Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
Erectile dysfunction, or impotence, is the inability to maintain an erection firm enough to perform sexual intercourse. While erectile dysfunction can be experienced by men occasionally with no cause for concern, more frequent occurrences can cause problems with self-esteem and could also be a symptom of an underlying condition.
What are the symptoms of erectile dysfunction?
Symptoms of erectile dysfunction include decreased libido, or sexual desire, and problems with getting or maintaining an erection. You should seek out medical attention if you are experiencing erectile dysfunction and have heart disease, diabetes, or other health conditions that could be associated with erectile dysfunction. You should also see a doctor if you experience other problems in conjunction with erectile dysfunction, such as premature ejaculation, or if you begin to notice erectile dysfunction more often or become concerned.
What causes erectile dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction is normally caused by other, underlying conditions, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, sleep disorders, diabetes or other conditions. However, it can sometimes be caused by stress, anxiety or other mental health disorders. Weakened nerve signals from the brain to the penis may also be to blame.
How can a urologist help?
A urologist can check hormone levels, such as testosterone or prolactin, via blood tests. They may also utilize other lab tests to check for abnormalities that could tie in to erectile dysfunction. An ultrasound can gauge blood flow. Your urologist can prescribe certain medications to aid in erectile functionality. In patients who do not respond to oral medication, intracavernosal injection therapy (medications injected directly into the penis) vacuum devices or intra-urethral therapy, (medicated tablets inserted into the urethra of the penis) can be used to get and maintain an erection. In patients who do not respond to non-surgical treatments at all, surgery may be used to insert a flexible or inflatable apparatus into the penis to manually produce erections.