Treatments for Erectile Dysfunction Erectile dysfunction (ED), also known as impotence, is the inability to achieve or sustain an erection for satisfactory sexual activity. Treatments for erectile dysfunction have evolved...Read More
Erectile dysfunction (ED) – causes, symptoms and treatment methods.
Impotence, or erectile dysfunction, is the inability to attain or maintain an erection of the penis adequate for the sexual satisfaction of both partners. It can be devastating to the self-esteem of a man and of his partner. As many as 30 million American men are afflicted on a continuing basis, and transient episodes affect nearly all adult males. But nearly all men who seek treatment find some measure of relief.
Most cases of erectile dysfunction have a physical cause. Often, a combination of physical and psychological factors contributes to erectile dysfunction. For example, a minor physical condition that slows your sexual response might cause anxiety about maintaining an erection. The resulting anxiety can lead to or worsen erectile dysfunction.
Physical causes of erectile dysfunction
- Cardiovascular disease – Erectile dysfunction is common in men with cardiovascular conditions, such as atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
- Clogged blood vessels (atherosclerosis) – Atherosclerosis can affect the arteries in the penis, as well as the arteries in the pelvis that supply the penile arteries. Diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol can all contribute to atherosclerosis.
- Injuries or surgery – Nerve damage, spinal cord damage or surgery in the pelvis can lead to erectile dysfunction.
Psychological causes of erectile dysfunction
- Depression, anxiety or other mental health conditions – Depression is one of the most common psychological causes of erectile dysfunction. Anxiety, stress and relationship problems can also contribute to erectile dysfunction.
- Low self-esteem – If you have problems with self-esteem, you might experience erectile dysfunction.
- Performance anxiety – Performance anxiety can be a cause of erectile dysfunction. If you are worried about not being able to perform sexually, you might not be able to get or keep an erection.
Treatment for erectile dysfunction depends on the cause. If the cause is physical, there are many treatments available, such as:
- Medications – There are many medications that can be used to treat erectile dysfunction. These include phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors, such as sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra) and tadalafil (Cialis). These medications can be taken orally or injected into the penis.
- Penile implants – A penile implant is a surgical device that is placed into the penis. The device allows you to have an erection when you are sexually aroused.
- Vacuum devices – A vacuum device is a pump that is placed over the penis. The device draws blood into the penis, resulting in an erection.
If the cause is psychological, there are many treatments available, such as: