Erectile Dysfunction (ED): Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment

Erectile Dysfunction Symptoms

Erectile dysfunction – abbreviated to ED – is a condition. Erectile Dysfunction Symptoms are  common enough and afflict millions of men across the globe.

Some men find it difficult to get an erection firm enough to have sex, and others cannot keep one.

Impotence – not an oft-used term now, thankfully – is a synonym.

Regardless of the stage of the erection process, a person could experience Erectile Dysfunction Symptoms. It may be frequent or occasional. While recurrence is the basis for differentiation, medical professionals specializing in sexual health tend to view it in isolation. Occasional is the rarer of the two – people primarily tend to experience it when they are stressed or have just made dietary or lifestyle changes. However, those with reduced sexual performance must seek medical assistance at the earliest possible time because other health concerns could be one of the reasons. Others could be emotional difficulties or a troubled relationship. In either case, seek professional advice.

What Causes ED?

The causes may be physical and /or emotional. And these also double up as ED Risk Factors.

  1. While relationship trouble is one of the foremost emotional causes of ED
  2. A person may also be depressed, stressed, or have performance anxiety.

Any of the above may cause this issue.  So, you must visit your PCP and have him or her rule out the possibility, treat your erectile dysfunction symptoms, and decide the next course of action.

Erectile Dysfunction Symptoms

There are two primary symptoms of it: one is trouble getting an erection, and the other is the inability to maintain it.

However, there are a few sexual disorders related to it. These include delayed ejaculation, premature ejaculation, and a condition termed anorgasmia (a man’s inability to achieve orgasm despite significant stimulation).

If a man experiences erectile dysfunction symptoms for three months or more, he must consult a primary care physician because that could be due to a condition that requires treatment.

ED Diagnosis

While testing for it, the physician may conduct a physical examination and analyze the ED Risk Factors, the person’s overall health, and their sexual history.

A PCP may advise some patients to undergo additional tests to determine the cause of their erectile dysfunction symptoms and their underlying condition.

Each of these merits a detailed look.

Physical Exam

One can expect to undergo a physical exam. During that, the PCP will check the patient’s blood pressure, watch out for signs of a reduction in blood flow to the pelvic region, note the functioning of his pelvic nerves, listen to his heartbeat, and examine his lungs, penis, and testicles. If he deems it necessary, he may even recommend a rectal exam.

Psychosocial History

The PCP may quiz you or instruct you to respond to a questionnaire. Based on those, he or she will evaluate your symptoms, health history, and sexual history and classify the severity of the erectile dysfunction symptoms.

The questionnaire may include the following:

  • How long have you been suffering from it?
  • Was the onset of erectile dysfunction symptoms sudden or gradual?
  • Do you have any problems with feeling the urge to have sex, ejaculating, or reaching orgasm?
  • At what intervals do you have sex?
  • Have there been any alterations in the frequency of late?
  • Do you have firm erections?
  • What are the effects of particular situations or simulations on them?
  • Do you wake up at odd hours with an erection?
  • How’s your relationship at the moment?
  • What do you expect from your partner, and vice versa? Have there been any changes?
  • How high have your recent stress levels been?
  • Which medicines are you currently taking?
  • Do you chew tobacco or smoke?
  • Do you consume alcohol?
  • Are you on non-prescription drugs?
  • Do you suffer from any underlying conditions?
  • Have you undergone any surgery on your pelvic area?
  • Have you nursed an injury to that area?

Additional Tests

Sometimes, patients with this condition have to undergo additional tests to understand erectile dysfunction symptoms. These may include:


An ultrasound to examine the blood vessels in the penis will help to determine if there are any problems with blood flow. 

Nocturnal Penile Test

It aims to evaluate the quality of a person’s nocturnal erections. The patient wears a portable battery-operated device on his thigh. It stores data, which the physician can access later. However, this is rare now.

Injection Test

The medication injected into the patient’s penis is erection-simulating. That allows him to evaluate its firmness and the duration of its use. The medical practitioner may combine this test with an ultrasound to further assess the erection.

Urine Tests

Diabetics or those with other underlying conditions must undergo these. 

Blood Tests

People with low testosterone levels, diabetics, and those with the risk of heart disease and thyroid issues must undergo these tests to understand the reasons for erectile dysfunction symptoms.

These test results will help the doctor determine whether there is an underlying cause of the condition and the treatments needed.       

Treatment of ED

The causes will determine the Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction. Different people need different treatments – while some require medication, others need therapy.

Medication for Erectile Dysfunction Symptoms 

One can manage the symptoms with the help of prescribed pills. However, some people try various medicines before finding the most effective one for erectile difficulties

Avanafil (Stendra), Sildenafil (Viagra), Tadalafil (Cialis), and   (commonly sold as Levitra or Staxyn) are the Oral Medications that stimulate blood flow to the penis, which is essential to the treatment.


Caverject, Edex, and MUSE are some names under which pharmaceutical companies sell Alprostadil. There are two ways to administer it: as a penile suppository or by self-injection at the base or side of the penis.

In most cases, Alprostadil is not a standalone injection. A Clinician uses it in tandem with papaverine and phentolamine. Appropriately, this combination drug is called Trimix.

A medical professional may recommend that those with low testosterone levels undergo testosterone replacement therapy (abbreviated to TRT) to understand the severity of erectile dysfunction symptoms

People on medication for another condition may also be susceptible. They should seek medical advice about their medications as potential causes of these symptoms. 

If a doctor prescribes another pill, people should discontinue the ones prescribed earlier only upon his advice.

Note that the pills may have side effects or react adversely to the ones a person is already on. Those experiencing these must talk to the doctor and seek an alternative for their erectile dysfunction symptoms.

Moreover, some cardiac medications may have adverse side effects if taken with some ED ones. Therefore, it is binding upon the patient to share the names and dosages of every pill he is on before taking anything new.

Also read: Cenforce 200 mg: The Ultimate Solution for Erectile Dysfunction


A person’s interest in sexual activity (or libido) may decrease with time. That is no reason to be alarmed because the levels vary throughout his life. It is also common for his interest in it to not match his partner’s. However, if it remains low over a prolonged period (or if the changes in his sexual drive bother him), it may be a sign of a health condition. In this case, he must seek medical help to find out the cause (which may range from low testosterone to depression, inadequate sleep, stress, and substance abuse, but is not limited to these).

There are different ways to deal with erectile dysfunction symptoms. A doctor cannot treat low libido without finding out the underlying cause. A man with health conditions may require a change in medication. If the psychological effects of erectile dysfunction are the reason a person suffers from this issue, he must visit a relationship counselor.

On a personal level, one may take the following steps to boost his libido: ensuring he gets enough sleep, improving his diet, leading a healthier lifestyle, and managing stress.


People may have many questions and perhaps a few myths about ED. And that is understandable. The following will answer the former and bust the latter.

Erectile difficulties are common. Men of all ages may experience it when they are stressed. However, frequent and progressive symptoms may be indicative of potential health issues. Visit a medical professional to get those treated.

No, it is treatable. A PCP may, however, prescribe medication or recommend surgery. One must make lifestyle changes to reverse the symptoms without medication. However, if emotional or psychological factors are the reason, he must seek counseling or therapy.

A vacuum erection device is non-invasive and may help with it. It consists of three parts: a plastic tube that a man can wear over his penis, a pump (which creates a low-pressure vacuum seal around the erectile tissue), and an elastic ring that slips onto the penis’ base and holds the blood in. Therefore, one can maintain the erection for up to half an hour.

Implants – placed entirely inside the penis – require surgery. Older men opt for these if oral PDE5 inhibitors, ICI, or IU therapy prove ineffective. These are among the most successful treatment options for it.

These may be bendable or inflatable. The former consists of two semi-rigid silicone rods, which bend downward when one wants to urinate and upward when one wants to have sex. The latter consists of fluid-filled cylinders placed lengthwise into the penis and tubing leading to a pump inside the scrotum. When one presses the pump, the cylinders inflate the penis. The result is a natural-looking erection. With an implant, men can control the firmness and size of their erections.

Yes. Kegel’s exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles of those with reduced sexual performance. The role of these muscles in sustaining the blood flow to the penis is crucial. They do so by applying pressure to the penile veins. Since that ensures the blood does not leave the penis, a person can maintain an erection.

One can perform such exercises as pelvic floor muscle activation, sitting pelvic floor activation, or standing pelvic floor activation at home. In each of these, the arms must be to the sides. In the case of pelvic floor muscle activation and its sitting version, one should keep their feet flat on the floor. To perform pelvic floor muscle activation, lie down with knees bent, squeeze the pelvic floor muscles for three seconds, inhale, and release. The technique for sitting pelvic floor activation is the same as pelvic floor muscle activation, but one must not contract the buttock, stomach, or leg muscles. As for standing pelvic floor activation, stand straight and use the above technique.

One can treat it by taking care of his heart and vascular health. Forty minutes of aerobic exercise – four times a week – is doable.

Sperm abnormalities, blockages in the sperm delivery system, or low sperm production may be the causes of male infertility. They may not necessarily result in ED. However, their root causes may be similar.

Though it is easier said than done, people should not hesitate to seek help if they have erectile difficulties.

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