Achieving and maintaining an erection for some men is complicated. Arousal requires the cooperation of several factors such as hormones, brain signals, nerve impulses, muscles, emotional state, and blood vessels.
Of all these vital functions, one of the most important components in the process is proper blood flow. If the blood vessels that supply the penis are constricted or otherwise not functioning properly, then it’s probable that the vessels supplying blood to your brain or heart may also be in jeopardy. ED caused by blocked blood vessels may point to an increased risk for heart disease, heart attack, or a stroke.
In other cases, ED is linked with serious illnesses such as obesity, diabetes, or high blood pressure. Therefore, speaking to your physician early about your ED symptoms is potentially a life-saving conversation. Under the care of your doctor, often a specialized ultrasound, called a duplex ultrasound, is used to evaluate blood flow and check for signs of reduced blood flow. Additional health screenings will rule out other potentially serious health concerns.
Early Warning Signs of Erectile Dysfunction to Watch For
The first and most obvious symptom of ED is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection. However, additional early symptoms include:
- Reduced Sexual Desire
- Loss of Sensitivity in the Penis
- The Inability to Reach Ejaculation
When to Seek Medical Treatment for ED
If you experience problems getting or maintaining an erection 20 percent of the time or less, this is within a normal range. However, if symptoms occur more than 20 percent of the time, you should speak to a physician or urologist to discuss causes and treatment options.
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