Impotency:  The causes of erectile dysfunction in men can be manifold. The onset of impotence should signify the quest for an underlying cause.

In India, openly discussing sexual health problems is taboo. Due to this, a lot of sexual health problems are ignored, and people do not get treated on time. This situation is slowly changing, and there is access to specialized care now. Impotence refers to the inability to have an erection for sexual intercourse. Male impotence is an extremely sensitive topic, globally. One in every ten Indian men is impotent, and the figure may be greater in the metros. According to the data, India is rapidly becoming the world’s impotence capital. TheHealthSite.com spoke to Dr. Vilvapathy. S. Karthikeyan, Microsurgical Andrologist/Urologist, Apollo Hospitals, Greams Road, Chennai to understand more about this condition and ways in which it can be managed.

According to research, any age group can suffer from the condition. Young people, in particular, are more likely to hide and not seek it out as a problem, and thus do not want to share the problem with others due to the stigma associated with the issue. As the problem is often ignored and not discussed, it often becomes serious and disrupts personal relationships. Due to a lack of awareness of the fact that it is a serious condition that requires medical attention, it becomes more difficult to share and get treated. Young people going through it feel embarrassed and lonely, and finally, all these feelings result in sheer depression.

Reasons That Can Make a Young Man Impotent

The causes of erectile dysfunction in men can be manifold. The onset of impotence should signify the quest for an underlying cause. Impotence can be caused by conditions that damage the heart and its capacity to pump blood efficiently. A man cannot have an erection if there is insufficient blood flow to the penis. Impotence can be caused by atherosclerosis, a disorder in which blood arteries become clogged. Diabetes mellitus is an important cause of impotence, and it is almost mandatory to screen for diabetes and heart disease, especially in young men.

  1. Excessive blood pressure (hypertension) and high cholesterol are also linked to an increased risk of impotence.
  2. Smoking, tobacco, and excess alcohol intake can lead to reduced blood flow in the penis leading to impotence
  3. Neurologic causes include spine problems, trauma to the spine, and rarely prolactinoma, a brain tumor. These can make it difficult to achieve an erection.
  4. Consuming certain medications can result in impotence.
  5. Low testosterone levels can also aggravate impotence.
  6. Stress, anxiety, reduced sleep, and depression can also be responsible for impotence in men. The very thought about having a good erection, too much concern about the penile length, and partner satisfaction can compound the problem.
  7. Obesity is an epidemic and is associated with erectile dysfunction.
  8. In men especially with diabetes mellitus, there is a condition called Peyronie disease, which can result in swelling over the penis, pain during erection, bending of the penis, and impotence.
  9. Another important situation where impotence can occur is in married men and there are couples who are unable to have a successful vaginal penetration. This is called the non-consummation of marriage and is on the rise in Indian couples due to changing trends. Erectile dysfunction by itself is an important cause of infertility.
  10. There is a growing trend in young unmarried men about erection and anxiety about satisfying their partner and this affects productivity and is a cause for concern.

How To Treat This Condition

To treat this condition, effective treatment options are available, such as:

  1. The cornerstone in the management of impotence lies in the identification of the cause and gathering the partner’s confidence in treatment and cooperation.
  2. Correcting and optimising medical disorders, especially control of diabetes mellitus.
  3. Counseling to identify and relieve depression or other mental health issues, or to assist in managing stress, anxiety, fear, or guilt.
  4. Relaxation, physical activity, a healthy diet, stress reduction, sound sleep, and weight reduction can improve erections.
  5. It is also important to screen for and treat underlying heart disease.
  6. There are also surgical procedures that can help, like a penile implant, in which a pair of flexible silicone cylinders are surgically placed inside the erection chambers of the penis. These can be solid malleable rods or 3-piece inflatable implants which provide a more natural feel and experience to the patient. These procedures improve a man’s ability to get an erection, leading to a healthy sexual life. This is especially important to understand in men with erectile dysfunction due to reduced blood flow and when the response to medications is inadequate.
  7. Options like testosterone replacement therapy in men with testosterone deficiency, who have completed their family, penile traction therapy in men with Peyronie disease, vacuum erection device, and intra-penile injections are other options.

There is no reason to feel ashamed. Impotence can be treated, so discuss the problem with a doctor and get treated under the doctor’s supervision. Impotence should just be considered as another medical problem and there should be no hesitation in going for early treatment. “A stitch in time saves nine.” Earlier the treatment is intimated, and long-term effects of erectile dysfunction on the partner’s mindset and consequences can be avoided to a great extent.

(Disclaimer: This article is for educational purposes only and is not meant to provide any clinical or medical advice. Please contact your doctor for more information.) Home 

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