Family Pharmacy


Erectile dysfunction was once a drama, today it is not

Family Pharmacy

Erectile dysfunction, also known as sexual impotence, is the inability to get and maintain an erection that is sufficient for satisfactory sexual intercourse. This inability has to be persistent, that is, sporadic difficulty in maintaining an erection is not considered an erectile dysfunction. 

This problem is more common in older people, but it can happen in any age group, with a significant decrease in the quality of life since sexual health is a particularly important part thereof. 

This disease is estimated to affect 29% of men between 40 and 49 years of age, 50% between 50 and 59 years of age and 74% between 60 and 69 years of age.  

When erectile dysfunction occurs, the risk of cardiovascular disease cannot be ruled out because atheromatous plaques* start to form in small arteries, such as the penile arteries, and only later are ledged in the coronary and carotid arteries.

Early warning signs of erectile dysfunction
Early warning signs of erectile dysfunction

Warning signs 

  • Change in the erection quality and consequent difficulty in penetration 
  • Absence of erections at night or when waking up in the morning 
  • Ejaculatory changes
  • Decreased sexual desire

Erectile dysfunction diagnosis
Erectile dysfunction diagnosis

Causes of erectile dysfunction: 

  • Psychological - for example, anxiety. 
  • Hormonal - for example, low testosterone. 
  • Drug-induced dysfunction - for example, drugs used to treat prostate problems and high blood pressure. 
  • Cavernous artery obstruction - limiting the amount of blood entering the penis. 

Although this disease was previously considered to have mainly psychological causes, it is known to have a physical origin, as a chronic illness or a side effect of a treatment 

Psychological causes make up 10% to 20% of cases, including depression, anxiety, stress, tiredness, and marital problems. Taking antidepressants can also lead to erectile dysfunction,

Risk factors that can lead to erectile dysfunction 

  • Coronary heart disease 
  • High cholesterol 
  • Hypertension 
  • Diabetes 
  • Obesity 
  • Sedentary lifestyle 
  • Smoking 
  • Alcohol consumption 
  • Medications 
  • Psychological factors 
  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia 
  • Cycling practice - due to prolonged compression of the nerves and vessels of the penis. 

In order to better understand how erectile dysfunction happens, we must  understand the erection mechanism. 

In order to have an erection, it is necessary to coordinate the psychological, neurovascular, and hormonal aspects. 

Erection occurs when the cavernous bodies, which are two tubular structures inside the penis, similar to sponges, fill with blood, stimulated by the central nervous system. 

The erection ends when the corpora cavernosa is emptied and return to their normal size, and the penis becomes flaccid once more. 

Involve your sexual partner in the treatment process
Involve your sexual partner in the treatment process

How to treat erectile dysfunction 

  • Lead a healthy lifestyle 
  • Do not smoke - nicotine constricts the calibre of the arteries, decreasing the blood flow to the corpora cavernosa of the penis
  • Practice physical exercise 
  • Avoid fat intake 
  • Control your weight 
  • Control diseases that can affect blood vessels and the nervous system - high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes 
  • Face it naturally - it is part of the ageing process 
  • Involve your sexual partner in the treatment process.

Pharmacological treatment for erectile dysfunction 

The administration of oral medications is the most common form of treatment, with a high rate of success.  When this type of treatment is not enough, more invasive methods can be used, such as injecting vasodilator drugs into the penis and applying a vacuum device. There is also the possibility of implanting a penile prosthesis. 

This is a disease that should be dealt with naturally by the patient and easily spoken about with the health professional, so that it can be detected at an early stage, thus having a higher rate of success and increasing the patient’s quality of life.


armácia Distribuição Magazine



Também lhe poderá interessar