Vivek (name changed), a 40-year-old-IT guy wasted two years of his life trying and experimenting with home remedies, Vivek (name changed), a 40-year-old IT professional was nowhere close to finding a cure for his flaccid penis. It was not only pushing him towards depression and anxiety but also, shattering the physical intimacy he had with his wife.
What was traditionally believed to be an age-related medical condition, erectile dysfunction (ED) and impotence affect more than 50 per cent of Indian males over the age of 40. For Vivek and the other 90 million Indian males, the trouble in getting and sustaining an erection is eventually leading them to the path of losing sexual desires and breaking relationships.
Because most men consider concealing ED due to the associated stigma, the lack of awareness around the possible treatment options is keeping them away from seeking timely clinical intervention. There are penile implants and penis pumps can help address your problem.
Advancement in the healthcare sector, latest diagnostic solutions are transforming the prognosis for patients with ED, helping men to lead a better quality life.
Understanding ED Better
From sending acoustic waves to different parts of the male organ to oral tablets, intracavernosal injection (injection for the penis) and counselling sessions, multiple treatment options are available for ED. However, most men like Vivek do not even understand the medical condition properly and lack awareness about the existence of a medical speciality like ‘Andrology’ to treat men with ED. It’s time we have clarity on the nature of the disorder.
“As the neurovascular structure of the penis is smaller and far more sensitive than the rest of the body, a man’s sexual health is often the first to show signs of damage. Take for example Atherosclerosis, a condition in which the arterial walls harden because of a build-up of plaque. Due to the smaller network of blood vessels in the penis, they are more likely to get blocked first, leading to erectile dysfunction”, says Dr Vasan S S, Uro-Andrologist, Chairman at Manipal Fertility, Bengaluru.
Associated comorbidities: Precursors to ED?
Did you know that long working hours, sedentary lifestyles, and lack of physical activity can be precursors to ED? How? For instance, working professionals like Vivek develop symptoms of high cholesterol, type-2 diabetes and hypertension due to hectic routines. And the patients with such aforementioned co-morbidities are more prone to progress towards an increased risk of ED than a normal person. Furthermore, physiological factors like obesity and injury to the urinary system, spinal cord or penis can also lead to erectile dysfunction.
The result is, limping of the male genitalia and reduced libido followed by depression and anxiety. Over a period of a few months, the sexual act can become more and more difficult to perform. Hence, these patients require immediate clinical help. Being diagnosed with ED, a condition prevalent among many men with sedentary lifestyles, timely diagnosis can assure complete treatment and a bounce back to normal sex life.
With advancement in the field of andrology, patients with ED now have a better chance of enjoying personal moments. Take, for instance, Penis pumps. “A penis pump (vacuum erection device) is a hollow tube with a hand-powered or battery-powered pump. The tube is placed over your penis, and then the pump is used to suck out the air inside the tube. This creates a vacuum that increases the flow of blood in the veins of your penis, helping you to achieve and sustain a firm erection”, says Dr Vasan.
Furthermore, there are patients who require deeper clinical assistance from surgical procedures to help recover from ED. A case in point, Penile implants (inflatable or semi-rigid rods). This treatment involves surgically placing the devices into both sides of the penis. While the inflatable devices allow you to control the timing of maintaining an erection, the semi-rigid rods keep your penis firm but bendable.
While many patients let the problem psychologically affect them, they need to understand that erectile dysfunction does not mean that the possibility of a happy life has ended. What they must remember is, avoiding timely medical intervention due to shame or embarrassment will only fuel the problem rather than treating it.
Hence, it’s time we take adequate measures and address the larger concerns. ED is not merely restricted to one’s bedroom; it’s an overall health issue.