As many as 30 million men are affected by erectile dysfunction in the United States. It can be a distressing problem and may indicate an underlying health condition, such as high blood pressure. However, the good news is that erectile dysfunction can usually be treated successfully.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a condition characterized by the inability to get or maintain an erection that is firm enough for sex. The condition can occur for a variety of physical or psychological reasons, but most frequently, it can happen when the blood flow in the penis is limited or if there is nerve damage, which prevent nerve signals from getting through to the penis.
Effective Treatments for Erectile Dysfunction
It is important to identify the underlying cause of erectile dysfunction to ensure the correct treatment can be offered to treat it successfully. In some cases, ED can be a symptom of a health problem or health-related factor such as hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, low testosterone, or high cholesterol. Therefore, treating the underlying conditionwith medications and diet and lifestyle adjustments, like stopping smoking, losing weight, reducing stress, and getting regular exercise, can help alleviate symptoms of ED.
If erectile dysfunction is related to an emotional issue, psychological counselling may be recommended. For example, if ED only occurs in certain situations, such as when with a specific sexual partner, but not during masturbation, it is likely to be a psychological issue rather than a physical problem.
In other situations, direct treatment may be required to manage ED successfully. The treatment that is right for you will depend on factors such as your diagnosis and personal preferences. There are a range of effective non-surgical and surgical options available, including:
Oral medications, such as Viagra®, Stendra®, Levitra®, and Cialis®, all work by increasing penile blood flow. They temporarily enhance the effects of a naturally occurring chemical, known as nitric oxide, to relax the spongy muscle tissue in the penis, which allows more blood to flow into it during sexual arousal. It is important to note that these medications don’t automatically produce an erection. Sexual stimulation is necessary to trigger the release of nitric oxide to help achieve an erection.
Penile injections are medications, primarily Alprostadil, that workto temporarily create an erection. They are injected directly into the side or base of the penis, using a very fine needle. The injection will be dosed correctly by an experienced healthcare provider based on the severity of the ED. If this treatment is used, you will be shown how to administer the injection safely by your provider. Side effects may include prolonged erections in some men.
External Vacuum Erection Devices (Penis Pumps)
A vacuum erection device is a hollow tube that is designed to fit over the penis, making a seal with the skin. A hand-powered or battery-powered pump at the other end of the device creates a low-pressure vacuum inside the tube to draw out the air in the tube. This draws the blood into the penis,resulting in an erection. An elasticated tension ring is then slipped onto the base of the penis to keep it firm during sex.
Surgical Implant –Inflatable Penile Prosthesis
Treatment involves surgery to place an inflatable device into each side of the penis.The device is concealed under the skin and is designed to restore normal function and anatomy, so the penis looks and feels natural. The device preserves sensation and the ability to have an orgasm. Surgery is usually carried out as a minimally invasive procedure to reduce trauma and scarring. Implants make for spontaneous sex and a higher degree of satisfaction when compared with some other treatments, with over 90% of men reporting satisfactory sexual activity following the procedure.
Penile Vibratory Stimulation
Penile vibratory stimulation is an effective treatment for ED related to a spinal cord injury and some other conditions such as diabetes. The treatment aims to mimic rapid and repetitive manual/hand stimulation of the penis. Treatment involves placing a specially designed mechanical vibrator at the base of the glans penis (the rounded end of the penis),which is then set to a particular frequency and amplitude. The vibration helps activate sexual centers in the brain and spinal cord, which trigger the nerve reflexes responsible for causing an erection. The device can also help stimulate the ejaculatory reflex.
Erectile Dysfunction Treatment in Phoenix, AZ
If you would like to discuss treatment options for erectile dysfunction, contact Ironwood Urology. We provide high quality, confidential, and compassionate patient-focused men’s health care. Our board-certified, fellowship-trained urologist focuses on a wide range of men’s health conditions, including erectile dysfunction, low testosterone, male infertility, vasectomy and vasectomy reversal, penile prosthetic surgery, prostate health, Peyronie’s disease, robotic urological surgery, and more.
To learn more about our services, or to schedule a consultation with our experienced urologist, call us today at (480) 961-2323, or request an appointment online.