A lot of Filipino men suffer in silence because they think that erectile dysfunction is an embarrassing problem. They also think that maintaining an erection is vital in achieving optimal pleasure for both partners. A survey done by Harris Interactive Asia, a global market research firm, showed that 8 out of 10 Filipino men, and 7 out of 10 women think that the hardness of the manhood is important in a sexual relationship.
Vascular insufficiency due to some physical disorders like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases can cause erectile dysfunction. Edwin Bien, Integrative Medicine doctor said that even though a man has the sexual drive, the inability of the blood to flow to the sexual organ can hamper the achievement of erection.
Prostate enlargement and surgery can also hit the nerve, which aids in erection of the penile organ. Trauma can cause scar to the urethra called Peyronie’s disease, and can affect also the tunica albuginea, or the white fibrous covering or connective tissue of the corpora cavernosa of the male organ.
Hypogonadism, or the inability of the testes to produce hormones due to undescended testes, can also cause erectile dysfunction. “Aside from these, antidepressants, appetite suppressants, sedatives, beta-blockers [medicines], ulcer drug called cimetidine, and smoking and alcoholism can hamper the man’s sexual performance,” stressed Bien.
Some men have tried penile implants, vacuum pumps and medications to correct this condition.
“Even in the early years, physicians have tried searching for the cure to erectile dysfunction. Extracts from sheep testes were injected to the human patient to supply the needed testosterone. In the 1920s, mercurochrome injections became popular along with goat gland implants. Mercurochrome is an antiseptic,” shared Dr. Bien.
Today, a variety of treatments are available including surgery and medications particularly phosphodiesterase or PDE 5 inhibitors. The injection of alprostadil to the side of the penis can also be given although it raises the risk of dangerous and painful prolonged erections (priapism), and scarring.
But if these treatments don’t work, psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy could be the answer.
Erectile dysfunction can also be caused by psychological problems. Dr. Rainier Umali, psychiatrist, said that in the condition called performance anxiety, the patient has lost his desire or sexual drive, therefore, causing erectile dysfunction.
“Some men have intimacy problems, which could be rooted to childhood trauma. Cognitive behavioral therapy can help rearrange their memories and address this problem,” according to Umali.
Stress, financial problems, guilt, and the feeling of incompetence (insecurity) can also block a man’s desire to perform in bed.
“Talking to a psychiatrist or psychologist can help men who have performance anxiety problems. Bringing along their partners can also help in addressing their sexual anxiety,” noted Umali.
Testosterone treatments, tradozone (anti-depressant), yohimbine or the bark of evergreen trees and other supplements are not recommended for the treatment of erectile dysfunction.
The two doctors stressed the need to consult with a doctor first and “do not experiment on the cure.”
Bien holds clinic at Le Bien Wellness Center in Cubao, Quezon City; Sucat, Parañaque; and Antipolo, Rizal. Send him a message at 0999.414.5144.
Umali can be consulted at Clinic of the Holy Spirit in Los Angeles Street Cubao, Quezon City. He conducts free consultation online at the Facebook Page: Tamang Isip Mental Health Center.
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