Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to get or keep an erection that is strong enough for satisfactory sexual intercourse. That means even if you have no problem getting an erection, you could still have early stage erectile dysfunction if you are not able to achieve sexual satisfaction.
Early signs of erectile dysfunction
Occasional or intermittent sexual problems do not necessarily indicate erectile dysfunction. But you could have ED if the following are persistent:
- Reduced desire for sex
- Inability to get an erection
- Inability to maintain an erection
- Softer erections
- Lack of nighttime and early morning erections
Most men suffer from erectile problems at some point in their lives. When the symptoms are only occasional, it is not considered erectile dysfunction. But if they gradually and consistently gets worse, there is probably a physical cause—which is generally what happens in chronic erectile dysfunction. If the problem occurs suddenly, but the man can still have erections early in the morning and when masturbating, that suggests a mental cause, though something could be going on physically as well.
You should speak with a urologist about your sexual problems if:
Erectile dysfunction worries you enough to cause anxiety or threaten your relationship. The urologist will clear up the misinformation that could make your sexual problems worse and prescribe medication to help you through a rough patch.
- It is painful to get an erection or you find it difficult because your penis is curved (a condition called Peyronie’s disease).
- The problem is persistent and doesn’t go away. It could be a sign of a more serious underlying condition such as diabetes or coronary artery disease.
- Since causes of erectile dysfunction vary, and you may need a multi-teatment approach, seeing a urologist gives you the best chance of recovering quickly from the condition. Your doctor will help you determine the cause of your symptoms and then recommend treatment which may include lifestyle modifications, counseling, prescription medications (Viagra, Cialis, Levitra or Stendra), testosterone replacement, Alprostadil self-injection, Alprostadil urethral suppository, penis pump or penile implants.
At St Pete Urology, we understand that erectile dysfunction is frustrating and can have a profound impact on relationships and self-esteem. We also recognize that few men want to speak about their inability to get or maintain an erection. Each of our urologists is skilled, knowledgeable and experienced in helping men with this condition. We have a friendly and compassionate patient-centered approach that makes consultations confidential and beneficial. For more information about the treatment of erectile dysfunction and other urological problems, visit the St Pete Urology website.