For some men, not being able to keep an erection can be both frustrating and debilitating, especially when it comes to bedroom activities. That is probably why those little blue pills, otherwise known as Viagra, are flying off pharmacy shelves. These pills may not cure erectile dysfunction (ED), but they do serve as a miracle to some who suffer from one of nature’s most vexing problems.
ED occurs when a man has consistent and repeated problems sustaining an erection. Without treatment, ED can make sexual intercourse difficult. The problem is reported by 1 in 5 men and that number increases with age. Men with ED often have a healthy libido, yet the body fails to respond. In most cases, there is a physical basis for the problem.
Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction can be caused by the following:
- Stress, anxiety, or depression
- Alcohol and tobacco use
- Prescription medications, such as antidepressants, pain medicine and medicine for high blood pressure
- Brain or spinal-cord injuries
- Hypogonadism (which leads to lower testosterone levels)
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Radiation therapy to the testicles
- Some types of prostate or bladder surgery
How is Erectile Dysfunction Diagnosed?
ED is usually easy to diagnose. Even if you are tempted to self-diagnose, you should still schedule an appointment. We will want to make sure that your ED is not a sign of other health problems. We will probably start by asking you some questions and doing a physical exam.
We may test samples of your blood and urine for diseases or any other disorders. Other tests may also be necessary. We will determine which tests are right for you.
Erectile Dysfunction Treatment
The treatment for erectile dysfunction depends on what is causing it. After we check for medical problems and medicines that might cause ED, we will recommend a medicine that can help. Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra are medicines that one takes orally to help maintain an erection. However, not everyone can use these medicines.
We may talk to you about alprostadil if oral medicines are not an option for you. Alprostadil is a synthetic version of Prostaglandin E, which we can inject into the penis or insert as a tiny suppository into the urethra. We will help you decide which treatment is best for you.
Testosterone Replacement Agents
Sexual health is a vital part of every man’s life. Low testosterone can inhibit your physical activity, energy level, productivity at work and productivity with everyday activities. Testosterone replacement regimens restore testosterone levels to the normal range, which can correct symptoms of hypogonadism. In addition, testosterone can stimulate nitric oxide to enhance blood flow into the penis. We can administer testosterone orally, parenterally (injection), or transdermally (gel or patch).
Injectable testosterone is the preferred treatment for symptomatic clients because the injections are effective, inexpensive, and not associated with major side effects. Although convenient for the client, testosterone patches and gels are much more expensive than other forms and are more effective for clients who completely refuse injectable testosterone. Side effects from gels/patches include weight gain, high blood pressure and gynecomastia.
Talk to Us Today
An important step if you are experiencing signs of erectile dysfunction is to schedule an appointment. While it can be a bit embarrassing, just remember that it is a common dysfunction and there is treatment. You may learn your ED is a result of side effects of a specific medication. The reason for ED may not be physical but may be the result of stress, anxiety, or depression.
We can help you determine the cause and present solutions. We can also make sure the ED is not a sign of more serious conditions such as high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries, or diabetes. Call us today to schedule an appointment.
If you would like to learn more about erectile dysfunction and the various treatments we provide, call (310) 907-8465 to schedule a consultation.