Potency disorders: meaning and causes

Potency disorders: meaning and causes

The interest in the topic of sexuality is vast, but when it comes to erectile dysfunction, there is excellent speechlessness. Despite all the enlightenment, “impotence” has a highly negative connotation. And so many men shy away from addressing the problem in their partnership or even with the doctor. In Germany, an estimated three to five million men have erectile dysfunction, with the incidence increasing with age.

However, there are no exact figures – no wonder, given a taboo subject. In the past, people blamed the lack of rigidity of the psyche on the shoes. Still, today, it is assumed that half of those affected have organic disorders, and around 20 per cent have a combination of physical and mental causes.

forms of erectile dysfunction

As is often the case, the word usage of the vocabulary does not quite match that of the medical profession. In technical jargon, Impotence is a generic term for both the man’s inability to engage in coitus and the inability to reproduce:

  • Erectile dysfunction  (impotentia coeundi), also known as erectile dysfunction (ED): In this case, the penis does not become stiff at all, not sufficiently or not long enough so that the sexual act cannot be completed.
  • Infertility  (potentially generated), also known as sterility or infertility: In this case, an erection and the ability to have an orgasm are present, and ejaculation occurs. However, there is an inability to reproduce (infertility).

In common parlance, Impotence means only the first form. Since the causes, diagnostics and treatment options are very different, only erectile dysfunction will be discussed below.


Causes of erectile dysfunction

For an erection to come about, a complex set of rules made up of nerves, blood vessels, hormones, and the psyche must work together. The causes of erectile dysfunction are correspondingly diverse.

These increase with age partly because the arterial blood supply “gets old” – the vessels become stiffer and narrower and can, therefore, no longer react appropriately. In addition, the production of the male sex hormone testosterone decreases: Sexual stimulation no longer leads to arousal and erection as quickly, it takes longer to reach orgasm, and the sperm count also decreases.

Other risk factors for erectile dysfunction are:

  • overweight
  • Smoking
  • excessive alcohol consumption
  • Too little movement

Erectile dysfunction can also be an indication of serious illnesses such as diabetesArteriosclerosisHigh blood pressure or liver and kidney dysfunction (which also increase with age) – problems with the “little friend” are not uncommon—the first indication of these diseases.

Impotence: role of the psyche

Since sex begins in the mind, psychological factors such as stress, fear or pressure to perform can also be the reason why the more vigorous sex weakens.

Conversely, erectile dysfunction affects men’s well-being and often leads to frustration and fear of not being able to do it next time. – a vicious circle of fear of failure and further failure, which becomes more difficult to escape the fewer men dare to talk about it.


Erectile dysfunction as a warning sign

Erectile dysfunction is a severe warning sign of an illness that may require treatment. Therefore, a doctor should always be consulted. In the majority of cases, there is one (or more) of the following causes:

  • Effects of Cardiovascular Disease
  • Fat metabolism disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney damage
  • Damage to the spine caused by wear and tear
  • Hormonal problems
  • Disease of the nervous system, for example MS (Multiple Sclerosis)
  • Medication abuse
  • high blood pressure
  • Smoke
  • Alcohol abuse
  • depressions
  • Personality conflicts
  • Operations or injuries to the Prostate
  • Stress

Bicycle saddles cannot cause erectile dysfunction.

In the past, many scientists assumed that bicycle saddles could seriously lead to erectile dysfunction. Due to the teardrop-shaped design of the bicycle saddle, around a third of the entire body weight rests on the perineum, i.e. the area between the anus and the external genitalia. That’s why frequent and long periods of sitting on a bicycle saddle have been linked to impaired blood flow to the penis and nerve damage.

However, more recent studies with a more significant number of test subjects were able to refute this assumption. However, a few simple tips can help improve blood flow to the penis while cycling. You can find everything about the possible connection between Impotence and cycling and the relevant tips in this article.

Diagnosis and treatment of erectile dysfunction

If you suspect erectile dysfunction, you should always consult a doctor. He can then work with the person affected to clarify possible psychological and physical causes and, if in doubt, rule out other underlying diseases.

In addition to an initial consultation, there is an examination of the genitals and usually a urine and blood test. Depending on the possible cause, further examinations using X-rays or ultrasound are used.

Both drugs and mechanical aids are available for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Surgery is fundamentally conceivable but is rarely used due to the lack of prospects of success. You can find out more about the diagnosis and treatment of erectile dysfunction here.


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