Erectile dysfunction (impotence) is a common problem that can limit your intimacy, affect your self-esteem and impact your most important relationships. It can also be a sign of another health condition that needs attention, such as poorly controlled diabetes or cardiovascular disease.
Fortunately, nearly every case is treatable and medical science offers more treatment options than ever. A few of the treatment choices that your urologist may discuss with you include:
- Oral Medications (Viagra®, Levitra®, Cialis®)
- Vacuum Erection Devices
- Intraurethral Suppositories
- Penile Prostheses
A penile erection is the result of blood entering and being contained in tissue called the corpus spongiosum inside the penis. This process is the effect of sexual arousal when signals are channeled from the brain to nerves in the penis. Erectile Dysfunction is the inability of the male’s penis to maintain or achieve an erection during any sexual activity because the blood is not properly enclosed inside the corpus spongiosum as it would be during an erection.
What are the Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction?
A man may have Erectile Dysfunction if he does not have an erection, has an inconsistent ability to achieve an erection, or can only sustain an erection briefly. These symptoms can randomly occur at any age, but they are more likely to occur in men older than 75 years of age.
What are the Causes of Erectile Dysfunction?
There are many causes of impotence:
- Fatigue, stress, anxiety or depression
- Alcohol and tobacco in excessive amounts
- Drugs: antidepressants, pain medicine and medicine for high blood pressure
- Brain or spinal-cord injuries
- Hypogonadism: hormonal imbalance
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Radiation therapy to the testicles
- Some types of prostate or bladder surgery
- Hypertension: blood sugar or blood pressure conditions
- Psychological: Problems in your relationship with your sexual partner can also cause erectile dysfunction.
- Age: the most common cause
What are the Treatments for Erectile Dysfunction?
As with any other dysfunction, the treatment is based on the cause. There are simple though unreliable home remedies such as exercise, diet and supplements. Aerobics in particular have been proven to be effective for erectile dysfunction.
Your doctor might also recommend that you try certain medications. Prescriptions such as Sildenafil, Tadalfil and Vardenafil are medicines that are taken orally. Other medications, such as Alprostadil, are injected directly into the penis. When medications do not work, an external vacuum pump can be used to attain an erection. This device helps draw blood into the penis by applying negative pressure. And, if other treatments are not successful, doctors can recommend the use of prosthetic implants which involve the insertion of medical devices into the penis.
Contact our doctors and schedule an appointment today if you want to know more about your options for treating Erectile Dysfunction. You can trust the physicians and staff of St Pete Urology to offer comprehensive treatment for this condition.