Erectile dysfunction (ED) can be caused by a variety of factors. It could be something as simple as a medication’s side effect. However, the cause is more complicated for about 75% of men. ED can be caused by vascular disease, neurological disease, diabetes, or treatments or surgeries for the prostate. 

Whether you have an ED now or want to avoid it in the future, the information gathered below may be useful.

What is Erectile Dysfunction?

The inability to obtain and maintain a firm enough erection for sex is referred to as erectile dysfunction (impotence). 

Having erection issues now and then isn’t necessarily a cause for alarm. However, if erectile dysfunction is a long-term problem, it can cause stress, lower self-esteem, and lead to relationship issues. Having trouble getting or keeping an erection can be a sign of a more serious underlying health problem and a risk factor for heart disease. 

If you’re worried about erectile dysfunction, talk to your doctor, even if you’re embarrassed. Treatment of the underlying condition can sometimes reverse erectile dysfunction. In some cases, medications or other forms of direct treatment are required.

Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction

It’s difficult to get or keep a strong enough erection when you have Erectile Dysfunction (ED). If ED becomes a regular and bothersome problem, your primary care provider or a urologist can help. 

The presence of ED in a man could be a major warning sign of cardiovascular disease, indicating that blockages are forming in his vascular system. According to some studies, men with ED are more likely to have a heart attack, stroke, or circulatory problems in their legs. ED can also lead to: 

  • Low self-confidence 
  • Depression 
  • Poor Relationships 

It is important to treat ED if it is affecting a man’s well-being or relationships. The goal of treatment is to improve or restore erectile function, improve circulatory health, and improve a man’s quality of life.

When you have erectile dysfunction, a visit to your family doctor is a good place to start. Consult your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms: 

  • You’re having problems with your erections
  • You’re having other sexual issues like premature or delayed ejaculation. 
  • You have diabetes, heart disease, or another health problem that could be linked to erectile dysfunction. 

Erectile Dysfunction Diagnosis

Erectile Dysfunction Diagnosis

For many people, a doctor can diagnose erectile dysfunction and recommend treatment based on a physical exam and answers to questions (medical history). If you have a chronic health condition or your doctor suspects an underlying condition is at play, you may need additional tests or a specialist consultation. 

To look for underlying conditions, your doctor may request you to do the following tests:

  • Body Examination. This could include a thorough examination of your penis and testicles, as well as a sensation test.
  • Blood Test. A blood sample may be sent to a lab to check for signs of heart disease, diabetes, low testosterone levels, and other health issues. 
  • Urinalysis. Urine tests, like blood tests, are used to look for signs of diabetes and other underlying illnesses. 
  • Ultrasound. This test is usually done in a doctor’s office by a specialist. It entails holding a wand-like device (transducer) over the blood vessels supplying the penis. It generates a video image that your doctor can use to determine if you have blood flow issues. This test is sometimes combined with a medication injection into the penis to increase blood flow and induce an erection. This test is sometimes combined with a medication injection into the penis to increase blood flow and induce an erection. 
  • Mental Health Examination. Your doctor may ask you questions to see if you’re depressed or if there are any other psychological causes for erectile dysfunction.

See also Erectile Dysfunction: Causes, Risk Factors, and Treatment Options

Erectile Dysfunction Treatment

If you have erectile dysfunction, your doctor will first check to see if there are any underlying health issues that are contributing to or exacerbating the problem.

Depending on the reason for your erectile dysfunction and any underlying health concerns, you may have a variety of therapy choices. Your doctor will go over the pros and cons of each treatment option with you, and he or she will take your preferences into consideration. Your partner’s preferences in terms of treatment may also influence your choices. What is the latest treatment for erectile dysfunction? Find out below.

Medications

For many men, oral medications are a good way to treat erectile dysfunction. The most common are:

All four medications boost the effects of nitric oxide, a natural chemical produced by your body that relaxes penis muscles. This allows you to get an erection in response to sexual stimulation by increasing blood flow. 

If you take one of these pills, it doesn’t mean that you will get an erection. To make your penile nerves release nitric oxide, you first need to be sexually stimulated. These drugs amplify that signal, allowing some people to have normal penile function. Men with normal erections do not require oral erectile dysfunction medications, which are not aphrodisiacs or stimulants. 

All of the medications have varying dosing, duration of effect, and side effects. Flushing, nasal congestion, headaches, changes in vision, backaches, and nausea are all possible side effects of taking this medication.

Your doctor will conduct a thorough assessment of your situation to determine which medication is best for you. It’s possible that these drugs won’t be able to cure your ED right away. You may need to consult with your doctor in order to determine the best medication and dosage for your specific situation.

Talk to your doctor before taking any medication for erectile dysfunction, including over the counter herbal supplements and dietary supplements. In some cases, such as after prostate surgery or if you have diabetes, erectile dysfunction medications may be less effective, and this is something to keep in mind.

Other Erectile Dysfunction Treatments

Other Erectile Dysfunction Treatments

When medication isn’t working or isn’t the best option for you, your doctor may suggest another course of action. Other erectile dysfunction treatment options include: 

A Penis Pump  

A penis pump is a hollow tube that is attached to a pump that is either hand- or battery-powered. Using a pump, the air is sucked out of the tube by placing it over your penis and then sucking it out. As a result of the vacuum created, blood is drawn into your penis. To keep your erection in place, you slip a tension ring around the base of your penis. 

A man’s erection usually lasts long enough for sex to take place between two people. After a sexual encounter, the tension ring is removed. 

There are many different types of penis pumps available, and your doctor may recommend or prescribe one in particular. Make sure it meets your needs and is made by a reputable company before purchasing it.

Penile Injections

Penile injections use a medicine that improves penile blood flow much better than the oral alternatives, despite being a frightening concept. A very small needle is used to inject the medicine into the base of the penis. Of course, this is a self-injection, but we teach patients proper technique and administer the first injection in the clinic. 

The following are some of the treatment’s side effects: 

  • Discomfort or bleeding. 
  • An erection that lasts longer than you want it to. 
  • Scarring of the tissue in and around the penis.

Penile Implants

In this treatment, devices are surgically implanted into both sides of the penis. These implants are made of inflatable or malleable (bendable) rods. With inflatable devices, you can control when and how long you have an erection. Because of the malleable rods, your penis will be firm but bendable.

Penile implants are rarely recommended before other options have been exhausted. Those who have tried and failed more conservative therapies report a high level of satisfaction with implants. Complications, such as infection, are a possibility with any surgery. If you have a urinary tract infection, penile implant surgery is not recommended.

Takeaway

ED is a common condition that can have a negative impact on men’s self-esteem, relationships, and overall quality of life. The best treatment for your ED is determined by the cause. Natural remedies, on the other hand, may help you improve your ED and overall health. 

It’s best to discuss your ED with your doctor to determine which treatments are most likely to be effective. It may also be advantageous to approach your situation with your partner. 

Keep in mind that treatment, especially lifestyle changes such as losing weight or increasing exercise, can take time. Consult your doctor to determine the best treatment or combination of treatments for you.

See also Erectile Dysfunction: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment Options

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