Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is another name for impotence. ED is the persistent inability to maintain an erection that is firm enough or lasts long enough to have sexual intercourse. This common problem is often caused by physical conditions, including prostate cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Treating ED and Restoring Your Quality of Life
ED can limit your intimacy, affect your self-esteem and impact your most important relationships. but the good news is that nearly every case is treatable today… it’s not simply an inevitable consequence of aging, and you don’t have to simply live with it.
There is usually more than one treatment option. The first step is to seek help from a doctor who is familiar with the latest forms of treatment. Your urologist can help you determine which treatment is right for you.
Common Causes of ED
The majority of ED cases are caused by the following problems.
- Diabetes can cause damage to the nerves or blood vessels that control the flow of blood to the penis.
- Cardiovascular problems can decrease blood flow to the penis through blocked arteries or leaking veins, resulting in erectile dysfunction
- Trauma or surgery in the prostate, bladder, colon or rectal area can damage nerves and cause ED
- Spinal cord injuries can stop nerve impulses from reaching the penis
- Medications, including some for high blood pressure, can interfere with blood flow to the penis
- Hormone problems caused by kidney or liver failure can result in erectile dysfunction
There are a variety of different treatment alternatives, ranging from medications to surgery. Your doctor will discuss options that may be appropriate for you, along with the risks and benefits.
- Oral medications – There are a number of prescription medications available that may improve blood flow to the penis. Combined with sexual stimulation, this can produce an erection.
- Vacuum Erection Devices – A plastic cylinder is placed over the penis, and a pump (either manual or battery operated) creates vacuum suction within the cylinder, drawing blood into the penis to create an erection. a stretchable tension band placed at the base of the penis can help maintain the erection.
- Injections – With injection therapy, a small needle is used to inject medication directly into the penis, creating an erection.
- Intraurethral Suppositories – Another option is a suppository that contains medication. A small pellet (suppository) is inserted into the urethra.
- Penile Prostheses – In use for more than 30 years, penile prostheses may provide an effective surgical option for men who are not satisfied with the results they are getting from other treatment options.