Most males will experience at least one episode of not achieving or maintaining an erection when desired in their lifetime.
Erectile dysfunction is also very common, with an estimated 30 million men in the United States experiencing the condition.
But, is erectile dysfunction permanent, or can it be cured or reversed?
We’ll explore more in the article below.
What Is Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction is difficulty getting or maintaining an erection suitable for sex.
It’s normal for men to have problems getting an erection every once in a while, but when it becomes a reoccurring issue is when problems arise.
Erectile dysfunction occurs when men can’t get or keep an erection anymore.
And, it’s usually a sign that something else is going on.
Sometimes the cause is a condition you can do something about. Removing the cause of ED, if you can, can help fix it without needing any treatment.
For some men, all they have to do is stop taking a medication that could be causing this side effect, a drug they take socially, shed some excess weight, stop smoking, or leave a toxic relationship.
Sometimes, though, it’s not that simple, like when it’s caused by nerve damage or a blood flow issue, and it will require a little more time and effort, but it is always well worth it.
Many men will see improvements in their ED when they start treating the underlying cause, like cardiovascular disease, without the need for medications like Viagra or Cialis.
Some men may need some lifestyle modifications to help treat ED.
Sometimes ED is caused by a mix of different things. Sometimes ED is caused by diabetes or another condition.
Treating just one cause won’t solve your dysfunction if there are other factors at play.
Diagnosing Erectile Dysfunction
If you are experiencing symptoms or feel you are at risk of erectile dysfunction, you can start by seeing your primary care doctor.
You can also visit a men’s health clinic with ED Specialists experienced in treating erectile dysfunction.
When you visit, be prepared to share:
- your medical history
- prescription or nonprescription medications you take
- if you’re a smoker
- if you’re a drinker
- how much you exercise
- any emotional and psychological conditions you have
For an accurate diagnosis of your erectile dysfunction, you may also need:
- a complete physical exam
- blood tests and urine tests looking for signs of heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions
- imaging tests to check the blood vessels that supply the penis
They may ask about anxiety, depression, and other psychological conditions you may have.
They may also ask you to take a nocturnal erection test. During this test, you will wear a device around your penis to see if you have an erection while you are sleeping.
They may also perform an intracavernosal injection, which involves injecting a drug into your penis to create an erection in order to see how long it lasts.
Is Erectile Dysfunction Permanent?
Fortunately, ED is almost always reversible.
However, your chances of completely curing ED will depend on your underlying cause.
Peer-reviewed studies, like the one published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, have found that many men can enter remission.
Keep in mind that even if ED can’t be cured entirely, a proper treatment plan can reduce or eliminate symptoms, leading to pleasurable sexual intercourse.
Doctors have identified two types of ED, primary and secondary.
Primary ED is when a man has never been able to have or sustain an erection. This is very uncommon.
Secondary ED is when people who once had regular erectile function experience ED.
Secondary ED can often be reversed and is temporary for most men.
Primary ED will require more intense medical-based treatments.
The treatment of erectile dysfunction that is best for you will depend on your underlying causes and lifestyle factors.
Curable Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
Medication Side Effects
A significant risk of erectile dysfunction is medication.
The biggest offenders are high blood pressure drugs called diuretics.
Antidepressants, drugs for indigestion, antihistamines, and opioid painkillers can also cause ED.
Parkinson’s medications, chemotherapies, and prostate cancer treatments can cause ED to a lesser degree.
If you’re worried a medication you are taking might be causing ED, talk to your prescribing doctor.
They can lower your dose, have you stop taking it, or give you another medication with a lower risk for ED.
Recreational Drugs And Nicotine
Alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methadone, amphetamines, or barbiturates can make it much more challenging to get and maintain a satisfying erection.
Nicotine, both smoked and vaped, can affect your ability to get hard and make it more difficult to become sexually aroused to begin with.
If you’re struggling with ED, do you smoke, drink alcohol, use marijuana or other substances recreationally?
If you do, there’s a good chance it could be causing your erectile problems.
Obesity, especially extra fat around your waist, can cause erectile dysfunction.
It does this by increasing your risk for type 2 diabetes and high blood sugar levels, high blood pressure, vascular disease, and high cholesterol.
Obesity also lowers your testosterone levels, and low testosterone levels affect your sex drive and ability to maintain an erection.
If you’re struggling with your weight, dropping a few pounds with healthier eating and regular exercise will improve your mental and physical health as well as improve your erectile dysfunction.
Incurable Causes Of Erectile Dysfunction
Any nerve damage can interrupt the nerve messages between the penis and the brain.
This includes injuries to the spinal cord or brain, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, or strokes.
Unfortunately, there are no cures yet for these conditions.
Chronic Kidney Disease
Men with chronic kidney disease who are on dialysis have a higher than usual rate of erectile dysfunction.
This is due to nerve damage, blood vessel damage, low testosterone levels, depression, and medications.
A good dialysis schedule can help counter the effects of ED.
However, the best cure for ED in these people is to get a kidney implant.
Problems With Your Penis
Conditions affecting the penis itself can also lead to ED.
Curvature, cavernous fibrosis (tissue scarring), or penile fracture can affect its ability to become erect.
If problems with the penis cause ED, the treatment may involve surgical options like an implant or corrective surgery.
Natural Ways To Cure Erectile Dysfunction
Fortunately, there are some natural ways to cure erectile dysfunction that involve tweaking your lifestyle habits.
The easiest thing to do is take a walk.
Just a 30 minute walk every day has shown to drop the risk for ED by 41%.
Eating a diet rich in natural foods like fruit, vegetables, and fish also decreases your risk for erectile dysfunction.
One that is easier said than done for some of us is to lose weight and keep it off.
A man with a 42-inch waist is twice as likely to have ED than one with a 32-inch waist.
You should also pay close attention to your vascular health and blood vessels.
High blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and high triglycerides can all damage arteries in the heart and alter your blood flow, causing ED.
You should also keep a strong pelvic floor.
This will enhance rigidity during erections and keep blood from leaving the penis by pressing on a key vein.
Three months of twice-daily sets of Kegel exercises combined with lifestyle changes like quitting smoking, losing weight, and limiting alcohol, worked better than just lifestyle changes.
Treatment Of Erectile Dysfunction
There are several oral medications that can help you have an erection that lasts, including:
These medications relax the muscles of the penis and help improve blood flow in response to sexual stimulation.
However, these medications don’t cause an erection by themselves. You still need sexual stimulation.
They will make it easier to get and maintain an erection after stimulation.
A potentially serious but rare side effect of some of these medications is having an erection that lasts for more than 4 hours.
This is a medical emergency and should be treated as such.
If low testosterone levels cause your ED, you can start testosterone replacement therapy with your doctor.
This only helps if you have low testosterone, and it shouldn’t be used if you have ED caused by circulatory or nerve issues.
Your doctor may prescribe an ED vacuum pump that pulls blood into the penis.
The device uses a plastic tube placed around the penis, a vacuum pump to draw air out of the tube, and an elastic ring at the end of the tube that is placed at the base of the penis after the tube is removed.
The elastic ring helps maintain the erection and can stay on for 30 minutes.
Is There A Quick Fix For ED?
There are numerous claims about instant cures for ED, but there, unfortunately, isn’t a quick fix.
If you’re trying to find that “quick fix,” keep these things in mind:
- Supplements for erectile dysfunction may be natural, but that doesn’t always mean it’s safe. Supplements can easily interfere with other medications you’re taking or aggravate underlying health conditions.
- Herbal ED products may contain medications not mentioned on the label.
- ED is often a sign of a possible underlying health condition that needs treatment. This is why you should always see your doctor for a complete checkup instead of trying to fix the problem on your own.
Get The Best ED Treatment At Choice Men’s Health
Some men get frustrated with ED, but it’s important to remember that erectile dysfunction can be treated.
ED can usually be reversed by treating underlying conditions, using natural remedies, or modifying your lifestyle.
Early intervention can also detect a seirous medical condition and increase the likelihood of reversing it.
Choice Men’s Health can help with customized ED treatment plans so you can lead a happier, healthier life.
If you have questions about erectile dysfunction, Choice Men’s Health in Atlanta, Georgia, has been helping men enjoy a healthy sex life for years.