Erectile dysfunction
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What is erectile dysfunction?

A man is considered to have erectile dysfunction when he has regular difficulty in getting or maintaining a firm enough erection to be able to achieve sexual penetration, or which interferes with non-penetrative sexual activity.1-3

 

Causes of erectile dysfunction

This blood flow process is led by nervous and hormonal triggers activated when the brain is stimulated by touch or other stimuli; such brain signals can be suppressed by anxiety

 

Fast facts on erectile dysfunction

 

Here are some key points about erectile dysfunction. More detail and supporting information is in the body of this article.

  • Erectile dysfunction is defined as persistent difficulty achieving and maintaining an erection sufficient to have sex.

  • Causes are usually medical but can also be psychological.

  • Organic causes are usually the result of an underlying medical condition affecting the blood vessels or nerves supplying the penis.

  • Numerous prescription drugs, recreational drugs, alcohol and smoking can all cause erectile dysfunction.

  • Diagnosis, with the help of a doctor, can identify the likely cause by taking a history, discussing symptoms, performing blood tests to establish the presence of conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, and physical examination.

  • Typical first-line treatment of erectile dysfunction involves the use of medications called PDE-5 inhibitors, including the well-known drug sildenafil (Viagra).

  • Mechanical devices are also available to help achieve an erection. Patients experiencing occasional erectile dysfunction and who do not respond to medical treatment may be candidates for surgery to fit a penile implant.

How is ED Treated?

The treatment for ED depends on what is causing it.

Your health care provider may ask you to change certain habits, stop smoking, or using drugs or alcohol. He or she may suggest treatment for emotional problems, relationship conflicts, depression, or performance anxiety. Or you may be asked to change the way you take other medicines. (Never stop or change any drug without first talking to your health care provider.

Testosterone Replacement Therapy

Other Treatments

Most of the best-known treatments for ED work well and are safe. But in making your choice, ask your health care provider about any possible problems that could result with each option:

  • Vacuum erection device

  • Oral drugs

  • Drugs in the penis

  • Surgery

 

 
 
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