Erectile Dysfunction Treatment Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for intercourse. Causes include medications, chronic illnesses, poor blood flow to the penis, drinking...Read More
I have a problem with… my erection
It can be frustrating, embarrassing and even heartbreaking when you’re struggling with erectile dysfunction (ED).
Though it’s a common problem, many men feel too ashamed to talk about it or seek help. But don’t despair — there are treatments available.
What is erectile dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to get or maintain an erection. It can be caused by physical or psychological issues.
Physical causes include:
- heart disease
- high blood pressure
- high cholesterol
- metabolic syndrome — a condition involving increased blood pressure, high insulin levels, body fat around the waist and high cholesterol
- parkinson’s disease
- multiple sclerosis
- hormonal disorders
- chronic kidney disease
- Peyronie’s disease — development of scar tissue inside the penis
- injury to the nerves or blood vessels supplying the penis
Psychological causes include:
- relationship problems
When to see a doctor
Many men experience ED at some point in their lives. It’s more common as you get older. But it’s not a natural part of the aging process.
See your doctor if you’re experiencing ED so he or she can determine the cause and recommend appropriate treatment.
After taking a detailed medical and sexual history, your doctor will likely do a physical examination. This will include a general examination of your body and a genital examination.
Your doctor may order blood tests to check hormone levels, blood flow and nerve function.
If you’re experiencing psychological ED, your doctor may refer you to a psychiatrist, psychologist or sex therapist.
Treatment will depend on the underlying cause of your ED. In many cases, your doctor can treat the cause and resolve the problem.
If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar levels under control. If you’re overweight or obese, lose weight.
If you have low testosterone levels, talk to your doctor about testosterone replacement therapy.
If you’re taking medication that’s causing ED, your doctor may lower your dose or try a different drug.
If the cause is psychological, your doctor may refer you to a psychiatrist, psychologist or sex therapist.
In some cases, surgery may be an option. This could involve implants, injection therapy or penile suppositories.
Making lifestyle changes may also help.
- Quit smoking. Smoking cigarettes can damage your blood vessels and impede blood flow to your penis.</