level falls, making it harder for a man to get aroused. It also follows that getting an erection and an orgasm can be quite challenging as well. Age also causes semen volume and sperm quality to be low. All these changes usher in sexual problems such as erectile dysfunction (ED) or impotence.

Getting aroused is a collective action of the hormones, emotions, nerves, muscles and blood vessels. Aside from the physical aspect, emotional and mental health can also cause or even worsen erectile dysfunction.

Physical causes of erectile dysfunction:

  • Obesity
  • Heart Disease
  • Diabetes
  • High Cholesterol
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Low Testosterone
  • Tobacco use
  • Alcoholism
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Surgeries or injuries that affect the spinal cord or the pelvic area
  • Parkinson’s Disease

Medicinal Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

  • Diuretics (drugs that induce the production and release of urine)
  • Antihypertensives (drugs that control blood pressure)
  • Fibrates (medicines used to lower cholesterol)
  • Antidepressants (medicines used to treat depression)
  • Antipsychotics (medicines used to treat mental conditions such as schizophrenia)
  • H2-antagonists (drugs that are used to treat stomach ulcers)
  • Antihistamines (medicationst that are used to treat allergies)
  • Corticosteroids (medications that contain steroids)
  • Cytotoxics (medications that are used in chemotherapy)
  • Anti-androgens (medications that suppress male sex hormones)

Psychological Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Mental Health Conditions
  • Poor Communication
  • Relationship Problems

Medical Remedies

There is a roster of medications that are available today to treat erectile dysfunction. This includes the following:

Sildenafil (Viagra)

Taldanafil (Cialis)

Verdenafil (Levitra, Staxyn)

These medications basically work the same way by enhancing the effects of nitric oxide, which is a chemical produced by the body to relax the muscles in the penis. It increases blood flow allowing you to get an erection as a response to a sexual stimuli.

What these medications vary on are the dosage and length of the effects. Their side effects also vary, and this is something that should be strongly considered.

Penis pumps are also a rather interesting invention to stimulate erection because it is a tube that is placed over your penis and then a pump is used to suck air out of the tube. This creates a vacuum that will cause the blood to rush to the penis. Then once an erection is achieved, a tension ring is placed at the base of the penis to hold the blood in and keep it firm. The vacuum device is removed and you can have an erection can last long but it can risk bruising the penis during the process.

Psychological counseling can also help especially if the cause of erectile dysfunction stemmed from stress, anxiety, or deperession.

If you want to go with surgery, you can either go for penile implants or blood vessel surgery. The first involves the surgical placement of two devices at the sides of the penis. These implants is made of semi-rigid or inflatable rods that allow you to control when and for how long you can keep an erection. There is no need to worry about the rods because they may help keep the penis firm but they are bendable.

Blood vessel surgery is appropriate for cases where leaks or obstruction in the blood vessels cause erectile dysfunction. Surgery is the right course of action to properly fix the problem. But you really have to weigh the pros and cons. But ultimately this should only be considered when you have exhausted all other options.

Herbal Remedies for Erectile Dysfunction

Herbal remedies or supplements for erectile dysfunction is also another approach to handling the problem. Some men go for it because of it being an all-natural solution to the problem also suggesting that it will be much safer. Interestingly enough natural supplements does provide a handful of herbal remedies, but despite being a natural alternative they should still be used with caution.

Some men also choose to use alternative treatments along with traditional methods, however before anything else it is still of primary importance to always consult your doctor first.

Common herbal ingredients for erectile dysfunction:

You can read more about herbal supplements that can help relieve erectile dysfunction here.



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