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Wednesday, October 05th, 2011

Impotence is a common sexual problem affecting men of all ages and races. It can result from a number of physical or psychological issues. While all men experience occasional performance problems, long-term impotence can have devastating effects and needs to be properly treated.

What Causes Impotence?
Impotence usually begins as a result of a physical condition. As men age, testosterone levels drop and conditions such as heart disease and diabetes take a toll. These factors lead to an increase in performance problems in most men. Other physical issues can cause or worsen impotence, including the use of prescription or illicit drugs as well as trauma to the genital region from injury or surgery.

Psychological issues usually do not cause impotence but will exacerbate the condition. Men dealing with conditions such as depression or anxiety have an increased risk of impotence. Those with occasional sexual dysfunction due to a physical condition may also see an increase in the problem as they struggle with the guilt or worry over not being able to perform.

Effects of Impotence
When occasional performance issues turn into impotence, men suffer from effects that extend beyond the bedroom. Psychological conditions that were already present are often aggravated by the frustration and stress of being unable to perform. This can lead to problem at work, with friends, or at home.

Relationships suffer when impotence is untreated, especially the relationship between a man and his partner. The same psychological issues that affect the victim can also affect his partner. The feelings of stress and guilt can lead to conflict between both parties and, if not dealt with, can destroy the relationship.

Which Treatments Work Best?
Fortunately, for those suffering from impotence, there are number of treatments available. Modern medicine offers a number of choices that, individually or combined, will help to diminish or cure this condition.

  • Medication
    Most men are prescribed erectile dysfunction drugs to treat impotence. Drugs such as Viagra, Levitra, Cialis, and others work by improving blood flow to the penis, enabling a man to get an erection with sexual contact. Some of these drugs are also available in an extended release form so couples do not feel pressured to become intimate as soon as the drug is taken.
  • Hormone Therapy
    For some men, low testosterone is a greater problem than blood flow. Hormone replacement therapy can help to boost these levels and is available in a number of different forms including pills, injections, patches, or creams.
  • Surgery
    For men not helped by medications, surgery is another, though rarer, solution. One option is vascular reconstructive surgery, a type of bypass surgery that improves blood flow to the penis. This is used when there is a blockage and is analogous to heart bypasses. Another option is a penile implant, which usually involves installing a reservoir and pump. A man squeezes the pump to cause an erection. Penile implants are generally only used when no other treatment will work.

For men looking for less invasive options, there are a number of natural and alternative solutions that can help to treat impotence.

  • Dietary Supplements
    Men suffering from certain deficiencies may improve their condition by taking supplements or increasing foods rich in particular vitamins and minerals. In particular, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and zinc are known to help reduce impotence. Foods with high levels of these vitamins include citrus fruits, peanuts and tree nuts, and meats such as oysters and lamb.
  • Herbal Remedies
    Certain herbs can be added to a man’s diet to improve erectile function. Both ginkgo biloba and ginseng will improve blood flow, making it easier to obtain and maintain an erection. Before using any herbal supplements, however, it is important to check with a doctor to prevent adverse effects.
  • Lifestyle Changes
    In some cases, some simple changes can help to treat impotence. First, getting regular exercise will improve overall heart health, leading to better blood flow throughout the whole body. The next step is to reduce drug intake, including nicotine, alcohol, and caffeine. All of these drugs have a negative effect of sexual function. Another important step is to reduce stress. Consistently high stress levels contribute to a lower sex drive and impotence.
  • Psychological Therapy
    Even if psychological issues are not the cause of impotence, deep emotional issues are involved for a man and his partner. Individual and couples’ therapy will help in working through negative feelings that have aggravated or resulted from impotence. Sex therapists are another option. These specialists can provide additional support by helping to improve communication about sex and providing tips and techniques to overcome psychological blocks in lovemaking.

Although impotence is a frustrating problem, the variety of treatment options should be encouraging to any man suffering with the condition. Plus, as the amount of research hours spent on sexual function increases, those options should only improve and increase in number.

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