Most adult men experience trouble getting or maintaining an erection long enough for sex at some point in their lives. In most cases, the problem is caused by stress or other external factors and often resolves on its own with little to no medical intervention. However, when it’s difficult getting or maintaining an erection becomes a chronic problem, it might be erectile dysfunction, ED. ED can cause psychological and emotional problems, sometimes inducing feelings of guilt or shame. It can also compromise intimacy and lower the quality of romantic relationships. Fortunately, this condition, which affects about 30 million men in the US, is treatable. Here are five signs that you might have it and should see a urologist Los Angeles CA to discuss treatment.
Difficulty Getting or Keeping an Erection
The most classic sign of erectile dysfunction is an inability to get or keep an erection. This problem can be caused by anxiety, fatigue, or alcohol consumption. However, when it happens often and for no apparent reason, it could signify ED. The progression is often slow. In the beginning, you may notice it takes longer than usual to get an erection or you may lose it before sex is complete. Over time, you may be unable to get an erection when you want to have sex or have one that lasts long enough.
Some ED patients also experience ejaculatory dysfunction – a separate but related condition. Ejaculatory dysfunction is characterized by problems ejaculating, which can manifest in different ways. When you have premature ejaculation, you may ejaculate immediately or soon after sex begins. Delayed ejaculation, on the other hand, causes you to fail to ejaculate despite extended stimulation. Some patients also report retrograde ejaculation, where semen ejaculates into the bladder rather than out.
Missing Morning Erections
Many men experience early-morning erections due to increased testosterone levels during this time of the day. These usually occur without stimulation and can indicate good sexual and cardiovascular health. If you used to get morning erections but they suddenly stop, you may have ED.
Reduced Sex Drive
Many men with ED also report a reduced desire for sex, particularly those with an underlying emotional or psychological problem or a hormonal imbalance. Also known as low libido, a reduced sex drive can cause distress for your partner, whose sex drive might still be higher than yours. It can cause them to feel unattractive or unvalued, so much so that they withdraw from you. In turn, you may experience feelings of depression, shame, and anxiety, which could further lower your libido.
ED can also manifest as reduced penile sensitivity. You can tell you have this symptom if it suddenly takes more stimulation and time than usual to help you achieve or maintain an erection. That said, reduced sensitivity can happen naturally with age as your testosterone levels drop. Your urologist can better diagnose this symptom to determine if it is ED-related.
Erectile Dysfunction Is Treatable
ED does more than limit your ability to get and maintain an erection – it can also harm your self-esteem, relationships, and emotional and mental health. Fortunately, most cases of ED are treatable, especially with early intervention. Your urologist can diagnose the cause of your problem and devise a treatment for you based on the underlying cause, your age, the severity of your symptoms, and more. If you want to kick ED and rejuvenate your sex life, call your doctor today to set an appointment.