While the male erection is often the subject of fun and jokes, it’s a complex phenomenon that requires several different parts of the body and brain to work together. To begin, the brain needs to be in a healthy state to be able to create and support the feeling of arousal. When such a mental state is achieved, the brain needs to be able to use the central nervous system to send signals down to the muscles in and around the penis to allow blood to flow into the cavities within the organ at high enough pressure.
As may be expected of a complex phenomenon involving the mind, the brain and other organs of the body, a lot needs to go right for the desired outcome. Decades ago, medical science primarily explained erectile dysfunction as a psychological or psychiatric disorder.
Certainly, depression, anxiety and uncertain sexual orientation are all capable of stalling the process by which physical arousal takes place. Recent findings, though, have shown that in 90% of cases, the mind is not the problem: the cause is nearly always physical. A large number of health conditions affect the body’s ability to produce erections.
Neurological and vascular conditions
Neurological conditions and disorders such as strokes, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis can cause enough damage to the nervous system to make it impossible for it to aid in the creation of an erection. Vascular diseases such as high blood pressure have the ability to damage the body’s blood vessels.
When either one of these vital structures of the body is under attack, the penis is often no longer able to receive erection signals well or act on them. Even if it does, a damaged circulatory system is often unable to deliver enough blood into the penis to help create an erection.
Diabetes and kidney disease
Diseases of the pancreas and the kidney are capable of causing great harm to the nervous and vascular systems, too. The excessive levels of blood sugar and urea that these diseases produce tend to erode both systems. In addition, kidney disease can result in hormone level disruptions: another condition that interferes with the body’s ability to produce erections.
Cancer or injury
Many types of cancer require surgery in areas of the body around the penis — bladder cancer and prostate cancer being the most common ones. These surgeries often end up damaging nerves leading up to the penis and cause either temporary or permanent erectile dysfunction. In some cases, serious injuries to these parts of the body have the same effect.
Testosterone isn’t the only hormone needed to support a healthy libido; many other hormones are involved, too. In healthy people, the body performs well enough to ensure correct hormone levels. With certain psychiatric illnesses, health conditions and medications, though, the balance is thrown off. Poor libido and poor erections result.
An enlarged prostate is almost an inevitable part of aging for men. Often, the condition brings erectile dysfunction along with it. Unfortunately, drugs used to treat prostate enlargement also cause impotence.
What you can do about erectile dysfunction
As common as erectile dysfunction is, cures have always been hard to come by. Drugs such as Viagra only offer temporary relief. They are also not a good idea for people who suffer from hypertension. Traditionally, prevention has been the only reasonable option. Staying away from tobacco and alcohol and getting regular exercise to keep diabetes, kidney disease and hypertension away help.
Traditional penis pumps are noninvasive devices that use vacuum suction to help draw blood into the penis when necessary. These devices, though, have always only offered temporary relief. Lately, though, manufacturers have come up with pump designs that offer an actual cure for the condition.
The latest vacuum penile pump technologies from manufacturers such as Penomet painlessly and automatically exercise the muscles of the penis to produce impressive musculature.
A strong, muscled penis, in many cases, can produce erections even when the body’s natural mechanism no longer works. Producing musculature usually requires no more than four weeks of regular work with the device.
Shawn Roche is a men’s health and fitness researcher. He enjoys sharing his research ideas through blogging. Penomet Official Insider is an exclusive online website revealing all there is about the Penomet Pump, including all sorts of tips and much more.