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Suffering from erectile dysfunction. Is this a curable problem?

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Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar

Psychiatrist

Practicing since :2003

Answered : 2190 Questions

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Posted on Fri, 1 Feb 2013 in Erectile Dysfunction
Question: Dear Doctor,
My Name is XXXXXXX and my age is 32. I am unmarried, I have some erectile dysfunction. I used to mastrubrate for 4 years. For the last 2 years, I am unable to get a hard on for penetration. Now also I mastrubrate, but can able to maintain hard on for more than 1 min. Please guide me to regain my health. Early morning I get a hard on while sleeping. Is this curable. I am planning to get married in next 3 months.
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Answered by Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar 6 minutes later
Hello XXXXXXX Welcome to Healthcare Magic. Thanks for your query.

Your problem of erectile dysfunction is the most common sexual problem in men. Now, there can be a variety of causes for this problem - both medical causes as well as psychological causes. So, the first and most important step in management is proper evaluation. This will include a detailed medical, sexual, personal and social history, a thorough physical examination and certain investigations, as per the necessity. This is both informative to the doctor and serves as an opportunity to educate the patient and clarify his doubts.

Firstly, any medical causes (like diabetes, hormonal problems, blood flow problems, etc.) need to be ruled out. For this, you may need to undergo a few blood tests. In your case, since you have mentioned that you are able to have good erections at certain times, for example early mornings, it is less likely that you may be having a major medical cause for your erection problem. Sometimes, patients are also advised to have a nocturnal penile tumescence testing done as this test helps to differentiate between medical and psychological causes.

Having said this, I would also like to let you know that in more than 80% of cases of erectile dysfunction, psychological factors also play a major role in causing or aggravating the problem. Stress, anxiety, fears and doubts regarding sexual performance, feelings of sexual inadequacy, self-doubts, guilt, past negative sexual experiences, etc. can all affect sexual functioning and performance.

Treatment is targeted according to the findings on evaluation. If there are any underlying medical problems resulting in the erectile dysfunction, then those problems have to be first treated. If he problem is more psychological, then removing the person's doubts and fears, and improving his self-confidence levels will also definitely help in improving sexual performance. Also, there are certain medication which improve the blood flow to the penis and promote better erection, such as Sildenafil, Vardenafil and Tadalafil. But medication is usually advised only as the last resort and in severe cases.

So, I would advise you to consult a psychiatrist or a sexologist in person to have a detailed assessment and evaluation done. Also, avoid alcohol, smoking or any unnecessary medication and try to stay stress-free and positive.

Wish you all the best.

- Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar
Consultant Psychiatrist & Sexologist

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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