Erectile dysfunction is a persistent but treatable inability to get and keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse.
Having erection trouble from time to time isn’t necessarily a cause for concern. If erectile dysfunction is an ongoing issue, however, it can cause stress, affect your self-confidence and contribute to relationship problems. Problems getting or keeping an erection can also be a sign of an underlying health condition that needs treatment and a risk factor for heart disease.
If you’re concerned about erectile dysfunction, talk to a doctor — even if you’re embarrassed. Sometimes, treating an underlying condition is enough to reverse erectile dysfunction. In other cases, medications or other direct treatments might be needed.
Erectile dysfunction symptoms might include persistent:
When to see a doctor
Our center is a good place to start when you have erectile problems. See a doctor if:
- you have concerns about your erections or you’re experiencing other sexual problems such as premature or delayed ejaculation;
- you have diabetes, heart disease, or another known health condition that might be linked to erectile dysfunction;
- you have other symptoms along with erectile dysfunction.
For many people, a physical exam and answering questions (medical history) are all that’s needed for a doctor to diagnose erectile dysfunction and recommend a treatment. If you have chronic health conditions or a doctor suspects that an underlying condition might be involved, you might need further tests or a consultation with a specialist.
Tests for underlying conditions might include:
- Physical exam. This might include careful examination of your penis and testicles and checking your nerves for sensation.
- Blood tests. A sample of your blood might be sent to a lab to check for signs of heart disease, diabetes, low testosterone levels, and other health conditions.
- Urine tests (urinalysis). Like blood tests, urine tests are used to look for signs of diabetes and other underlying health conditions.
- Ultrasound. This test is usually performed by a specialist in an office. It involves using a wand-like device (transducer) held over the blood vessels that supply the penis. It creates a video image to let a doctor see if you have blood flow problems. This test is sometimes done in combination with an injection of medications into the penis to stimulate blood flow and produce an erection.
- Psychological exam. A doctor might ask questions to screen for depression and other possible psychological causes of erectile dysfunction.
The first thing a doctor will do is to make sure you’re getting the right treatment for any health conditions that could be causing or worsening your erectile dysfunction.
Depending on the cause and severity of your erectile dysfunction and any underlying health conditions, you might have various treatment options. A doctor can explain the risks and benefits of each treatment and will consider your preferences. Your partner’s preferences also might play a role in your treatment choices.
Oral medications are a successful erectile dysfunction treatment for many men. They include:
- Sildenafil (Viagra);
- Tadalafil (Adcirca, Cialis);
- Vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn);
- Avanafil (Stendra).
All four medications enhance the effects of nitric oxide — a natural chemical your body produces that relaxes muscles in the penis. This increases blood flow and allows you to get an erection in response to sexual stimulation.
Taking one of these tablets will not automatically produce an erection. Sexual stimulation is needed first to cause the release of nitric oxide from your penile nerves. These medications amplify that signal, allowing normal penile function in some people. Oral erectile dysfunction medications are not aphrodisiacs, will not cause excitement, and are not needed in people who get normal erections.
The medications vary in dosage, how long they work, and side effects. Possible side effects include flushing, nasal congestion, headache, visual changes, backache, and stomach upset.
A doctor will consider your particular situation to determine which medication might work best. These medications might not treat your erectile dysfunction immediately. You might need to work with a doctor to find the right medication and dosage for you.
Before taking any medication for erectile dysfunction, including over-the-counter supplements and herbal remedies, get a doctor’s OK. Medications for erectile dysfunction do not work in everyone and might be less effective in certain conditions, such as after prostate surgery or if you have diabetes.
We also offer additional ED treatment methods you will be prescribed based on your certain diagnostic results. Some of the methods we offer are as follows:
- Trimix injections – these include papaverine, prostaglandin, and phentolamine mixed together in a single penile shot.
- HRT for ED – this supposes using testosterone injections for men with officially diagnosed hypogonadism (low T).
- Shockwave therapy – LI-ESWT for ED works by applying low-intensity shock waves to the penis.
If you need any additional free consultation, please be sure to get in touch with us here.