Erectile dysfunction is a condition that is a result of decreased blood flow to the penis. This decreased blood flow can be caused by the narrowing down of the blood vessels, obstructing the blood flow needed to maintain an erection. Erectile dysfunction can be either having trouble to get an erection or having trouble maintaining an erection.
Common causes of erectile dysfunction
- High blood pressure
- Kidney disease
- Prostate cancer
- Injury to the penis
- Stress, depressions, and anxiety among other psychological factors
- Emotional issues and low self-esteem
- Side effects of certain medications
One major indicator of erectile dysfunction is the inability to maintain an erection during intercourse. Erectile dysfunction can also lead to major health complications further down the line as the penile artery grows narrower.
The diagnosis of erectile dysfunction is essential to determine viable treatment alternatives. Common procedures for diagnosis include
- The urologist examines your medical records and tries to understand your sexual history before conducting tests. This will help narrow down the causes of erectile dysfunction
- A physical examination is conducted to check and see if the penis looks normal. There are certain visual indicators that can help your doctor identify whether a hormonal imbalance is a cause of erectile dysfunction
- Blood and urine tests are conducted to check if causes include diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, and low testosterone levels. Thyroid problems can also lead to a hormonal imbalance leading to erectile dysfunction
- An overnight erection test is done to check and see if you are having regular erections during the night, with the threshold ranging from three to five erections each night. Anything less than the range can indicate developing sexual disorders
- An injection test, doppler ultrasound and a general screening for mental health problems will help identify treatment alternatives
Treatment options for erectile dysfunction
The most common treatment for treating mild cases of erectile dysfunction. Medications that are loaded with phosphodiesterase inhibitors work in half the cases of men suffering from erectile dysfunction.
There are several medical devices that prove to be effective in the long run, including penile self-injection therapy, external vacuum pumps, and medicated urethral systems. Penile self-injection therapy has been approved by the FDA; this therapy helps treat a broad range of conditions for men, including erectile dysfunction. The injection helps dilate the arteries and restores normal blood flow, resulting in a natural erection. External vacuum pumps, on the other hand, are simple to use, making it one of the least invasive methods of achieving an erection. Urethral medication has a more targeted approach that is effective for treating radical prostatectomy erectile dysfunction. Also, one of the biggest advantages of urethral medication is insurance coverage, making it a popular alternative.
This is a surgical procedure that involves the use of an internal penile pump, which is an inflatable water-pumped device. This surgical procedure is done once and can be used for a lifetime without the need for any maintenance. The pump is quite easy to use after the operation which is a simple 45-minute procedure.