What is erectile dysfunction?
Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is not being able to get an erection. It is common and in most cases can be treated.
Most men will experience an erection problem at least once. This could be due to stress, exhaustion, too much alcohol or simply not feeling like sex.
Persistent erectile dysfunction (ED) is estimated to affect about 10% of men at any one time.
Although age itself isn't a cause of erectile dysfunction (ED), the risk nevertheless increases as you get older: 18% of 50—59 year olds have trouble with their erections compared with 7% of 18—29 year olds.
What causes erectile dysfunction?
There are two main causes of ED: physical and psychological. The majority of cases are physical but it is also apparent that many men with ED can quickly start to feel anxious, stressed or depressed. These feelings can easily make the symptoms of ED worse.
The main physical causes are:
Inadequate blood flow
Regular heavy drinking
The side-effects of prescribed drugs
Spinal cord injury
Prostate gland surgery (or other surgery around the pelvis).
Chronic Pelvic pain
The main psychological causes of ED are:
Stress and anxiety
Depression (90% of men affected by depression also have complete or moderate ED)
Physiotherapy for Erectile Dysfunction
Recent research suggests that pelvic floor exercises are highly effective in helping men who have problems developing and sustaining an erection.
A study from the University of West of England, Bristol, suggests that the exercises can help both men with erectile dysfunction (impotence) and premature ejaculation, and also those who experience 'dribbling' after urinating.
On top of this, experts believe the exercises can also help improve the quality of orgasm – the UK-based Impotence Association says the workout may 'increase awareness of sexual sensations and enhance enjoyment'.