What Is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is the inability to maintain an erection that is rigid enough to allow a man to engage in sexual intercourse. A man does not have to fail every time he attempts any type of sexual activity to be termed impotent. He doesn’t have to have a completely soft penis. If his penis is too soft to allow for penetration, or too soft to maintain penetration, he still has partial erectile dysfunction.

What Is Partial Erectile Dysfunction?

Some men will have enough blood flow into their penis to have a partial erection. They may find themselves able to achieve penetration, but have problems maintaining the erection until they have an orgasm. You may have partial erectile dysfunction if you frequently suffer from the following challenges:

1) You find yourself slipping out, and then struggle to regain penetration.

2) You fight to maintain your erection until partner reaches orgasm.

3) You find yourself worrying if you’ll be able to perform.

4) You’re easily distracted during intercourse, and then you lose your erection.

Should Frequent Partial Erections Be Treated Or Ignored?

There really isn’t any universally accepted answer to this question. Many urologists feel that as long as a man can be sexually successful half of the time, they don’t need treatment. Obviously, most patients who retain some erectile function are very reluctant to seek invasive treatments, such as penile injections, intra-urethral pellets, or surgery. Understandably, with the expansive list of more user-friendly options including pde5-inhibitors and low intensity shockwave treatments many men will demand a remedy for this quality of life issue. Why not?

While it is common to have an occasional problem, especially when one is fatigued or stressed, if it happens on a more frequent basis it is perfectly reasonable to receive intervention. Many men will opt to try a pde5-inhibitor initially. The problem is that while pills usually offer excellent responses initially, they do not cure the problem. Pills such as Viagra, Levitra, Cialis and Stendra work by temporarily increasing the amount of blood flowing into the penis. After the pill is out of your system, the underlying problem, which is usually vascular insufficiency, has not been corrected.

After trying a pill and responding favorably, as most patients do, the next time a patient has an opportunity to engage in intercourse he may be psychologically dependent upon using a pill again. After all, failing to get an erection often has emotional consequences for both partners.

Many patients these days will opt to address the underlying root cause, which is often vascular insufficiency. Unlike pills, which only work temporarily, low intensity shockwave therapy has been demonstrated in multiple clinical studies to continue working after treatment has been discontinued. Unlike pills, this response maybe durable for months or even years. Many patients find themselves unable to tolerate side effects that are common in pde5-inhibitors, and some are unable to take pills because of medical restrictions.

What Are The Causes Of Partial Erectile Dysfunction?

The main cause of partial erectile dysfunction is vascular insufficiency. With the advent of Covid 19, which causes endothelial dysfunction, even men in their twenties have had an increasing incidence of erectile dysfunction secondary to vascular insufficiency. The long-term consequences are not clearly known at this time.

Another potential cause is that of venous leak, or venous insufficiency. Some patients with this condition may be assisted by constriction rings which are placed around the base of the penis. Iterations of constriction rings have been available for decades. Newer versions have recently been introduced, and are less likely to interfere with ejaculation than traditional models.

Other physical causes of ED include neurologic, endocrine or cardiovascular diseases which are systemic. Some patients have significant underlying medical problems and ED may be a localized manifestation of a systemic problem. Patients who suspect that they have an underlying medical condition should prioritize having an examination by a qualified healthcare provider.

Some patients with partial erectile dysfunction have a psychogenic component. They may have good blood flow to their penis, but have difficulty maintaining an erection when they are with a partner. Potential evidence of psychogenic erectile dysfunction include:

1) The patient has firm erections in the morning, when they first wake up, but they’re not hard when they’re with their partner.

2) They may have firm erections with masturbation, but weak erections with a partner.

Complete Erectile Dysfunction

Understandably, when men have difficulty achieving adequate erections they may stop trying to engage in sexual activity. This can have devastating consequences for a man’s ego, and self-confidence. It’s often a source of stress for any relationship. There were a few studies that suggested that frequent ejaculation reduced the risk of prostate cancer, although the most recent data refuted those claims. Unfortunately, there is evidence of a phenomenon known as disuse atrophy. With prolonged inactivity the penis will shrink in size. The longer a man ignores erectile dysfunction the more difficult it is to intervene, and some patients with chronic erectile dysfunction will have limited success with the more user -friendly, less invasive choices. They may ultimately be left with no choices other than to undergo surgical implantation of a penile prosthesis.