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Erectile Dysfunction Could Be Symptomatic of Another Underlying Health Condition

Sure, it’s hard to talk about erectile dysfunction (ED). But talk you must, because ED not only messes with your sex life, it could also be symptomatic of other underlying medical conditions.

Dr. Mike Hsieh has heard it all, and he wants to help you deal with ED. Here’s how he can help.

What is ED?

Achieving and sustaining an erection is actually a complex process that requires a team effort among your brain, blood vessels, nerves, muscles, and hormones. If any step in this process misfires, ED occurs.

For most men, most of the time, a healthy erection is a normal part of sexual arousal. But sometimes it’s hard to get, well, hard. Stress, distraction, and a host of other common concerns can prevent a normal erection. For most men, occasional ED is normal.

Sometimes, however, ED persists, making sex an anxiety-ridden, rather than pleasurable, event.

How erections work

Erections begin in the head. Mental stimulation leads to penile nerve stimulation, which leads to penile muscles relaxing. When the muscles relax, blood flows in and fills the open spaces in your penis (corpora cavernosa). It’s like a sponge sopping up excess blood.

The increased blood volume creates pressure in the penis. In response, the penis expands and becomes erect. The tissue membrane surrounding the corpora cavernosa traps blood, which helps you sustain the erection.

When your muscles contract, your erection softens and diminishes. Blood stops flowing into the penis and channels open, allowing blood to flow out of the corpora cavernosa and penis.

ED isn’t all in your head

Sometimes anxiety is the culprit behind ED. But several potentially dangerous health problems also can affect your erection. Health conditions linked to ED include:

Some medications, excessive alcohol use, substance abuse, and smoking can also cause ED. 

ED help is available

Dr. Mike Hsieh knows how frustrating ED can be, and he offers treatments that can help.

Treating an underlying health condition (like diabetes) can solve your ED problem. Sometimes, just adding exercise to your daily routine reduces the stress that may prevent a normal erection.

We know you don’t like to talk about ED, but, please, don’t ignore it. You can make an appointment with Dr. Hsieh by calling 858-216-2771 or by using our online scheduling tool.

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