Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is the inability to achieve a firm enough erection for intercourse. Fifty-two percent of men deal with erectile dysfunction at some point in their lives, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
While it was once a stereotype that only men over the age of 50 were affected by erectile dysfunction, we now know that it can affect men even under 40. While it can be caused by psychological or mental issues, it is most often a medical issue that can be attended to.
Common causes for ED
- Tobacco use
- Alcohol and substance abuse
- Peyronie’s disease
- And more
Before being treated for ED, you should be tested. There are several tests that can be done, along with a quiz that can be taken. While being tested for ED, you will be checked for low testosterone, thyroid disease and possibly diabetes.
Don’t worry, there are many treatment options available
Often, the treatment will be toward the underlying medical condition that is causing the issue such as undiagnosed thyroid disease or diabetes. Though, there are many treatment options for erectile dysfunction that target the issue at hand.
Oral Medications for ED
Usually, most patients prefer to be treated through oral medication, at least as a first step. Phosphodiesterase inhibitors (PDEs) are the class of medication often used to break down the build-up of nitric oxide in the bloodstream.
Non-Oral Treatment for ED
If oral medication treatment does not work, then it is time to move forward with non-oral treatments such as:
- Use of a vacuum erection device
- MUSE: insertion of an intraurethral vasodilation agent
- Penile injection of vasodilating agents
- Use of a constriction band in conjunction with medication.
Shockwave Therapy for ED
Low-intensity extracorporeal shockwave therapy (Li-ESWT), or shockwave therapy, is used for ED as well. As scary as it sounds, shockwave therapy uses low-intensity sound waves to cause neovascularization to help improve blood flow to the region.
Surgical Correction for ED
There are two options for penile prosthesis implants that are commonly used for erectile dysfunction (ED):
- A semi-rigid penile prosthesis
- An inflatable penile prosthesis
The first, the semi-rigid penile prothesis is the insertion of a pair of malleable rods. After insertion, the patient can bend their penis into an erect position to allow for sexual intercourse.
Many patients prefer the second option, the insertion of an inflatable penile prosthesis. After this insertion, the patient will press on the control pump several times to move fluid from the reservoir toward the cylinders that are implanted into the corpus cavernosum to engage in sexual intercourse.
Getting an implantation is a big decision and a patient should go under careful counseling beforehand. Even after a successful implantation, patients may notice a loss in length.
There are many options available for you if you are experiencing Erectile Dysfunction. Do not feel down or stressed, because there are many ways to get back your usual erection.
If you think you are experiencing erectile dysfunction (ED), there are many options for recovery and the ability to resume a healthy enjoyable sex life. If you would like to speak with a professional about ED, contact Dr. Howard Tay, a board-certified urologist who has practiced urology since 1996.