Erectile dysfunction (ED) refers to the inability to obtain or maintain an erection when desired. ED is the most common sexual complaint among men. Losing your erection during sexual activity can happen at any age or circumstances. Some men have experienced it once, others on a more regular basis. It can happen during foreplay, intercourse (sex) or masturbation.
The causes of erection problems can be divided into 2 groups: a biological cause or a psychological cause. Biological factors that could cause erectile dysfunction are for example: certain types of medication, diseases (heart conditions, Diabetes, MS, brain damage), exhaustion, or it could be the effect of a medical treatment (like surgery for prostate cancer). The group of psychological factors include anxiety (to fail), pressure to perform, depression, lack of libido, shame or trauma.
In general we could say that the biological factors are usually more common in older men, who have already been diagnosed with a particular disease or condition or who have just been prescribed medication. Sometimes there is an interaction between the biological and psychological causes: the trigger could be a biological one, but the psychological fear or anxiety that it will happen again could cause the erection problems to continue.
If you are suffering from erectile dysfunction and you are not sure of the cause, we would advise you to visit your GP. Your doctor could help you with discovering the possible cause of the erection problems by asking questions and if necessary doing a physical/blood examination. We understand that this might not be an easy topic to discuss with your doctor. If you don't feel comfortable addressing this problem with your doctor you could make an appointment with Selma van Diest. She will advise you if she thinks it would be necessary to have a medical check.
Treatment for erection problems in our practice aims to improve your ability to experience arousal in a positive and mindful way. Selma will provide you with strategies to decrease your anxiety or fear of losing the erection and become more confident and focused on the pleasure of the sexual interaction again using sex therapy. Important in this process is creating a relaxed and supportive atmosphere when you would like to be sexually active. This might require including your partner in the therapy process to improve both of your understanding of the causes and triggers for the erectile problems and how to shift this focus. Selma will discuss this option with you if needed. Selma also knows about the different types of medications (Viagra, Cialis) available to support your erection and she can advice whether it would be a suitable option to support the psychological treatment with.
Are you struggling with your erectile dysfunction and you would like to know how to improve your sexual performance? Click here to make an appointment with Selma van Diest.