Impotence, often called erectile dysfunction, is the inabality to initiate or maintain an erection long enough to engage in sexual intercourse. There are three main parts of the body that need to function properly in order to get an erection:
- Nerves – to pass on the messages to penis that it should become erect.
- Arteries – to dilate so more blood flows into the penis.
- Effective mechanism – it acts like a valve to stop blood flowing out of the penis.
There are few physical causes of impotence including vascular problem, diabetes, social drugs, hormonal deficiencies, Peyronie’s disease, congenital problem, spinal injury and getting older.
Vascular refer to vessels which carry blood, i.e. arteries and veins. It is suggested that there will be a problem with blood flow into and out of the penis which causes impotence.
It is difficult to get erection if the arteries cannot taking blood to the penis properly. The main causes of poor blood flow are:
- Atherosclerosis – hardening of the arteries which is related to aging process.
- High cholestrol level
- History of heart disease
- Lack of exercise
All of these factors can make the arteries become narrower thus less able to expand to allow more blood flow to flow through. If they cannot expand, then no erection will occur.
When you get an erection, these veins close off and stop the blood from flowing out. However, these veins may leak. If they do, then blood will not stay in penis and the erection will be lost earlier.
A typical pattern for a man with a venous problem is this: He can get an erection fairly easily, but during or even before intercourse it starts to soften. He may not be able to continue for both satisfaction because the penis become too soft.
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Over long period of times, diabetes gradually constricts large blood vessels. This impairs the ability of the heart to pump blood into the penis which is needed for erection.
Diabetes also damages small blood vessels which is why you may experience problems with kidney disease and ulcer on your feet. The damaged small vessels do not carry blood properly from the larger arteries to the cells that need the blood.
Many small nerves are irreversibly damaged by long-term diabetes. That is why you may suffer numb feet or find it hard to maintain your balance.
The nicotine in cigarette and pipe tobacco constricts the arteries. These reduce the blood flow throughout the body. This is the main reason why smoker prone to heart attack because the coronary arteries which supply blood to heart are constricted.
Few men have lack of male hormones necessary to encourage sexual development, the manufacture of sperm and the achievement of erection. One reason to be is Klinefelter’s syndrome,which is congenital abnormality of the chromosomes. Instead of having one X chromosome and one Y chromosome, the patient has two Xs and a Y. They do not produce enough testosterone.
Men who impotent can also have deficiencies of the hormone luteinising hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) or an excess of the hormone prolactin. Very occasionally, impotence can be caused by lack of thyroid hormone which is produced in the thyroid gland.
Impotence can make someone feel stress, low self-esteem and discouraged. They should be meet for the doctor to help them for future.