Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for sexual needs or the needs of a partner. Most men experience this at some point in their lives, usually by age 40. Unfortunately, some men are reluctant or embarrassed to discuss sexual matters with their doctor.
Some men however, experience chronic, complete erectile dysfunction (impotence), and others, partial or brief erections. Frequent erectile dysfunction can cause emotional and relationship problems, and often leads to diminished self-esteem. Erectile dysfunction has many causes, most of which are treatable, and is not an inevitable consequence of aging.
It is important to do some basic testing to determine any underlying conditions including a complete physical exam, urinalysis, voiding studies, and blood tests.
Many systemic conditions can be associated with ED, some of which are:
- Heart disease
- Cardiovascular disease
- Surgery for prostate Cancer
- Low testosterone levels
- Prostate enlargement
There are a number of therapies to choose from today that are non surgical, ranging from vacuum devices, medications, injections, inserts, PRP, etc. Your doctor can help you choose the best and safest option. Surgery should be considered as a last resort. Treatment depends on your overall health and underlying cause of the problem.
Many of the over the counter formulas as well as those advertised on television and radio are herbal and have very a mild effect, if any.
In many cases, simple lifestyle changes such as losing weight, drinking less alcohol, quitting smoking and regular exercise, may improve erectile dysfunction. In general, any lifestyle change good for the heart is good for erectile dysfunction.