What is Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the most common sex problem that men report to their physician. Erectile dysfunction is the inability to get and keep an erection firm enough for sex. This issue can be common with men occasionally, and it is typically associated with aging. However, if the issue is constant it may be due to an underlying issue that needs treatment.
This condition can be embarrassing and can be a difficult thing to talk about with your physician. It is important to remember to be honestly with your physician so they can determine the cause of your ED to recommend an effective treatment.
Causes of ED
Even though ED becomes more common as men age, growing old is not always going to cause ED. Finding and treating the reason for ED is a vital first step.
ED can happen:
- When blood flow in the penis is limited or nerves are harmed
- With stress or emotional reasons
- As an early warning of a more serious illness: atherosclerosis (hardening or blocked arteries), heart disease, high blood pressure or high blood sugar from Diabetes
Diagnosis of ED
Your physician will perform a physical and mental exam to determine what could be causing your ED. You will need to provide a detailed history of all medication and drug use. Your physician might even ask you to get a blood test, urinalysis, or ultrasound.
Treatment of ED
Your physician will make sure none of your previous medical conditions/medication are causing or worsening your ED. Depending on the cause and severity of your condition, there are several treatment options available, including:
- Oral medications
- Other medications (injectable)
- Penile pumps, surgery, and implants
- Psychological counseling
Prevention of ED
The best way to prevent erectile dysfunction is to make healthy lifestyle choices and to manage any existing health conditions. For example:
- Work with your doctor to manage diabetes, heart disease or other chronic health conditions.
- See your doctor for regular checkups and medical screening tests.
- Stop smoking, limit or avoid alcohol, and don't use illegal drugs.
- Exercise regularly.
- Take steps to reduce stress.
- Get help for anxiety, depression or other mental health concerns.
If you have any questions or concerns about erectile dysfunction please call your Lee Health Physician.