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Erectile problems can take on a number of guises, and can be extremely detrimental towards not only a man’s confidence but the well-being of his relationship too. Whether an erection is unattainable, not hard enough to achieve penetration or even won’t return to a state of flaccidity, these are all issues that need to be addressed. Although nearly all men will suffer from erectile complications at some point during their lives, when these develop into an on-going problem, it’s time to seek further help.

Psychological or physical?
Whilst historically, many have believed the vast majority of erectile concerns to be purely psychological in their foundations, it is now known that physical factors can be much more prominent contributors than previously envisaged. It is important that erectile concerns are not confused with other sexual complications such as premature ejaculation, infertility or a low sex drive, as these are issues that need to be addressed separately. Away from impotence, men are usually found to attain between three and five erection during a normal night’s sleep, each of these lasting around half-an-hour. If these are achieved then this determines that the problems are not physical and most likely psychological. A GP will be able to equip you with the tools to find out whether these erections are being achieved or not.

Causes of erectile concerns
When erectile problems are physical in nature, there can be a number of underlying causes responsible for this. Diseases, medication, nerve damage and drug and alcohol use are just some of the potential reasons for such obstacles. However, erectile problems can clearly be psychological in nature too, with stress, depression, and fear being cited regularly. This can mean that a man’s confidence in his sexual capabilities can be lessened further and further, meaning that the possibility of strong erections becomes increasingly diminished alongside his confidence in the bedroom. Psychological obstacles tend to be more prominent in the young, with physical complications being a barrier for the older.

What to do first
Initial steps to be taken include lifestyle changes such as a better diet and cutting down on alcohol, smoking and drugs if applicable. All of these methods will help improve men’s health, and quitting smoking in particular will promote better circulation to the penis, as will exercise. Most ex-smokers report a feeling of renewed vigour and general well-being once they cut out tobacco, and this generally seems to incorporate the bedroom too. Strong communication and openness with a partner can also promote sexual confidence, and discussing erection concerns with an understanding partner can only contribute notably. A lack of harmony within a relationship can also influence sexual health, and open communication can make a huge difference to the level of intimacy available, whilst reducing performance anxiety.

When to investigate further
If the problem persists after these steps are taken, then it’s time to consult your doctor for further advice and assistance. There are multiple treatments available to eradicate erection problems, from medicines and vacuums to implants, which can all help restore your sexual equilibrium. Too little testosterone can be another underlying cause of erectile concerns so this is something a doctor would check for and help rectify too.

Written by Kat Kraetzer, an experienced blogger working in the health-care industry for many years