When men become sexually aroused, hormones, muscles, nerves, and blood vessels all work with one another to create an erection. Nerve signals, sent from the brain to the penis, stimulate muscles to relax. This, in turn, allows blood to flow to the tissue in the penis. Once the blood fills the penis and an erection is achieved, the blood vessels to the penis close off so that the erection is maintained. Following sexual arousal, the veins to the penis again open up, allowing the blood to leave.
At some point in a man’s life, he may have difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection. Erection problems occur when you can’t achieve or maintain an erection that’s firm enough to have sexual intercourse. For most men, this problem occurs occasionally and isn’t a serious issue. However, if you are unable to achieve an erection one-quarter of the time or more, you may have a health problem that requires medical attention. Erection problems are also known as:
- erectile dysfunction (ED)
- sexual dysfunction
The fact that the male penis during arousal is swelling with blood and increases in size, known to all. Member “stands”, women say in such cases. “To stand” it may good, bad, barely raising his head, depending on how the man was prepared to have sexual intercourse, how woman was configured. If a woman will take a male member with gentle hand movement and begins to massage it (kneading), then she will see the whole process of swelling. Member will harden very quickly. In the science such condition of a member called erektriey. Member becomes red, fills with blood, the head becomes red. The volume of the penis during erection increases approximately threefold. Temperature rises, it becomes a “hot”. Simultaneously with the increase in the corpus cavernosum, skin is stretched and becomes thin, including the foreskin.
An erection is the most important for sexual intercourse. Sluggish, sleeping penis cannot enter the vagina. Only in an elastic and swollen form he “agrees” to enter the “business contact” with a woman’s vagina.
An erection is a reflex caused by early sexual activity. With the onset of sexual activity instinctive nature of an erection is complemented by the extensive opportunities of development it on conditional reflex mechanism. Various images of woman, memories, visual, auditory, and sensory impressions are perceived by cortical sexually center of men, as a means of strengthening erection of a member additionally. All this contributes to sexual arousal and readiness of man to have sex. In the further voltage of the penis is supported mainly by mechanical agents, received by head and skin of member during sexual intercourse. As you already know, the sex center can be excited not only by irritation, coming from the erogenous zones, but also automatically – circulating in the blood by sex hormones. That is why men have sometimes a member “arises” “inadvertently” because of sexual abstinence and the woman feels the yearning in the clitoris and vagina.
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What’s an erection?
Your friends might call it any number of slang terms – boner, hard-on, stiffy, chubby – what they are all referring to is an erection. Erections occur when the penis fills with blood and stretches in shape and in size. Erections can last just a couple of minutes or much longer depending on the stimulation involved.
Why do guys get erections?
For most of the day, your penis is in a flaccid state (meaning it is soft). Erections can occur for any number of reasons, but are usually triggered by some sort of sexually arousing thoughts or stimulation. Young men typically begin getting erections during puberty as a normal part of their sexual development. Guys may also experience erections during their sleep, which can sometimes result in a “wet dream,” which occurs if one ejaculates while sleeping.
Wait, not now! What can I do to stop an erection?
Sometimes you might get an erection when you least expect it or when you really don’t want one! Relax – this is a normal part of healthy development. Guys can get erections even if they are not thinking about anything sexual. If this happens to you, try to get your mind on something else other than what’s happening in your pants. If you’re in a public place with people around you, try discretely readjusting your pants or shirt to cover yourself. If all else fails, excuse yourself to use the bathroom.
What if I have difficulty maintaining an erection?
Just as there are a variety of factors that can cause an erection, there are also factors that may cause you to lose an erection. This can be especially troubling for some guys if it occurs during sexual activity with a partner. Distractions, fatigue, feeling self-conscious, or feeling tense can all cause a temporary loss of an erection. If this happens, try not to sweat it too much as this is a natural and common occurrence. If you are able to get an erection by yourself while masturbating, but you have difficulty maintaining an erection with a partner, your problems may be more emotional or psychological in nature. Try speaking with your partner about it – this will probably make you more at ease the next time you are sexually active. If you are not comfortable talking with your partner, this could indicate that you aren’t quite ready to become sexually active.
Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol may also decrease your ability to maintain an erection. Remember that being under the influence of drugs or alcohol while engaging in sexual activity may put you at greater risk for sexual transmitted diseases or unwanted pregnancies.
If you cannot get an erection while you are by yourself, drug use, diet or some other physical condition may be to blame. Speak with your health care provider who can advise you on what might be the cause and what can be done to improve the problem.
Is it safe to use erectile dysfunction medication?
Erectile dysfunction (also called impotence) can sometimes occur in older men who have difficulty getting and maintaining an erection. Health care providers may prescribe a medication such as Viagra to treat this condition. However, Viagra is rarely prescribed to younger men. The use of erectile dysfunction medications when not prescribed by a health care provider can be dangerous. Some studies show that use of these medications, especially when combined with other drugs or alcohol may permit guys in an altered mental or physical state to engage in risky sexual activity, potentially contributing to the spread of sexually transmitted infections or unwanted pregnancies.
Common Causes of Erection Problems?
The causes of ED can be physical, psychological, or a combination of the two. Physical causes of ED are more common in older men. They occur because of disorders that can affect the nerves and blood vessels responsible for causing an erection.
Physical causes of erectile problems include:
- heart disease
- hardening of the arteries
- high blood pressure
- high cholesterol
- Parkinson’s disease
- multiple sclerosis
- Peyronie’s disease
- certain medications, including diuretics, beta blockers, muscle relaxers, or antidepressants
- alcoholism or substance abuse
- long-term tobacco use
- trauma or injury to the spinal cord or genital region
- congenital genitalia problems
- liver or kidney disease
- treatment for prostate problems
Erection problems can also be due to issues of the mind. Emotional issues can distract a man of any age from becoming aroused, and include:
- worry over not being able to achieve or maintain an erection
- prolonged emotional distress related to economic, professional, or social issues
- relationship conflicts
Erection Problems in Young Men
Men ages 20 to 30 may experience ED as well. The numbers suggest more occurrences of ED in young men than previously reported. The Journal of Sexual Medicine reports that 26 percent of men ages 17 to 40 experience trouble having an erection. These cases range from moderate to severe.
Research says erection problems in young men have more to do with their lifestyle and psychological climate than a physical problem. Younger men were found to use more tobacco, alcohol, and drugs than older men. The British Pregnancy Advisory Service suggests that erection problems in young men often stem from anxiety.
How Are Erection Problems Diagnosed?
To accurately find the cause of your erection problems, your doctor may also order tests that include:
- complete blood count (CBC), which is a set of blood tests that checks for low red blood cell count
- hormone profile, which measures the levels of sex hormones (testosterone and prolactin)
- nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT), which measures function of your erection during sleep
- duplex ultrasound, which uses high-frequency sound waves to take pictures of the body’s tissues
- urinalysis, which measure protein and testosterone levels in the urine
Once your doctor determines the cause of your erection problem, they will provide appropriate treatment.
What Are the Potential Complications?
The complications that come with erection problems are significant and can impact your quality of life. If you experience erection problems, you may also experience:
- stress or anxiety
- low self-esteem
- relationship problems
- dissatisfaction with your sex life
How Can You Treat Erection Problems?
According to American Family Physician, severity of ED is graded on a three-point scale: mild, moderate, and complete. The first step to treating your ED is identifying where you fall on this scale. Additionally, the causes of ED typically pinpoints at least one or more phases of male sexual response. These include: desire, arousal, orgasm, and relaxation. A problem in one or more of these may be the source of the problem.
The good news is once the severity and cause of the disorder is found, ED becomes easy to treat.
Options for treating erection issues may include:
- medications injected into the penis
- medication injected into the urethra
- medications taken by mouth
- vacuum devices
Many of the physical causes of erection problems are related to lifestyle choices. You may want to consider the following changes:
- stopping tobacco use
- drinking less alcohol
- getting plenty of rest
- eating a healthy diet
- exercising regularly
- talking with your partner about sexual issues
If changes in your lifestyle don’t reduce your symptoms, contact your doctor to find the root cause of the ED. Your doctor will examine your penis, rectum, and prostate as well as your nervous system function. The doctor will also ask you about current health problems and when your symptoms began.
How Can You Prevent Erection Problems?
To prevent erection problems, engage in healthy lifestyle behaviors. Some of these include:
- maintaining a healthy diet
- keeping a balanced well
- exercising regular
ED is caused by a lack of blood flow. Circulatory health becomes key in prevention. A common way to improve blood flow is through exercise. Some cardio-based exercises include: running, biking, swimming, and aerobics. A proper diet that avoids fats, excess sugar, and high salt counts is important as well.
Chronic health conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease, can be a cause of erection problems. Another cause may be from the medications prescribed to you. You should consult your physician for more methods of prevention if these diseases are present. A history of mental health issues or problems with alcohol or drugs may call for treatment. ED has been known to also be a product of stress or psychological issues.
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