Erectile dysfunction – ED for short – is a condition in which a man is unable to achieve or sustain an erection firm enough for satisfactory sexual intercourse. Still, the definition is can be a bit misleading. That’s because men who are unable to get or keep a firm erection also include those who can achieve an erection sometimes, but not always. So, men with ED may be able to have an erection, but not every time and some men with the condition are unable to have an erection at all.
More than 30 million men in the United States are affected with ED. That ED occurs naturally with age is a misnomer. Men who are experiencing the symptoms and signs of erectile dysfunction shouldn’t assume that it is natural. It is not. There may be an underlying cause that needs to be addressed by a health care professional. In many cases erectile dysfunction can be reversed with the proper treatment, but first, a diagnosis is necessary.
A healthy sex life is integral to your good health and to a good and healthy relationship with your partner. It is a difficult subject; however, if you’re experiencing symptoms related to erectile dysfunction, then you must make the choice to discuss it with your healthcare professional.
To diagnose your condition, the doctor will take a medical history, which will include a history of your sexual and mental health. Your doctor will ask specific and personal questions regarding erection and other specifics related to your sex life. You will also be asked to give insight into your alcohol and drug use, including over-the-counter and prescription medications. From this information, the doctor will gather an understanding of your condition and will be able to diagnose the underlying cause of your erectile dysfunction, which could include:
Diabetes, which is a condition that can cause a man to lose the ability to have an erection. Erectile dysfunction is especially common with type 2 diabetes and can occur when blood vessels become damaged, as blood sugar is uncontrolled for a long period of time. Getting diabetes under control is an issue that must be addressed before erectile dysfunction can be addressed. Once diabetes is controlled, it’s possible that erectile dysfunction will be reversed.
High Blood Pressure and Heart Disease can affect your sex life. When blood pressure is too high and goes untreated, one of the negative results for men can be erectile dysfunction. Additionally, heart disease can be a contributor; as with high blood pressure, the condition may decrease the force of blood that flows through the body and consequently to the penis. Gaining control of high blood pressure and taking the proper precautions and treatment for heart disease may revert a man to a healthy sex life.
Lifestyle and Other Factors. There are additional conditions that cause erectile dysfunction: stress, injury, low testosterone, etc. Addressing these and other factors may result in the reversal of ED. Reversing erectile dysfunction can be as simple for some men as reducing the amount of alcohol they consume. Also, men who smoke place themselves at risk for erectile dysfunction. Quitting can reverse ED. Losing weight has also been connected to reversal for some men.
Erectile Dysfunction Treatment Options
If underlying health issues are under control and your lifestyle factors are minimal, you may choose to visit a urologist for treatment of your erectile dysfunction. Treatments your urologist may recommend include:
- Oral medication, including Viagra®, Levitra®, Stendra®, and Cialis®
- Penile injections
- External vacuum erection devices
- Penile prosthesis (surgical implant)
- Penile vibratory stimulation for men with spinal cord injury
Reversing erectile dysfunction is possible, but not without an official diagnosis. Ironwood Urology can diagnose your condition and determine the underlying cause of erectile dysfunction so it can be accurately treated. Call for more information or to schedule an appointment: 480-961-2323.