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Erectile Dysfunction

This is a state in which a man is unable to have and/or maintain an erection to enable him have sexual intercourse. When this occurs as a one off, it is nothing to worry about. However, when this occurs more than half the time, we need to seek help.

Typically, males over the age of 40 years would have had some experience in this area. To have sexual intercourse is a complex action starting from the brain, with emotions, sight/feel, hormones, nerves, smooth muscles and blood vessels having a part to play. All of these should be in good working order for a successful erection. It should therefore be noted that ED May be an early warning of a disease state.

Common causes of ED are:
Age usually over the age of 40yrs.
Heart disease, high blood pressure.
High cholesterol, Diabetes, Obesity, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, smoking/ tobacco use, pelvic surgery, spinal cord injury, prostate enlargement and cancer.
Certain prescription drugs – antidepressant and psychotic drugs.
Other causes are:
Relationship problems.
Poor communication in a relationship.
Lack of exercise.

There are about 1.5 million reported cases per year in Nigeria, and we know many more do not get help from institutions that do collect statistics. The interesting thing about this disorder is that whereas only one person has the symptoms, the consequence is borne by 1 or more persons.

When a man is sexually excited either as a result of thoughts, sight or direct contact with the penis, there is an increased blood flow to the penis. The smooth muscles of the penis relax causing blood to flow in, with the result that the blood-filled penis becomes rigid. After ejaculation, the muscles contract causing the blood to flow out and the penis becomes flaccid.

Diagnosis of this condition is mainly based on the history of the client. But one may do Nocturnal Penile Tumescence (NPT). This is a portable, battery-operated device which counts the number of erections a man has overnight.

The treatment of ED largely depends on the underlying cause, and the advantage of this is that you would have a healthy person who would not be dependent on those blue pills.

Oral ED Medication works by enhancing the effects of nitric oxide which causes the muscles of the penis to relax thereby allowing a good blood inflow.

CAUTION: Persons with low blood pressure or on nitrate drugs for heart failure/disease cannot use 5 phosphodiesterase.

Natural remedies could be in the food and drinks we eat:
Banana – It has phallic shape, rich in bromelain which enhances testosterone production. It is rich in potassium and Vitamin B.
Honey – It is a ready source of energy, it contains boron which regulates oestrogen and testosterone production. The word “honeymoon” is derived from this advantage
Watermelon – This juicy red fruit contains lycopene, it relaxes the blood vessels and improves circulation giving a Viagra-like effect.
Coconut Juice – Contains the same electrolytes as blood, rich in medium-chain polyunsaturated fat and Vitamin C.
Sweet Potatoes – It is rich in fibre, potassium, maintains a good blood flow. Also rich in beta-Carotene providing plenty of Vitamin A which boosts fertility.
Others are ginger, tigernut, basil, pumpkin seeds, maca, cherries, dark chocolate, avocado and chilli peppers.

Any adventurous persons out there can try “Kunu Aya”, a blend of tigernut, coconut and dates.

Lifestyle changes that may also help include:
Regular exercises
Maintaining a low blood pressure
Maintain a healthy weight
Avoid excessive alcohol.
Adapt a no smoking policy.
Reduce stress
Eat right.