Erectile Dysfunction (ED) - also known as impotence — is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection adequate for a satisfying sexual experience. Nearly 75 percent of the time, ED has a physical cause.
Common Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
Cardiovascular disease. There is growing evidence that sexual dysfunction can be an early sign of heart disease, in particular atherosclerosis, narrowing and hardening of the arteries. The risk factors for cardiovascular disease and ED are the same. These include hypertension, high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes, and lack of physical activity, family history of early heart attack or stroke, and being a smoker.
Diabetes will damage blood vessels and nerves that are necessary for normal sexual function.
Low testosterone levels can lower sex drive and worsen impotence. This condition may also cause fatigue, memory loss, and depression. Testosterone is the most important male hormone. Approximately 5 million American men may be deficient, yet undiagnosed.
Previous pelvic surgery can interfere with the blood and nerve supply to the penis. Prostate removal for cancer is the most common example although bowel and vascular surgery may also cause impotence.
Certain prescription drugs decrease potency. The most common are antidepressants and beta blockers for high blood pressure.
Peyronie’s Disease, prostatic enlargement, neurologic disease, alcohol and drug abuse, and psychological problems are other less common causes of e.d.
Treatments for E.D.
About 60 percent of impotent men respond well to medications such as sildenafil (Viagra®), tadalafil (Cialis®) and vardenafil (Levitra®). If the Male Care Center prescribes these drugs, we work closely with each patient to determine the best medication and most effective dosage. Samples are provided for new patients who have never used them before. These medications are not appropriate or effective for every person. Men on nitrates for angina or alpha blockers for prostate problems are not good candidates since they can dangerously lower blood pressure when taken together.
Injection therapy allows the patient to inject himself with a drug into the side of the penis, to produce an erection in 5 to 10 minutes that lasts about an hour. The drugs act by increasing the blood flow needed for an erection. This method is used when oral therapy does not work or is contraindicated for other reasons.
This is another option in which a concealed prosthetic device is surgically implanted in the penis. This creates an erection when desired and for the duration of patient choice. This treatment is available when other measures fail and carries an extremely high rate of patient and partner satisfaction. Dr. Sobel has performed hundreds of implant operations and only uses the best technology in the industry. To learn more about the implant options we provide, visit Coloplast, American Medical Systems or contact us.