Here is the news: diabetes and kidney diseases may cause erectile dysfunction or impotence. Both illnesses affect hormones and blood circulation which causes impotence in men.
Though sexual dysfunction is common in patients with chronic kidney diseases (CKD) it is not easy to diagnose and treat. Studies show that as of 10 years ago prevalence was at 9 percent at pre-dialysis stage and 70 percent in dialysis patients. Additionally, erectile dysfunction is experienced by 43 percent of patients undergoing dialysis and those who had transplants. More recent studies indicate that about 50 percent of men with CKD complain of impotence or decreased sexual desires.
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Other diseases that cause impotence are spinal cord injury and multiple sclerosis. These affect nerve functions. Those who have high blood pressure may also suffer from this problem because of high blood pressure pills. Similarly, drug abuse, alcoholism, depression and other emotional problems and marital problems also contribute to erectile dysfunction. Sometimes, it is a combination of emotional and physical problems.
Diagnosis of Erectile Dysfunction
Urologists are specialists that treat urinary problems. They also diagnose impotence. To do this they would require patients to undergo a complete physical examination. They will assess a patient's emotional well-being as well as speak with his sexual partner. Additionally, urologists may measure the testosterone (male sex hormone) in the patient's blood, assess the nerve and bloody supply to the penis as well as night-time erections.
Medication and Vacuum Pumps
Treatment depends on the cause of impotence. It varies from counselling, to drugs to vacuum pumps and surgery. Counselling is recommended if the cause is emotional. If the condition is caused by a hormone problem, drugs may be injected directly in the penis to "flood" blood into the sex organ's tissues and cause an erection. Doctors may also prescribe testosterone to solve the problem. However this option has side effects which should be discussed with the patient's doctor.
Vacuum pumps draw blood into the penis and cause the erection. To hold the erection, a special elastic ring maybe placed around the penis. However, this can cause bruising so patients must be careful in using these rings.
Meanwhile, an herbal medication called Yohimbine is reportedly helping between 20-25 percent of men taking it. This is a maintenance drug that needs to be taken every day and comes from the bark of the tree that grows in Africa and India. Other prescription drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction include Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, among others.
Surgery looks like the last resort if none of these options works. There are two procedures available to help erectile dysfunction. The first procedure requires the doctor to place a device inside the penis that will cause the erection during intercourse. However, caution should also be taken because infections have been noted post-surgery. The second procedure, meanwhile, helps men get and maintain an erection though rebuilding blood vessels in the penis to increase blood flow into it. Patients should consult with their doctors before deciding on any treatment plan, especially if surgery is being considered.
The Role of Sex Therapy
On one hand, there is also sex therapy when the cause is psychological, performance anxiety, or is caused by physical or drug problems, or premature ejaculation. The counsellor will assess you and your partner's sexual problems and proceed into individual or joint counselling.
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Studies recommend that more awareness is needed for this problem to encourage patients and their partners to discuss the condition with their physicians. Diagnosis will rule out psychological problems and patients can be referred to specialist clinics for treatments. Some patients may develop vascular disease after the kidney transplant which may aggravate impotence.
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