Impotence: When You Can’t Get It Up is Getting You Down

Probably nothing devastates a man more than having a failure in the bedroom. Impotence or erectile dysfunction affects nearly 33 million men in the United States. You are not alone. Help is available for nearly every man who has erectile dysfunction.
Diet
According to the Urology Channel’s “Erectile Dysfunction: Natural/Alternative Treatments,” erectile dysfunction can be treated by eating right, drinking plenty of water and avoiding sugar, dairy and caffeine. They recommend to eat whole, fresh, unrefined and unprocessed foods, including vegetables, whole grains, soy, beans, seeds, nuts, olive oil and cold-water fish such as salmon and tuna.
Taking your vitamins can also help; the Urology Channel suggests supplements such as flaxseed, and in particular vitamins C, E and the mineral zinc. These vitamins and supplements help bolster the vascular system, which is an important part of good sexual health.


Exercise
Since sexual health relies on the vascular system, a strong heart plays an important part in treating erectile dysfunction. Aerobic exercises such as power walking, running, bicycling or dancing strengthen the cardiovascular system. A stronger cardiovascular system gives stronger support to the vascular system that supports a healthy erection.
 Kegel exercises–exercises that flex the pelvic muscle– which are helpful in strengthening the ligaments that support an erection. These exercises can also increase blood flow in the pelvic area, which can aid in achieving a strong erection.



Herbs
Herbs which are used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to support healthy erectile function include ginseng, ginger and ginkgo biloba.
 Ginseng helps increase blood circulation, and is typically taken as a dried powder, often as a paste mixed with honey. Ginkgo biloba also increases blood flow in the arteries, which help support the vascular functions that enable a healthy erection.
 Another non-medical option is garlic but the treatment can be tough to take: the trick to getting the most out of garlic is to chew fresh, uncooked garlic very thoroughly. Though it is unpleasant and can be downright painful, this allows your body to absorb powerful natural nutrients through the blood vessels in the mouth. Some of the most powerful ingredients in garlic are destroyed as they travel through the digestive system, and these erectile dysfunction-fighting nutrients are only absorbed while chewing.
One out of two men over age 40 have had difficulty attaining and maintaining an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse, doctors say. And while the numbers are smaller, even some younger men may have difficulty developing an erection.
However, more than at any other time in history, erectile dysfunction is a problem with a solution. Medications and external and internal treatments have improved dramatically, allowing thousands of men to return to healthy sexual functioning. Likewise the stigma has decreased with public awareness.
Over the past 20 years, increased media attention, scores of television ads for medications like Viagra, Levitra and Cialis and starring roles in movies and television shows have moved erectile dysfunction out of the shadows and onto the list of common health concerns.
Erectile dysfunction is often caused by a lack of adequate blood flow, which can be an indicator of a potentially life-threatening health problem such as heart disease, high cholesterol, or diabetes.
Surgeries for prostate cancer, bladder and certain colorectal cancers may result in erectile dysfunction.
Regardless of age or cause, treatment options are the same, depending on the individual.

Men with heart problems and some other health conditions cannot take Viagra, Levitra, or Cialis. These drugs can be fatal for men taking nitroglycerine or any nitrates.
The next level of treatment includes injections and vacuum pumps, both of which can be effective. While the thought of injections is less than appealing to most men, the results are excellent.
If pill and external treatments are not effective, doctors say an internal prosthetic device is an option.
An implant gives the spontaneity and quality of erection that they can’t get with many of the other treatments including pills, injections or vacuum pump. Internal devices or a penile prosthesis are effective continuously on demand, which means a man and his partner can achieve a full erection on demand and within seconds that contains itself as long as they want to have sex.
While these surgeries have been performed since the 1950s improvements in surgical technique and devices are dramatic.
The 30-minute procedure is minimally invasive and usually does not require hospital admission. Men may experience some discomfort for 1-2 days after the procedure.

Men who have the prosthesis have by far the best satisfaction rate for any treatment for erection problems, up into the 99 percent range.

Bottom Line: Erectile dysfunction affections millions of American men. There are solutions both medical and surgical that can help men restore their ability to successfully engage in sexual intimacy with their partners.

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