Erectile dysfunction (ED) is when a man regularly finds it difficult getting or keeping an erection that is firm enough to have sex. While most men have difficulty at some point in their lives with this issue, the problem is only medically diagnosed as ED if satisfactory sexual performance has been unreachable on many occasions for some time.
Many causes do exist for ED – some are physical, some are psychological. And since the release of ED treatments such as Viagra, awareness about the condition of ED has become widespread and is now much more openly discussed with physicians than before.
Let’s discuss the common causes of erectile dysfunction – both physical and psychological – and what can be done to treat the condition.
Physical Causes of ED
While most men suffer sexual performance issues occasionally, a chronic issue is one that progressively worsens or happens routinely – and this may be diagnosed by a doctor as erectile dysfunction. ED can happen due to physical causes, such as when blood flow to the penis is limited or blocked.
ED may also be an early-warning sign of a serious underlying illness that is restricting blood flow throughout the body, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, or diabetes. Other factors that can contribute to ED are age, high cholesterol, smoking, drug or alcohol abuse, obesity, and the failure to get enough exercise.
Low testosterone levels (low-T) also can shoulder blame for some cases of ED. If getting an erection is painful or the penis has a pronounced curve, it might be due to Peyronie’s disease – which is a condition that urologists frequently treat successfully. Certain medications for other health conditions can also have unwanted side effects such as ED.
Psychological and Other Causes of ED
One of the problems with ED is the emotional toll it takes on a man’s self-esteem. ED can cause stress, which in turn places more pressure on performance, which causes more issues that affect performance.
So it can be a vicious cycle whereby the psychological affects the physical, and vice versa. The fear of sexual failure places increasing pressure on performance, which creates anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and doubts about performance.
Treatments for ED
As with most illnesses, noninvasive treatments are tried before invasive options. The least invasive method of treating ED is by strengthening the pelvic floor muscles by doing Kegel exercises.
Another method of treatment includes oral medications, such as Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, and Stendra. These all increase blood flow for a firmer erection.
For men who cannot take oral treatments, there is also the prostaglandin E1 shot, vacuum pumps, penile implants, or vascular surgery to correct problems with the blood vessels. While surgery typically is reserved as a last resort, the rate of success is very high.
Skilled Urologist in the Phoenix Area
With proper treatment, ED can be defeated. If you or your partner suffers from erectile dysfunction, contact Ironwood Urology today. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about – we deal with patients every day and help them overcome ED.
You can call us at (480) 961-2323 or fill out our appointment request form online now. Let us help you feel great about yourself again.