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Erectile Dysfunction: General Description

Erection - What is it?

Erection is the ability to achieve and maintain penis firmness, sufficient for successful performance and completion of sexual intercourse. Male penis consists of two parallel longitudinal ridges of erectile tissue, the so-called cavernous bodies (corpora cavernosa), and a small tube - spongy body (corpus spongiosum), which surrounds urethra and forms balanus (glans penis). Cavernous and spongy bodies are composed of spongy tissue surrounded by dense fibrous tunic. Blood inflow and outflow in cavernous and spongy bodies is regulated by special mechanisms, so that penis could rapidly be filled with blood, increase in volume and become firm. This condition is called erection.

How does Erection Happen, and Why?

Erection is a consequence of complex neural and vascular interactions usually associated with sexual excitement. At excitement signals transmitted from brain to sacral part of spinal cord and then to local nerves, which cause smooth muscles relaxation in penile arterial walls. This provides increased blood flow and filling cavernous and spongy bodies spongy tissue with it. Filled with blood cavernous and spongy bodies compress efferent veins so blood outflow is reduced. Penis is filled with blood, swells and becomes firm. As long as erection lasts, blood is “trapped” in penis. Erection is terminated after ejaculation, or as a result of any violation signals that caused it cease to come. Blood flow and cavernous bodies pressure on blood efferent veins decreases, blood outflows from cavernous and spongy bodies, and penis returns to its normal relaxed state. During erection there is 6 times more blood in penis than at rest state. erectile dysfucntion

About the Problem

Erectile dysfunction is inability to achieve and maintain erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual intercourse. Once this disorder was known as impotence. Today, this term is rarely used, is considered obsolete and has condemning undertone. Erectile dysfunction occurs in various forms:
  • as permanent inability to achieve erection;
  • as inability to achieve erection sufficient for penetration;
  • as inability to maintain erection long enough for successful sexual intercourse completion.

How Common is Erectile Dysfunction?

Many men experience erection problems. Some people observe these problems not clearly expressed and not frequently, and some – on the contrary. erectile dysfucntionOne in ten men aged from 18 to 40 years is experiencing erectile dysfunction. Every second man aged from 40 and 70 years is experiencing erectile dysfunction. This statistics is made by Canadian Health&Care Mall specialists. At the same time a lot of drugs and supplements (BAA) for erectile dysfunction treatment are being bought without prescription or consulting a doctor – this statistics is impossible to be estimated. There are two main types of erectile dysfunction:
  1. primary – erection, sufficient for sexual intercourse, has never occurred;
  2. secondary – previously, patient had normal erection, but now in 25% of cases and more erection is insufficient for sexual intercourse.
Erectile dysfunction is one of the main men's health indicators. An important factor in ED development is stress that leads to depression, depressed mood, decreased sexual desire. ED incidence among smokers is 15 - 20% higher than that among non-smokers. (more…)