Almost all cases of erectile dysfunction are treatable, and treatment can lead to better overall physical and emotional health for almost all patients, as well as to improved intimacy for couples. Erectile dysfunction can usually be treated with medication or surgery. However, a person may be able to treat the underlying cause and reverse symptoms without medication. From conditions to treatments, surgical devices and more, we've put together everything you need to know about urology in one convenient place.
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The Urology Care Foundation provides free, evidence-based patient education materials on urological health for patients, healthcare providers, and the general public. We support and improve urological care by funding research, developing patient education and seeking philanthropic support around the world. Erectile dysfunction, or ED, is the most common sexual problem men report to their doctor. It affects 30 million men.
Erectile dysfunction is defined as the difficulty in achieving or maintaining an erection firm enough to have sex. While it's not uncommon for a man to have some erectile problems from time to time, erectile dysfunction that is progressive or that occurs routinely with sexual intercourse is not normal and should be treated. Finding the cause (s) of your erectile dysfunction will help treat the problem and your overall well-being. As a general rule, what's good for heart health is good for sexual health.
During sexual arousal, nerves release chemicals that increase blood flow to the penis. Blood flows to two penile erection chambers, composed of spongy muscle tissue (the corpus cavernosum). The chambers of the corpus cavernosum are not hollow. During an erection, spongy tissues relax and trap blood.
Blood pressure in the chambers causes the penis to be firm and causes an erection. When a man has an orgasm, a second set of nerve signals reach the penis and cause the muscle tissues of the penis to contract and the blood to be released back into the man's circulation and the erection decreases. When you're not sexually aroused, your penis is soft and saggy. Men may notice that the size of the penis varies with heat, cold, or worry; this is normal and reflects the balance of blood entering and leaving the penis.
With erectile dysfunction (ED), it's hard to achieve or maintain an erection that's firm enough to have sex. When erectile dysfunction becomes an annoying, routine problem, your primary care provider or urologist can help. If erectile dysfunction affects a man's well-being or relationships, it must be treated. The treatment aims to correct or improve erectile function, help circulatory health and help a man's quality of life.
Even though erectile dysfunction becomes more common as men age, getting older isn't always going to cause. Some men remain sexually functional until age 80. Erectile dysfunction may be an early sign of a more serious health problem. Finding and treating the reason for erectile dysfunction is a vital first step.
Normal sex needs your mind and body to work together. Emotional or relationship problems can cause or worsen erectile dysfunction. Finding the cause of your erectile dysfunction will help guide your treatment options. The diagnosis of erectile dysfunction begins when the healthcare provider asks questions about heart and vascular health and the erection problem.
Your provider may also do a physical exam, order laboratory tests, or refer you to a urologist. Knowing your history of erectile dysfunction will help your healthcare provider determine if your problems are due to your sexual desire, erectile function, ejaculation, or orgasm (climax). Some of these questions may seem private or even embarrassing. However, make sure your doctor is a professional and their honest answers will help find the cause and the best treatment for you.
Your doctor may ask you questions about depression or anxiety. They may ask you about problems in your relationship with your partner. Some health care providers may also ask if they can talk to their sexual partner. The doctor may order blood tests and collect a urine sample to detect health problems that cause erectile dysfunction.
Health experts often use questionnaires to assess your ability to initiate and maintain erections, assess your satisfaction with sex, and help identify any problems related to orgasm. For some men with erectile dysfunction, specialized tests may be needed to guide treatment or re-evaluate it after treatment fails.
Treatment for erectile dysfunctionbegins with taking care of heart and vascular health. The doctor can identify “risk factors” that can be changed or improved.
You may be asked to change certain eating habits, stop smoking, increase your exercise, or stop using drugs or alcohol. You may be offered alternatives to the medications you take. Never stop or change prescription medications without first talking to your health care provider. These may be due to relationship conflicts, life stressors, depression, or anxiety about past problems with erectile dysfunction (performance anxiety).
The following treatments are available to treat erectile dysfunction directly. Medications known as type 5 PDE inhibitors increase penile blood flow. These are the only oral agents approved in the U.S. UU.
By the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. For best results, men with erectile dysfunction take these pills about an hour or two before having sex. Medications require normal penile nerve function. PDE5 inhibitors improve normal erectile responses and help blood flow to the penis.
About 7 out of 10 men do well and have better erections. Response rates are lower for diabetic and cancer patients. If you are taking nitrates for your heart, you MUST NOT take any PDE5 inhibitors. Always talk to your healthcare provider before using a PDE5 inhibitor to find out how it might affect your health.
In rare cases where low sexual desire and low blood testosterone levels are the cause of erectile dysfunction, testosterone therapy may correct normal erections or help when combined with medications for erectile dysfunction (PDE type inhibitors). Alprostadil is injected into the side of the penis with a very fine needle. It's very helpful to give your first injection in your doctor's office before doing it on your own. Self-injection classes should be taught in your doctor's office by an experienced professional.
The success rate for achieving an erection firm enough to have sex is up to 85% with this treatment. Many men who don't respond to oral PDE5 inhibitors can be “rescued” with ICI. ICI Alprostadil can be used as a mixture with two other medications to treat erectile dysfunction. This combination therapy called bimix or trimix is stronger than alprostadil alone and has become the standard treatment for erectile dysfunction.
Only the ingredient alprostadil is approved by the FDA for erectile dysfunction. An experienced health professional can change the amount of each medication used depending on the severity of your erectile dysfunction. Your healthcare professional will train you on how to inject, how much to inject, and how to safely increase the dose of the medication if needed. Men who have penile erections that last longer than two to four hours should go to the emergency room.
Priapism is a prolonged erection that lasts more than four hours. Failure to undo priapism will cause permanent damage to the penis and intractable erectile dysfunction. For UI therapy, a small medicinal granule of the drug, alprostadil, is placed in the urethra (the tube that carries urine out of the body). Using the medication this way means you don't have to get an injection, unfortunately it may not work as well as ICI.
Like ICI therapy, alprostadil UI should be tested in the office, before use in. The most common side effects of the alprostadil UI are a burning sensation in the penis. If an erection lasts longer than four hours, you'll need medical attention to reduce it. The main surgical treatment for erectile dysfunction involves the insertion of a penile implant (also called a penile prosthesis).
Because penile vascular surgery is not recommended for older men who have failed oral therapies with PDE5 inhibitors, ICI or UI inhibitors, implants are the next step for these patients. While penile implant placement is a risky surgery, it has the highest success and satisfaction rates among erectile dysfunction treatment options. Penile implants are devices that are placed completely inside the body. They create a stiff penis that allows you to have normal sex.
This is a great option for improving uninterrupted intimacy and making relationships more spontaneous. There are two types of penile implants. The simplest type of implant is made of two easy-to-bend rods that, in most cases, are made of silicone. These silicone rods give a man's penis the firmness necessary for sexual penetration.
The implant can be folded down to urinate or up to have sex. With an inflatable implant, cylinders filled with fluid are placed along the length of the penis. A tube connects these cylinders to a pump that is placed inside the scrotum (between the testicles). When the pump is activated, the pressure in the cylinders inflates the penis and hardens it.
Inflatable implants produce a normal-looking erection and are a natural sensation for your partner. Your surgeon may suggest a lubricant to your partner. With the implant, men can control the firmness and sometimes the size of the erection. Implants allow a couple to have spontaneous intimacy.
There is usually no change in a man's sensation or orgasm. Penile implants are generally placed under anesthesia. If a patient has a systemic, skin, or urinary tract infection, this surgery should be postponed until all infections are treated. If a man takes blood thinners, he may need to talk to a medical expert about stopping medications for elective surgery and healing.
In most cases, a small surgical incision is made. The incision is made above the penis, where it joins the abdomen, or below the penis, where it joins the scrotum. The patient will return home the same day or spend a night in the hospital. Prosthetic surgery has risks and patients are advised before the procedure.
If there is a postoperative infection, the implant is likely to be removed. The devices are reliable, but in the event of a mechanical malfunction, the device or a part of the device will have to be surgically replaced. If a penile prosthesis is removed, other nonsurgical treatments may no longer work. Most men with penile implants and their partners say they are satisfied with the results and return to more spontaneous intimacy.
Currently, they are not approved by the FDA for the treatment of erectile dysfunction, but may be offered through research studies (clinical trials). Interested patients should discuss the risks and benefits (informed consent) of each patient, as well as the costs before starting any clinical trial. Most therapies not approved by the FDA are not covered by government or private insurance benefits. Supplements are popular and often cheaper than prescription drugs.
However, supplements haven't been tested to determine their effectiveness or if they are a safe treatment for erectile dysfunction. Patients should know that screening tests have found that many OTC medications have been found to have “smuggled” PDE 5 inhibitors as the main ingredient. The quantities of Viagra, Cialis, Levitra or Sandra that may be in these supplements are not under quality control and may differ from pill to pill. The FDA has issued warnings and alerts for consumers.
All treatments for erectile dysfunction (except implant surgery) are used as needed to have sex and then go away. Treatments help ease symptoms, but they don't solve the underlying problem in the penis. Healthcare providers now realize that most men have an underlying physical cause of. For most patients, there are physical and emotional factors that lead to erectile dysfunction.
It is impossible to prove that a man's erectile dysfunction does not have a psychological part. Nothing happens in the body without the brain. Worrying about your ability to get an erection can make it difficult to get it. This is called performance anxiety and can be overcome with education and treatment.
However, only combine treatments after talking to your healthcare provider about it. Erections can last too long with drug treatment, which is dangerous. Ask your doctor for appropriate instructions. Never stop or change a prescription medication without first talking to your health care provider.
Many medications can cause erectile dysfunction, but some can't be changed because the benefits of the medication are too important to you. If you are sure that a specific medication has caused the problem of erectile dysfunction, ask your healthcare provider if you can change your medications. If you must continue to take the medication that is causing the problem, there are treatments for erectile dysfunction that can help. Information and resources to help you stay up to date.
Learn how a clinical trial can be a good fit for you with this informative video. Developed by trusted Support UCF doctors when you shop on Amazon In the lives of urological patients. This website has been optimized for user experience and security, so Internet Explorer (IE) is not a recommended browser. Use the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari (MacOS).
The Sex Counseling Association has fact sheets on medications and other treatments for erectile dysfunction. In fact, a common reason many young men visit their doctor is to get medications for erectile dysfunction. While other problems, such as nerve damage and hormonal abnormalities, can also cause erectile dysfunction, a lack of adequate blood vessel dilation is one of the most common causes, Wittert said. Erectile dysfunction (also called erectile dysfunction or impotence) describes a condition in which men cannot get or maintain an erection.
You can assume that the likelihood of erectile dysfunction increases with age, but this is not always the case. If ignored, erectile dysfunction can lead to complications, such as an unsatisfactory sex life, low self-esteem, a lot of anxiety and relationship problems. Expect your doctor to ask you questions about your general health, monitor your heart and blood pressure, and gather information about your erectile dysfunction. Along with treating erectile dysfunction, your doctor may recommend controlling the condition, becoming more physically active, or losing weight.
Drug use and erectile dysfunction may be related, depending on the medications or drugs you take and how you take them. For most men with erectile dysfunction, it is enough to undergo a physical exam and answer questions about their medical history so that the doctor can diagnose erectile dysfunction and make treatment recommendations. A review published in the journal Brain Research emphasized the intricate relationship between the level of sex hormones such as testosterone, sexual function and sleep, and noted that testosterone levels increase with improved sleep and that lower levels are associated with sexual dysfunction. Tadalafil (Cialis) is a prescription medication for people with erectile dysfunction or symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia.
Formerly known as impotence, erectile dysfunction (ED) is the ongoing inability to have an erection hard enough to penetrate. Your doctor will be able to diagnose the cause of your erectile dysfunction and decide on the best treatment. For men who have diabetes and erectile dysfunction, pelvic floor exercises can be used to help control sexual dysfunction. For many men, quitting smoking is a remedy for erectile dysfunction, especially when erectile dysfunction is the result of vascular disease, which occurs when the blood supply to the penis is restricted due to a blockage or narrowing of the arteries.