An occasional difficulty may be considered normal, however, frequent episodes or prolonged problems lasting more than a couple of weeks may require further evaluation by a physician.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is one of the most common sexual problems and affects nearly 50% of all men over the age of 40 at some stage. This problem becomes even more common and more severe as men grow older
What Ayurved Says :
Sankalpapravano nityam priyaam vashyaamapi sthreeyam.
Na yaathi lingashaithilyaath kadaachidyaathi vaa yadi
Shwaasaarthaha swinnagaatrshcha moghasankalpacheshtitaha
mlaanashishnashcha nirbeejaha syodetat klaibyalaxanam
Erectile dysfunction is also called Impotence and ED.
The person's sex drive may be normal. But he may not be able to start or finish intercourse.
Physiology of Erection :
The shaft of the penis has two chambers that fill up with blood during sexual arousal. Sexual thoughts are transmitted though the nerves to the genitals. These nerves cause the relaxing of the muscle cells in the walls of the blood vessels entering the penis. The increased blood flow fills up the two chambers in the shaft of the penis forming an erection. Therefore any condition or disease which affects either the blood flow to the penis or the nerves to the genital area can cause erectile dysfunction.
What Ayurveda says :
Vrishunow basthimedram cha naabhyuuru vankshnow gudam |
Apaanasthaanamantrasthaha shukra mootra shakrunti cha ||
The 'Apaana Vayu' (one of the five types of VAYU) is located in the testicles, urinary bladder, phallus, umbilicus, thighs, groin, anus and colon. Its functions are ejaculation of semen, voiding of urine and stools.
Cause of ED:
Erection requires a sequence of events. Erectile dysfunction can occur when any of the events is disturbed. Nerve impulses in the brain, spinal column, around the penis and response in muscles, fibrous tissues, veins, and arteries in and around the corpora cavernosa constitute this sequence of events. Injury to any of these parts which are part of this sequence (nerves, arteries, smooth muscles, fibrous tissue) can cause ED.
Lowered Level of Testosterone Hormone: The primary male hormone is testosterone. After age 40, a man's testosterone level gradually declines. About 5% of men that doctors see for erectile dysfunction have low testosterone levels. In many of these cases, low testosterone causes lower sexual interest, not erectile dysfunction.
The whole male body responds to testosterone.
Even sushruta has illustrated about this response of body to the element 'Shukra' . He has said
"yatha payasi sarpistu goodashchekshow raso yatha shareereshu tatha shukram nrinaam vidyaadhbishagwara"
This means " The shukra (the element which helps in reproduction) is present all over the body.
This can be explained with the following examples.
- The ghee is present in milk in an invisible form. This is extracted from milk using many processes.
- The sugar is present all over the sugarcane. It is extracted by subjecting the sugarcane to number of processes.
Decrease in production of 'Shukra' causes erectile dysfunction.
Over Exertion - physically and mentally : Working for long hours in office, mental stress at office and home, short temperedness ,insufficient sleep cause erectile dysfunction.
These causes are explained in Ayurveda as "shoka, chintaa, bhaya, traasaat .... " which means that erectile dysfunction or Impotence occurs due to grief, fear, anxiety and terror.
Strained relationship with sexual partner: Erectile dysfunction also occurs when there is a disliking towards sexual partner.
Ayurveda describes this as "naarinaamarasamjnatwaat..." means disliking for women.
Diseases that Cause Erectile Dysfunction:
Neurological disorders, hypothyroidism, Parkinson's disease, anemia, depression, arthritis, endocrine disorders, diabetes, diseases related to cardiovascular system also become reasons for erectile dysfunction..
According to ayurveda the diseases which cause erectile dysfunction are "Hritpaandurogatamakakaamalashrama..." - Heart diseases , anemia , asthma , liver disorders , tiredness .Apart from these the imbalance in tridoshas also cause impotence or erectile dysfunction.
Consumption of medicines, drugs and tobacco: Using anti-depressants, tranquilizers and antihypertensive medicines for a long time, addiction to tobacco especially smoking, excessive consumption of alcohol, addiction to cocaine, heroin and marijuana cause erectile dysfunction.
In Ayurveda texts these causes have been said in brief as "rukshamannapaanam tathoushadham" - "dry food, drinks and medicines" cause impotence or erectile dysfunction.
Trauma to pelvic region: accidental injury to pelvic region and surgeries for the conditions of prostate, bladder, colon, or rectal area may lead to erectile dysfunction.
These causes are mentioned as abhighata (trauma), shastradantanakhakshataha (injury from weapons, teeth and nail.) in Ayurveda.
Obesity, prolonged bicycle riding, past history of sexual abuse and old age also cause Erectile dysfunction.
Ayurveda describes the cause of impotence or erectile dysfunction due to old age as follows. " diminution of - tissue elements, strength, energy, span of life, inability to take nourishing food, physical and mental fatigue lead to impotence"
Information provided in this article is for the sole purpose of imparting education on Ayurveda and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you have a medical condition, please consult your physician.