Monday, 9 January 2017

The Penis: Erection And Erectile Dysfunction Explained

 Prepared by: M. Suleiman

It has been observed that every male will at some point in their life experience erectile disorder which is a normal thing but when this occurs persistently, it is then considered a serious issue referred to as erectile dysfunction. Formerly, erectile
dysfunction was thought to be the disease of the elderly men because as they age, their erection tends to become weak but it has changes phase these days as it is a very common condition amongst the young males that are already sexually active.

So, erectile dysfunction is defined as the inability to gain erection and maintain it long enough for satisfactory sexual intercourse with a partner.


They are two types of erectile dysfunctions and we are going to look at in this post accordingly.

This type of erectile dysfunction is caused by an underline disease condition such as Hypertension, diabetes melitus, atherosclerosis, low testosterone, obesity, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, injuries that may cause blockage in blood vessels. This type of erectile dysfunction is mostly common among elderly men. In this type of erectile dysfunction, the individuals find out that they don't have erection morning times when they wake up ( lost of morning erections). Most times this requires drug therapy to manage the underlined disease which will improve symptoms and improve the quality of live of the individual.

This type of erectile dysfunction happens as a result of psychological disturbances such as fear, anxiety,stress, performance anxiety, depression, fatigue and other mental disturbances. Psychogenic erectile dysfunction is most common eith young males that are sexually active. In this type of erectile dysfunction the patients still have erection in the morning when they wake up (there is morning erection). This is to signal that the body organs are still working properly. This type of erectile dysfunction most times don't need drug tharapy as counseling can help improve psychological disturbances.


For erection to occur, sufficient amount of blood needs to flow through the penis to keep it standing.
When there is a sexual stimulation, nitric oxide (NO) is released from the penile nerves. NO (nitric oxide) relaxes corpora cavernosa (the smooth muscle in the penis) then an enzyme called guanylyl cyclase is activated. Guanyly cyclase cause the release of cGMP (cyclic guanosine mono phosphate) in the smooth muscle of the corpora cavernosa causing the muscle to relax and also dilate the penile artery, therefore allowing blood flow into the penis through the arteries supplying the penis blood. As the blood flow increases, the smooth muscle of the penis starts swelling and then the veins carrying blood from the penis gets pressed by the swelling muscle, reducing the amount of blood leaving the penis . The continuous inflow of blood into the penis and reduced venous return (reduced blood outflow) cause the penis starts to rise and that is ERECTION.


After full erection is achieved, and enzyme known as phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) activate and breaks down the cGMP (cyclic guanosine monophosphate ) to guanosine monophosphate (known as 5GMP). 5GMP cause contraction of cavernosa smooth muscle causing decreased blood inflow to the cavernosa smooth muscle causing LOSS of erection.

These whole process is a very fast cascade controlled by the central nervous system and when any of the processes leading to erection is not properly settled in your body especially when there is no sufficient blood inflow to the penile erectile muscle (corpora cavernosa) then erection becomes hard to achieve. At first this normal but, subsequent occurance cause an individual to initiate lack confidence in himself and performance anxiety may set in. The good news is that erectile dysfunction is a treatable condition and they are lots of methods used to treat it so long as you feel free to open up about your health condition to a health care professional.



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