Among the problems that men have in their sex life the most prominent one is erectile dysfunction. Problems that emerge in bodily functions along with age also affect erections. The good news is that there are a lot of treatment options…
1 -CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASES
Acibadem Bakırköy Hospital Urology Specialist Dr. Enis Rauf Coşkuner explained that the basic function of both the male and female sex organs is no different than that of any vascular structure in the body; they are only the more developed models. The blood that comes to the penis that leaves the penis and trapped in there to achieve an erection only works properly in men with a normally functioning cardiovascular system. When this system does not work properly problems also occur in erections. Dr. Coşkuner said that since cardiovascular disorders are seen frequently in society, this is also an issue that urology emphasizes and added: “When people in a certain group come to us with erection problems if we can handle the problem sensibly we can catch a cardiovascular disease in its early stage. Since the diameter of the main artery going to the penis is smaller than the heart arteries any obstructions in these areas become evident very early on.”
Treatments like stent and by-pass for heart diseases may not cure the erection problem on their own but changes in lifestyle and getting vascular diseases under control with medication can reduce the problem.
Men who have diabetes are three times more likely than normal men to have erectile problems. Diabetes, one of the diseases that are seen frequently in our day, cannot be cured yet; it can be diagnosed and blood sugar can be kept under control with medication. Dr. Coşkuner said that problems that can occur during the course of the disease have to be dealt with and one of these is erectile dysfunction. Dr. Coşkuner, who pointed out that one of the preliminary symptoms of diabetes in some patients, is erectile dysfunction, said “Diabetes is suspected after only doing a blood sugar test on some patients and we direct these patients to endocrinology. 15 percent of diabetes patients are diagnosed this way.
The effects of diabetes on the body are evident on the vascular and nervous system; problems in sight or deterioration of vascular structures in the kidneys can also occur. Dr. Enis Rauf Coşkuner said that patients are sent to relevant branches for the effects of diabetes but urology tends to be neglected. In fact, once diabetes develops the highest possibility of erectile dysfunction developing occurs in the first 10 years. As long as the blood sugar is under control the risk is reduced but compared to the society still continues at a high level.
3 -THE SIDE EFFECTS OF TREATMENTS
Many people use psychiatric medications today. But in addition to psychological diseases, the medications used to treat them also have a negative effect on sexual function. Also some hypertension medicines have undesired effects on erections. The side effects of cholesterol drugs on this subject are conflicting. Dr. Enis Rauf Coşkuner pointed out that erectile dysfunction information is included in the side effects of medications and also doctors in the relevant branches have the duty to inform patients about this subject, “The doctor can get support from urology to overcome side effects if this medication must be used or might prescribe a different medication”.
4 -SURGICAL TRAUMAS
Disrupting the mechanisms in the pelvic artery during surgery can cause erectile dysfunctions. The surgery called radical prostatectomy performed to treat prostate cancer, one of the most commonly seen cancer types in men, and radiotherapy can cause problems like incontinence and erection dysfunction. According to studies 40-50 percent of men who have this procedure have stated that their erection is not like it used to be.
Dr. Coşkuner said that surgical procedures have advanced now and are even done robotically but due to the prostate being very close to nerves it can be affected. Operations on intestines and other comprehensive surgeries requiring removal of organs can also have a negative effect on sexual function.
5 -PSYCHOLOGICAL, PSYCHIATRIC AND NEUROLOGICAL DISEASES
Problems like psychosis, intense stress and depression can not only cause erectile dysfunction but also lack of libido and ejaculation disorders. Performance anxiety is also an important psychogenic problem that causes excessive nervousness and erection problems in men. Neurological diseases like Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and epilepsy can affect many functions of the body including erection with the damage they cause in the brain and peripheral nerves. Also the head and spine trauma that is suffered particularly in traffic accidents cause many problems including sexual dysfunction. Dr. Enis Rauf Coşkuner, who pointed out that these patients also need guidance for sexual problems, said “Many successful studies are being done on medications like treatments for fertility”.
The chance for treatment is high
One of the most common sexual problems is erectile dysfunction; the rate is 1-10 percent in men under 40, 10-30 percent in men aged 40-60, 20-40 percent in men aged 60-70 and 50-75 percent in men over 70. The most developed field among the treatments that men can resort to in order to continue their sexual life, addresses this issue in particular. The negative effects of erectile dysfunction can be treated with changes in lifestyle, use of proper medications, intracavernous injection, vacuum devices, low density sound waves, psychological therapy and even prostheses implanted in the penis. Dr. Enis Rauf Coşkuner said “It is not possible to be unable to solve erection problems as long as the person wants to. The approach of the partner is also very important in these treatments because what the patient describes can be subjective. When the doctor listens to the partner a whole new story unfolds. It can become obvious that the patient is either exaggerating or underrating the problem. This information is important for planning the treatment”.