Understanding Erectile Dysfunction: Causes, Treatments, and Prevention

It can cause stress, relationship tension and low self-confidence. Patients suffering from erectile dysfunction (ED) should first be evaluated for any underlying physical and psychological conditions. If treatment for underlying conditions doesn't help, medications and assistive devices, such as pumps, may be prescribed. ED is the persistent inability to achieve or maintain a penile erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance.

The Massachusetts male aging study surveyed 1,709 men aged 40 to 70 between 1987 and 1989 and found that there was a total prevalence of ED of 52 percent. It was estimated that, in 1995, more than 152 million men worldwide suffered from ED. By 2025, the prevalence of ED is expected to be approximately 322 million worldwide. Discussing ED can be difficult for many men, but it doesn't have to be.

ED is a very common and highly treatable condition. At Yale Medicine, we take a multidisciplinary approach to determining the underlying causes of ED and understand the relationship between ED and other health problems. We regularly collaborate with colleagues from different areas of medicine to help the patients we treat. Almost all cases of ED are treatable, says Dr.

Honig. Reluctance to seek treatment remains the main barrier to restoring full sexual function in men who have ED. ED often has more than one cause. Many diseases can cause blood flow problems, damage nerves, arteries and muscles, which can affect erectile function.

Yale Medicine Urology offers many advanced medical and surgical options for treating ED. The department is guided by personalized care to treat the patient. In many situations, identifying a minor underlying physical problem alleviates the anxiety component of ED, and many patients see improvement without additional intervention. It's important to know that drinking alcohol won't help you maintain an erection.

In fact, excessive alcohol consumption can be a cause of ED. Having ED isn't something you just have to live with. Almost all cases of ED 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. Dr.

Honig is an internationally recognized speaker on topics related to sexual health and conducts research on experimental treatments for ED. Our researchers are studying the links between ED and cardiovascular disease. ED is the inability to develop and maintain an erection in order to have a satisfactory sexual relationship or activity. Erectile dysfunction or erectile disorder are the preferred terms as opposed to impotence.

For approximately 75% of men, the cause of ED is more complex than a side effect of a particular drug. It can result from vascular disease, neurological disease, diabetes, or treatments or surgeries related to the prostate. The ability to have an erection requires complex coordination between nerves, blood vessels, muscles and the brain. It is important to emphasize to patients that these drugs increase the body's natural erectile mechanisms, so the neural and psychoemotional stimuli that are normally needed for arousal must still be activated for medications to be effective.

The precise identification and characterization of risk factors are essential for the prevention or treatment of dysfunction. Performance anxiety, work stress, and strained personal relationships can also affect erectile function both consciously and subconsciously. It is now known that, for most men, ED is caused by physical problems, usually related to the penile's blood supply. If an oral therapy trial and the withdrawal of offending medications do not restore erectile function or if a patient has medical or financial contraindications for drug therapy, most primary care professionals should consider referring the patient to a specialist for evaluation and discuss alternative treatment options.

Of the medications used for depression, tricyclic antidepressants may be associated with erection problems and other medications can be replaced to prevent this complication. Penile rehabilitation is a strategy to help patients regain erectile function after surgery or radiation for prostate or bladder cancer.

Bridget Lauby
Bridget Lauby

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