Even in our time, impotence is a problem, which almost every representative of the stronger half of humanity is afraid to face, both young men and people of mature age group have almost equal attitude to this problem. For them, inability to have normal (and the concept of normal in each person is individual) sexual relations with sexual partner becomes a real tragedy.
If to consider medical terminology more thoroughly and carefully, it turns out that meaning that patients usually see in the term «impotence» and what andrologists and urologists call impotence, are somewhat different. Physicians under impotence understand man’s total inability to perform sexual intercourse under any conditions, which in practice is rare, and in all other cases they talk about problem of erectile dysfunction. The term «erectile dysfunction» denotes inability of male body to provide or maintain normal erection in varying degrees of severity of the problem. In case of erectile dysfunction (impotence), a man still has opportunity to perform sexual intercourse, but with very great difficulties.
Studies conducted by doctors in many countries over the past few years have revealed that problem of impotence can affect any man over the age of 40, and noted distinct tendency to «rejuvenation» of the disease. 25 – 35 years old men increasingly face problems of erectile dysfunction, and in some cases impotence can make life difficult for even 20-year-old representatives of the stronger half of humanity.
Mechanism of Erection
Erection is achieved due to blood filling of spongy and two cavernous bodies – anatomical formations, which in their structure resemble sponge. When there is sexual excitement, blood flow in penile arteries sharply increases and simultaneously blood outflow in veins is sharply decreased – cavity inside spongy and cavernous bodies is filled with blood, which results in erection. Excitement will remain as long as blood filling of penile bodies remains. If normal blood inflow is disturbed and venous outflow sharply increases, there are problems with erection, which can be caused by various factors.
Impotence – Causes of the Disease
Studies on impotence problem have proven that sexual problems become the cause of this condition in a very small number of cases (no more than 20% of total number of cases of this pathological condition). Much more often impotence in men develops on the background of diseases and pathological conditions existing in patient’s body, with use of certain medications, as a consequence of injuries suffered by person during his life.
Quite often there is psychological impotence that can exist independently or be an addition to health problems that exist in patient’s body – constant stress and depression can lead to the fact that impotence at young age occurs more often. Unfortunately, young men very rarely go to doctors for help timely – today, many drugs for treatment of erectile dysfunction symptoms (means for impotence) can be purchased at pharmacy network, and even a fairly high price of this group of drugs does not stop representatives of the stronger half of humanity. They think that going to a doctor, undergoing a survey and establishing true cause of impotence will turn them into an inferior member of society, and opinion that «a real man must solve his problems by himself» in this situation is deeply mistaken.
Most Common Causes of Impotence
- Disorders in endocrine system – insufficient production of male sex hormone testosterone causes hormonal imbalance, appearance of which, in addition to erectile dysfunction, is manifested in change in constitution (adipose on female type, cessation of hair growth on the body and face, changes in voice timbre), psychological disorders. It is necessary to remember that hormonal disorders cause impotence quite rarely, but it is impossible to exclude this cause without conducting a comprehensive examination of a man.
- appointed for treatment of diseases that occur on the background of hormonal imbalance – most often causes of impotence are hidden in medicines that affect organs of endocrine system and indirectly affect production of sex hormones. It is impossible to exclude this factor without consulting a doctor, but one must always remember that drugs that affect secretion of sex hormones are prescribed only in case of revealing really serious diseases (for treatment of prostate cancer, breast cancer in men);
- appointment of drugs acting on processes of excitation and inhibition in cerebral cortex – any means that enhance severity of inhibition (including alcohol, psychotropic drugs, substances of narcotic action) can cause impotence;
- use of drugs that affect impulses in cells of nervous system – similar drugs can be prescribed for treatment of osteochondrosis and its complications, spinal injuries, diseases of nervous system.
- Diseases of circulatory system – impotence can occur in case of defeat of arteries, carrying blood to cavernous bodies of penis and veins that regulate outflow. The most common cause of impotence in this case is widespread atherosclerotic process that affects abdominal aorta and vessels near it, or varicose veins, accompanied by malfunction of veins of the body.
- Diseases and traumas of nervous system, including surgical interventions on nerve plexuses of spinal cord, pelvis and adjacent structures (osteochondrosis, radicular syndromes, spondylosis of lumbosacral spine).
- Systemic processes in the body – diabetes, hypertensive disease, blood diseases are capable to influence appearance of erection in some way or another, and, therefore, cause impotence in man.
- Local diseases of penis – sclerotic processes in spongy tissue of penis make erection unproductive, and then completely impossible.
- Psychogenic causes of impotence – to this group of causes are attributed all other problems that arise on the background of constant stress, physical overstrain, inability to build a correct model of sexual behavior and make it real, reluctance to use contraception and fear of pregnancy, fear of sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS.
Only after revealing true cause of impotence is it possible to prescribe necessary treatment, but only qualified urologist or andrologist should select therapy.
Means for Impotence – Modern Possibilities of Elimination of Problems
In arsenal of modern medicine, there are many methods of treating impotence, which are selected based on patient’s age, results of comprehensive examination, presence of concomitant diseases and even wishes of patient.
Impotence, which occurred at young age, necessarily requires advice of psychologist and full medical examination – in recent years, more often causes responsible for development of impotence include not only psychological disorders, but also diseases of the body (hematopoietic tumors, blood clotting disorders). We can not exclude the fact that the reason for impotence at relatively young age is lifestyle of a man – bad habits, drug addiction and substances abuse in this age group remain «leaders» among causes of erectile dysfunction occurrence. In this case, treatment of impotence requires eliminating factor that caused onset of the pathology, and all other methods of modern medicine (drugs injected into penis or taken orally) are effective only for a very short time.
Psychological impotence requires compulsory consultation of sexologist who can understand possible causes of this condition, and will suggest the best way out of the situation – this consultation is intended to solve problems not only of a man himself, but of the couple (spouses or partners), and only on an individual basis. No self-respecting sexologist without personal consultation of the patient will give any recommendations – he will advise you to get individual advice.
Drugs used as a remedy for impotence can be divided into several groups:
- restorative and tonic, which have general health-improving effect on the body of a man – they usually include extracts of ginseng, eleutherococcus, magnolia vine, aralia, extracts of materials of animal origin;
- means for impotence, regulating blood supply of penis – drugs that include sildenafil (Viagra and its analogues), tadalafil (Cialis) and other substances that are inhibitors of PDE-5 enzyme. Their effect is explained by sharp increase in blood circulation in penis on the background of increase in concentration of nitric oxide – as a remedy for impotence they not always help, so they are often used as a method of obtaining new sexual sensations;
- drugs injected into penis or urethra just before sexual intercourse – their frequent use causes unwanted side effects and worsening problems with erection;
- surgical treatment of impotence involves carrying out surgeries on penile prosthesis, interventions on vessels of penis, especially in combination with use of vacuum pump.