Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a condition that can last from a few months to years, depending on the underlying cause. According to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM V), ED must occur for at least six months to be considered a persistent issue. Fortunately, in many cases, erectile dysfunction can be reversed. A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found a 29 percent remission rate after 5 years.
Erectile dysfunction can be temporary and the ability to achieve an erection can be restored. A health professional can diagnose ED, determine the cause, and direct treatment. Medications may be recommended, lifestyle modifications, and underlying causes treated. Medications vary in dosage, duration of action, and side effects.
Possible side effects include flushing, nasal congestion, headache, visual changes, back pain, and upset stomach. Before taking any medications for ED, including over-the-counter supplements and herbal remedies, consult your doctor. Whether the cause is physical, psychological, or a combination of both, erectile dysfunction can become a source of mental and emotional stress for you and your partner. The first thing your doctor will do is make sure you're getting the right treatment for any health conditions that may be causing or worsening your ED.
Depending on the cause and severity of your ED and any underlying health condition, you may have several treatment options. So when we talk about what an erectile dysfunction problem actually is, the definition is a problem that lasts more than three months and is a constant inability to obtain or maintain an erection adequate for intercourse. For many people, a physical exam and answers to questions (medical history) are all that is needed for a doctor to diagnose ED and recommend treatment. Recent studies have found that exercise, especially moderate to intense aerobic activity, can improve erectile dysfunction. If ED is due to stress, anxiety or depression or if the condition is creating stress and tension in the relationship, your doctor may suggest that you or your partner see a psychologist or counselor. Oral medications for ED are not aphrodisiacs, do not cause arousal and are not needed in people who have normal erections.
It's important to remember that erectile dysfunction is common and you shouldn't stress out if you have occasional difficulties with erections. Many people have erectile dysfunction (ED), but it is often possible to reverse it with exercises to strengthen the muscles in the area. Research has shown that combining weight loss, a healthy diet and exercise can improve erectile function by increasing the endothelial function of blood vessels (i.e., their ability to contract and relax). Erectile dysfunction medications don't work for everyone and may be less effective for certain conditions, such as after prostate surgery or if you have diabetes.