One of the most troubling health problems some men face is erectile dysfunction (ED) – the inability to attain and maintain an erection, preventing a man from having or finishing sexual intercourse.
While any men might experience erectile dysfunction occasionally due to stress, fatigue, alcohol, or emotional issues, some men have recurring episodes of ED that occur at least 25 percent of the time. Either they are unable to get an erection when needed or they are able to get an erection, but it doesn’t last long enough to complete intercourse.
Contrary to popular belief, ED is not a natural part of aging, although it is commonly seen in older men who may require more sexual stimulation for erections. If you are 55 or older and in good health, you should be able to achieve an erection sufficient for intercourse most of the time.
The cause of ED is often related to an underlying condition, such as:
- Diabetes, notably uncontrolled type 2 diabetes
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
- Chronic kidney disease (CKD)
- Drug abuse
- Excessive alcohol or tobacco consumption
- Certain medications, such as antidepressants, blood pressure medicine, sedatives, appetite suppressants, or medications prescribed to treat prostate cancer
- Spinal cord or brain Injury
- Psychological issues, such as anxiety, stress, or depression
- Radiation therapy to the testicles or pelvic region
- Hypogonadism (reduced levels of male testosterone)
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Bladder or prostate surgery
- A lack of physical activity
With proper treatment of the underlying condition causing ED symptoms, you may be able to reduce the frequency of ED. Unfortunately, in some situations, treating the underlying cause is not effective or sufficient enough to reduce or eliminate ED symptoms. For such situations, there are effective treatments patients can try.
ED Treatment Options
Lifestyle changes and exercise may help reduce or eliminate ED symptoms. However, if this is not successful, there are a variety of non-surgical and surgical treatments available to help restore your sexual function and self-confidence. These include:
- Oral medications, such as Viagra®, Levitra®, Stendra®, and Cialis®, that specifically target ED symptoms.
- Testosterone supplementation for ED caused by low levels of testosterone.
- Penile injections, such as Trimix, Bimix, and papaverine, which work to relax muscles and open blood vessels, enabling an erection.
- An external vacuum constriction device (VCD) or penis pump, which helps men achieve erections by drawing blood into the penis. The device is made up of a plastic tube (worn around the penis), a pump that draws air out of the tube in order to create a vacuum, and an elastic ring that can be moved from the end of the tube to the base of the penis when the tube is removed.
- A surgically implanted penile prosthesis. The inflatable penile prosthesis is totally concealed under the skin and restores normal function and anatomy, and allows for spontaneity that medications and penis pumps may not offer.
- Penile vibratory stimulation for men who have sustained a spinal cord injury.
Erectile Dysfunction Treatment in Phoenix, Arizona
All of the above ED treatment options are available under the guidance and supervision of board-certified and fellowship-trained urologist Dr. Desiderio Avila at Ironwood Urology in Phoenix, Arizona.
Your treatment starts with Dr. Avila carefully reviewing your medical history and other factors that may be contributing to the problem. He may then order a penile Doppler study to evaluate your blood flow before developing a treatment plan that is targeted specifically to your situation, taking the time to explain each option along the way.
If you are ready to reclaim your life, Dr. Avila can get to the root of your ED problem and help you choose the treatment option that is best for you. To make an appointment for erectile dysfunction treatment, call Dr. Avila at (480) 961-2323 or request an appointment online.