Customized medication options and natural products for erectile dysfunction & diabetic nerve pain Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common problem for men. It can be caused by physical or psychological...Read More
Erectile Dysfunction ( Impotence ) | Dr. Ravi Sankar Erukulapati, Senior Endocrinologist
Erectile dysfunction (ED), also known as impotence, is the inability to get and maintain an erection.
ED can be a sign of health problems. It may mean your blood vessels are clogged. It may also be a sign of nerve damage from diabetes.
If you have ED, you may think about using drugs such as sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), or vardenafil (Levitra). These drugs can help you get and maintain an erection.
There are many possible causes of ED, and they can include:
- Physical problems, such as injury to the nerves that control erections, or problems with blood flow to the penis
- Psychological problems, such as anxiety, depression, or stress
- Certain medications, such as antidepressants, blood pressure medications, or cancer treatments
- Hormonal problems, such as low testosterone
- Substance abuse, such as heavy alcohol use, or illegal drug use
In many cases, ED is caused by a combination of physical and psychological problems.
Factors that may increase your risk of ED include:
- Age. ED is more common in men as they get older.
- Smoking. Smoking cigarettes can damage your blood vessels and affect blood flow throughout your body. This may make it harder to get and keep an erection.
- Excess weight. Being overweight can cause or worsen erectile dysfunction.
- Certain medical conditions. Conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol can harden arteries, which can lead to ED.
- Certain medications. Medications used to treat depression, heartburn, and high blood pressure can cause ED.
- Treatment for cancer. Cancer treatments, such as surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy, can damage the nerves that control erections.
Talk to your doctor about your risk factors for ED.
Your doctor will ask about your medical history and symptoms, and do a physical exam. They may also order tests to check your blood flow and nerve function.
ED can be treated in several ways. The most common are:
- Oral medications. These drugs, such as sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), and vardenafil (Levitra), are called phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors. They work by relaxing muscles and increasing blood flow.
- Injections. A medication called alprostadil (Caverject, Edex, Muse) is injected into the side of the penis. It increases blood flow to the penis to help a man get and keep an erection.
- Urethral pellets</