The prostate and impotence are inextricably intertwined unfortunately, and many men suffering from prostate related problems may have to confront the dark shadow of impotence along with it.
The male reproductive system is rather complex and involved hormones, the brain and emotions and any imbalances between these parts can cause all sorts of dysfunctions. To understand how the prostate and impotence are connected, it’s necessary to understand the process that leads to an erection. The penis has three chambers, which fill with blood when aroused, leading the penis to expand in both length and width, and become firmer as the tissues of the penis are stretched to their maximum capacity.
It’s not enough for the blood to just get into the penis, it must also stay there until it’s no longer needed, and there is a process that regulates this by constricting the veins in the penis after it’s become erect. This prevents the blood (and your erection) from deciding it’s not in the mood and taking off. When this process is disrupted your penis goes down half way through the act or is unable to either get an erection to begin with. And no logic can reason with it, no matter how much you plead and beg he just doesn’t listen to you. It is frustrating indeed, but not the end of the world because this problem can be fixed. First we need to better understand this process and what can disrupt this wonderful function of our body from working properly.
What are some causes of Erectile dysfunction?
It can be caused by several factors:
Psychological nature. Depression and anxiety can result in impotence. If a man experiences loss of erection, he may worry that it will happen again. This can produce anxiety associated with performance and may lead to chronic problems during sex.Childhood trauma, abuse, confusing regarding sexual preferences and many of issues of this kind also can lead to impotence and erectile dysfunctions. The only way to work out these issues is through therapy.
Disease. In case with heart disease and high blood pressure erectile disorders happen due to poor blood circulation. If the blood system is not functioning properly throughout the body, sexual function may suffer also. Other cases include diabetes, obesity, Parkinson’s and sometimes metabolic syndrome.
Drugs, such as alcohol, nicotine, narcotics, stimulants, antihypertensives and antihestamines.
Some anti depressants, such as Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft and known to reduce libido
Low testosterone (hypogonadism), condition you are sometimes born with
Age. As we age, testosterone levels decline
Enlarged prostate and/or BPH.
Impotence can also develop as the result of some prostate cancer treatments. This unfortunate side effect of these treatments is the result of nerves and tissue becoming damaged during the treatment, which prevents the proper flow of blood to the penis, and/or the ability for the penis to hold this blood in its chambers. These are often the result of treatments such as prostatectomy, radiation therapy and cryotherapy.
Another side effect of this nerve damage is decreased libido, which can prevent the formation of sexual thoughts and desire in the first place. This initial process of achieving erection is governed by series of signals sent out by your brain and picked up by and acted on by several enzymes, which carry the brain’s signal to the proper locations. These prostate treatments can damage the nerve pathways around the prostate, making it impossible for these signals to reach their intended destinations, and thus, making it impossible for you to achieve an erection as a result. The good news for men the world over is that prostate treatment techniques are continually being refined and improved, and as such, the incidence rate of impotence after such treatments is gradually decreasing.
Fight back against prostate realted impotence issues
So now that you have a better understanding of how erections function, and why prostate issues and prostate cancer treatments can adversely affect them, let’s look at what you can do about it. There are plenty of options which range from medications, mechanical devices, surgery to psychological counselling. Treatments should be chosen based on the severity of the condition and the underlying causes.
In case where the reason for erectile dysfunction is due to blood flow disturbances (High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, hypertension) doctor will prescribe you drugs known as phosphodiesterase inhibitors which enhance the effects of nitric oxide. This nitric oxide relaxes the muscles and increases the amount of blood flow, which ultimately triggers an erection when sexual stimulation (physical and psychological) occurs. Some of these oral drugs are sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis) and vardenafil (Levitra).
PDE-5 Inhibitors – While we didn’t go excessively in-depth on the enzyme processes that lead to an erection above, it’s now necessary to look a little deeper into it so you can understand what PDE-5 inhibitors do.
When the signals from the brain, carried in the form of nitric oxide, reach the cardiovascular nerve bundles next to the prostate gland, an enzyme is released. This enzyme changes another enzyme called GTP into GMP, and it’s this trigger that launches the process of the penis relaxing, allowing blood to flow into its chambers.
There’s also another enzyme called PDE-5, and it’s this enzyme that changes GMP back into GTP, causing the penis to again constrict, the veins to tighten, and the blood to leave the chambers of the penis. Normally PDE-5 does not activate until after an orgasm has been achieved, but after certain prostate cancer treatments, this enzyme may not trigger at the correct time, causing shortened erections that don’t achieve orgasm.
The answer to this is a PDE-5 inhibitor, which prevents this enzyme from firing off its mistimed signals and otherwise ruining a perfectly good erection. It should be noted that this treatment is not the answer for every man, as not all erectile dysfunctions are caused by PDE-5 related problems. But if impotence and PDE-5 are rearing their ugly heads, this treatment will most definitely quash them.
Non drug treatments for Prostate Related Erectile Dysfunctions
Prostate Massage Treatment – Massage treatments can greatly promote healthy blood flow, and even help repair nerve and tissue damage, which are often at the root of erectile dysfunction issues. A prostate massage can be performed on oneself, courtesy of a partner, or thanks to a professional massage therapist. There are also now several devices which can admirably and safely perform a prostate massage as well. This treatment is rapidly gaining in popularity as a cure for many prostate related woes, and should not be scoffed at or feared.
Read more about prostate massage here.
Vacuum Erection Devices – These devices are very effective for men who have tried other options, such as Viagra, without success. This device is placed over the penis and operated with a hand-held or battery powered pump. This pumping action sucks the air out from around the penis, which triggers blood to flow into the penis as a bodily response. A plastic ring then slides off the device and wraps around the base of the penis, preventing the blood from leaving. This device can provide an erection for 30 minutes, after which the ring should be removed so proper blood flow to the penis can resume. Failure to do so is extremely dangerous.
Libido Supplements – These supplements can greatly increase not only sexual drive, but also sexual performance. This accomplished thanks to powerful blends of herbs and other ingredients which promote better blood flow and nerve function, and helping to regulate the production of enzymes and hormones. Longings For Men, and Conquest are an example of popular libido supplements.