What Is Erectile Dysfunction

(View full article at https://www.urologyheath.org/urologic-conditions/erectile dysfunction(ed)

Erectile dysfunction, or ED, is the most common sex problem that men report to their doctor. It affects as many as 30 million men.

ED is defined as trouble getting or keeping an erection that’s firm enough for sex.

Though it’s not rare for a man to have some problems with erections from time to time, ED that is progressive or happens routinely with sex is not normal, and it should be treated.

ED can happen:

  • Most often 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, like: atherosclerosis (hardening or blocked arteries), heart disease, high blood pressure or high blood sugar from Diabetes 

ED can result from health problems, emotional issues, or from both. Some known risk factors are:

  • Being over age 50 
  • Having high blood sugar (Diabetes)
  • Having high blood pressure 
  • Having cardiovascular disease
  • Having high cholesterol
  • Smoking
  • Using drugs or drinking too much alcohol
  • Being obese
  • Lacking exercise

Physical causes of ED happen when:

  • There is not enough blood flows into the penis
    Many health issues can reduce blood flow into the penis, such as hardened arteries, heart disease, high blood sugar (Diabetes) and smoking.
  • The penis cannot trap blood during an erection
    If blood does not stay in the penis, a man cannot keep an erection. This issue can happen at any age.
  • Nerve signals from the brain or spinal cord do not reach the penis
    Certain diseases, injury or surgery in the pelvic area can harm nerves to the penis.
  • Diabetes can cause small vessel disease or nerve damage to the penis
  • Cancer treatments near the pelvis can affect the penis’ functionality
    Surgery and or radiation for cancers in the lower abdomen or pelvis can cause ED. Treating prostate, colon-rectal or bladder cancer often leaves men with ED. Cancer survivors should see a Urologist for sexual health concerns.
  • Drugs used to treat other health problems can negatively impact erections
    Patients should talk about drug side effects with their primary care doctors.

Normal sex needs the mind and body working together. Emotional or relationship problems can cause or worsen ED.

Some emotional issues that can cause ED are:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Relationship conflicts
  • Stress at home or work
  • Stress from social, cultural or religious conflicts
  • Worry about sex performance 

The treatment for ED starts with taking care of your heart and vascular health. Your doctor may point out ‘risk factors’ that can be changed or improved.

You may be asked to change certain food habits, stop smoking, increase workouts or stop using drugs or alcohol. You may be offered alternatives to the drugs you take. (Never stop or change prescription drugs without first talking to your health care provider.)

Your health care provider may also suggest treating emotional problems. These could stem from relationship conflicts, life’s stressors, depression or anxiety from past problems with ED (performance anxiety).

Treatment options: There are varied and vast treatment options for erectile dysfucntion to include testosterone replacement therapy, platelet rich plasma infusions, medical managment, vacume erection devices, surgical intervention, shock therapy and others.

Contact us today for your evaluation and treatment. Reasonable pricing to get your energy, focus and intimacy back on track. 801-878-4774