No one likes to talk about erectile dysfunction (ED), but it is so important because it affects millions of American men and their intimate partners. Education and communication are key to managing it.
Let’s talk about five causes of ED, ways men can deal with them, and where you can go for the treatment of erectile dysfunction in Phoenix, AZ.
Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
While ED is more common than the public may realize, the reasons for it can be varied and complex. That being said, once the underlying causes are identified, treatment can begin, and often, a multi-faceted approach produces the best and most lasting therapeutic outcomes.
Here are five causes of ED and ways to manage it.
1. Nerve Damage or Poor Blood Flow
In fact, some men may have both. A traumatic injury can damage nerves in the penis, penile artery, and other blood vessels. Or more commonly, a metabolic disorder, such as diabetes, causes neuropathy and harmful inflammation of the micro circulation in the penis. Additionally, cardiovascular disease, or CVD, is one of the leading reasons for ED, as plaque accumulation impacts not only heart function but blood flow to the brain, lower extremities, genitals, and other key areas of the body.
To counter the impact of neuropathy or decreased blood flow, a man needs a complete medical workup with his PCP and urologist. The treatment goals include lowering blood pressure, blood glucose, and cholesterol levels and improving other physiological markers of overall wellness.
2. Mental Health Issues
Can stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental/emotional health problems contribute to the inability to get and keep an erection? Research says yes. Additionally, many men have what’s commonly called performance anxiety related to sexual activity. This, too, leads to ED.
Counseling and medication are the usual pathways to mental and emotional wellness. And frankly, some education on better communication in the bedroom helps many men and their partners feel more relaxed about their sexual experiences, and therefore, they can enjoy them more.
3. Low Testosterone
A simple blood test tells your urologist if you have sufficient male hormone testosterone blood levels. Andropause, or male menopause, can reduce these levels, as can infections in the genitourinary tract, alcohol consumption, and injury to the testicles. Many pharmaceuticals, including injections, patches, pellets, and oral medications, increase testosterone and improve sexual function.
4. Lifestyle Issues
Excess body weight, smoking, and alcohol are three lifestyle factors that cause erectile dysfunction. Getting sufficient exercise, eating a heart-healthy diet, smoking cessation, and limiting alcohol (two drinks per day for a man) can control the adverse impact unhealthy habits have on sexual function and satisfaction.
5. Medications and Therapies Prescribed for Other Health Problems
Cancer treatment, especially for prostate cancer, can cause ED. Additionally, many antidepressants, antihistamines, and blood pressure medications reduce penile blood flow. Although many of these medications are necessary and cannot be avoided, your men’s health specialist can help you counter their side effects with interventions such as a penile prosthesis, vacuum pump, or medications like Viagra.
ED Treatment at Ironwood Urology in Phoenix, AZ
Have erectile dysfunction? Visit us at Ironwood Urology. Our ED expert Dr. Desi Avila Jr., has years of experience in treating a full range of health conditions that are specific to men, including erectile dysfunction. Our ED doctor at the ED clinic in Phoenix will carefully review your symptoms, underlying medical conditions, and medical history to give you an accurate diagnosis and develop a customized treatment plan for you.