Also known as impotence, erectile dysfunction is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection suitable for sexual intercourse.
Most men will have the occasional inability in getting an erection at some point in their life, but when it becomes a persistent problem, it may be erectile dysfunction.
Many men are embarrassed to ask their health professionals questions about erectile dysfunction, so we’ve put together some of the most commonly asked questions about erectile dysfunction in the article below.
Is Erectile Dysfunction Normal?
Erectile dysfunction is a relatively common medical condition, affecting over 20% of adult males.
40% of men aged 60-69 and 50-100% of men aged 70 and over are affected, but it can affect men at any age.
Progressive and frequent ED often signifies potential health issues that require treatment by a medical professional.
The younger you are when you experience ED, the more important it is to see a doctor.
[Check out our article about how to prevent erectile dysfunction.]
Sometimes ED is one of the risk factors that is a sign of early-onset cardiovascular disease.
What Causes ED?
Erectile dysfunction can be caused by physical, psychological, and emotional issues.
Physical causes include damage to structures in the penis, including nerves, arteries, blood vessel walls, muscles, and limited blood flow.
Medical disorders and health conditions that can cause physical damage leading to ED are:
- High blood pressure
- Heart and blood vessel disease
- Chronic kidney disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Prostate cancer treatments, especially radiation and prostate surgery
- An injury to the penis, bladder, prostate, spinal cord, or pelvis
- Surgery for bladder cancer
- Peyronie’s disease
Certain medications also cause men to experience erectile dysfunction, including many oral drugs.
Lifestyle choices like smoking, recreational drugs, excessive alcohol use, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle can lead to erectile dysfunction.
Even prolonged bicycling can lead to ED.
ED is a physical disorder, but psychological and emotional issues also contribute to erectile dysfunction.
The most common psychological issues associated with ED are:
- Fear of sexual failure
- Emotional stress
- Low self-esteem
There are many causes of ED that can prevent men from enjoying a healthy sex life.
Is There A Test For Erectile Dysfunction?
There’s no specific test for ED, but you can undertake genital-focused (penis and testicles) tests to check for ED.
A doctor may also check your heart and blood pressure and examine your family history.
Depending on how old you are, your doctor may also perform a rectal exam to check your prostate gland.
Some advanced ED tests to determine treatments are:
- Blood work to check testosterone levels and blood sugar
- Nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT), an overnight test for sleep erection
- Ultrasonography to check blood flow
- Pelvic X-rays
How Is Erectile Dysfunction Treated?
There are several treatment options available to treat patients diagnosed with erectile dysfunction.
The common treatments include:
Medications: There are three main types of medications available to treat mild to moderate erectile dysfunction. Everyone has heard of Viagra, which was the first oral medication released on the market to treat this sexual dysfunction. The other two are Levitra and Cialis.
Injections: Injection therapy is another common treatment for erectile dysfunction. Injections require a needle filled with a medication directly injected into the penis.
Acoustic Wave Therapy: Sometimes known as shockwave therapy this non-invasive treatment has been used in a number of medical fields like physiotherapy, orthopedics, and urology. Acoustic wave therapy is a non-invasive procedure that can help improve erectile function and sexual performance.
Surgery: Non-invasive treatments for erectile dysfunction are always the first option, but when other treatments don’t work, a penile implant may be considered. A penile implant is inserted into the penis during an operation performed under general anesthesia.
There are numerous men that have had success among treatment options like these. Every case and every patient with erectile dysfunction is unique. That’s why there is no one size fits all treatment for those experiencing this condition.
Are There Exercises That Help Erectile Dysfunction?
Various exercises like Kegels that strengthen the pelvic floor muscles greatly benefit men with ED.
Your pelvic floor muscles are essential in sustaining blood flow to the penis by putting pressure on the penile veins.
Pressure keeps blood from leaving the penis so that you can maintain an erection.
Some ED exercises you can try at home are:
- Pelvic floor muscle activation
- Sitting pelvic floor activation
- Standing pelvic floor activation
ED treatment always begins with caring for your heart and vascular health.
That means aerobic exercises are very beneficial for men with ED.
Just 40 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise four times a week can decrease ED symptoms.
Additionally, maintaining a healthy weight and leading a healthy lifestyle can help you overcome erectile dysfunction, and allow you to enjoy sexual activity again.
Do I Need To See A Doctor For Erectile Dysfunction?
If you have persistent issues getting or sustaining a satisfactory erection, get help and advice as soon as you can.
This is important because ED is often a symptom of other potentially serious conditions, like diabetes or heart disease.
A recent study found that of 50 men with ED who sought prescriptions for Viagra found that although they didn’t have symptoms of heart disease, six had blockages in all three major heart arteries.
Seven had two arteries that showed narrowing, and one artery was blocked in another seven.
Overall, 40% of the men were at significant risk of angina or a heart attack.
That’s why immediate treatment for ED is vital.
If you are being treated for a medical or psychiatric problem that may be affecting your sex life, tell your doctor.
Alternative treatments with less likelihood of affecting sexual function are often available.
If your doctor doesn’t take your problem seriously, ask to be referred to a specialist like a urologist.
Visit Choice Men’s Health Erectile Dysfunction Clinic Today!
ED Clinics specialize in diagnosing and treating erectile dysfunction.
Many can also treat other sexual health issues you may be dealing with, like premature ejaculation and low testosterone.
If you’re one of the tens of millions of men affected by ED, you can visit a men’s clinic like Choice Men’s Health.
We offer numerous treatment strategies that help men reconnect with their partner. We have one on one appointments that are discrete and completely confidential. We have high rates of success with our treatments and can help you get a piece of your life back that you thought you may have lost.
If you have questions about erectile dysfunction, Choice Men’s Health is the best erectile dysfunction clinic in Atlanta that has been helping men have great sex again.
Schedule your in-person appointment with The Best Erectile Dysfunction Clinic Today by calling (404) 400-3717 or filling out a form here.