What Are the Common Causes of Erection Problem (Erectile Dysfunction)? Erectile dysfunction (ED), also known as impotence, is the inability to get and maintain an erection. It is a common...Read More
How to treat Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to get or keep an erection. It can be caused by physical problems, psychological factors, or a combination of both. ED is a common condition, affecting up to 30 million men in the United States.
What are the causes of erectile dysfunction?
The most common cause of ED is a physical problem. Common physical causes include:
- Heart disease
- Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Metabolic syndrome (a condition involving increased blood pressure, high insulin levels, body fat around the waist, and high cholesterol)
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Peyronie’s disease (a condition of the penis involving a plaque, or hard lump, that causes the penis to bend or curve when erect)
- Sleep disorders
- Treatment for prostate cancer or enlarged prostate
Psychological causes of ED can include:
- Relationship problems
How is erectile dysfunction diagnosed?
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. They will also do a physical examination. This may include checking your blood pressure, heart rate, and reflexes. Your doctor may also do a digital rectal exam to check your prostate. They may also order blood tests to check for diabetes, low testosterone levels, and other medical conditions.
How is erectile dysfunction treated?
Treatment for ED will depend on the cause. If the cause is physical, you may need to see a doctor who specializes in sexual medicine or urology. If the cause is psychological, you may need to see a therapist or counselor.
If your ED is caused by a physical problem, treatment may include:
- Medications. There are several oral medications that can be used to treat ED, such as sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), and vardenafil (Levitra). These drugs work by increasing blood flow to the penis.
- Vacuum devices. These devices are a mechanical way to produce an erection. The device consists of an acrylic cylinder placed over the penis that uses a pump to create a vacuum. This causes the penis to fill with blood, leading to an erection.
- Injections. These drugs, such as alprostadil (Caverject), papaverine (Pavabid), and phentolamine (Regitine), can be injected into the side of the penis. This causes the erection to last for a short time.
- Implants. This is a surgical procedure that can be used to treat ED. The implant is a device that is placed under the skin of the penis