You have questions? We have answers
What causes Erectile Dysfunction?
ED can be caused by a number of factors, including:
- Vascular disease: Blood supply to the penis can become blocked or narrowed as a result of vascular disease such as atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
- Neurological disorders (such as multiple sclerosis): Nerves that send impulses to the penis can become damaged from stroke, diabetes, or other causes.
- Psychological states: These include stress, depression, lack of stimulus from the brain and performance anxiety.
- Trauma: An injury could contribute to symptoms of ED.
Chronic illness, certain medications, and a condition called Peyronie’s disease can also cause ED. Operations for the prostate, bladder, and colon cancer may also be contributing factors.
How common is Erectile Dysfunction?
Approximately one in 10 adult males will suffer from ED on a long-term basis. 50% of men over the age of 40 will suffer from ED in their lifetime.
Many men do experience occasional failure to achieve erection, which can occur for a variety of reasons, such as drinking too much alcohol, stress, relationship problems, or from being extremely tired.
The failure to get an erection less than 20% of the time is not unusual and typically does not require treatment. However, the failure to achieve an erection more than 50% of the time generally means that there is a problem and treatment is needed.
ED does not have to be a part of getting older. While it is true that some older men may need more stimulation, they should still be able to achieve an erection and enjoy intercourse.
How is Erectile Dysfunction diagnosed?
Because there are a variety of causes for ED, there are several different tests your doctor may use to diagnose the condition and determine its cause. Only after the cause of ED is determined can it be effectively treated.
Before ordering any tests, your doctor will review your medical history and perform a thorough physical examination. The doctor will also “interview” you about your personal and sexual history. Some of these questions will be very personal and may feel intrusive. However, it is important that you answer these questions honestly. The questions asked may include:
- What medications or drugs are you currently using? This includes prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, herbals, dietary supplements and illegal drugs.
- Have you had any psychological problems such as stress, anxiety and depression?
- When did you first notice symptoms of ED?
- What are the frequency, quality and duration of any erections you have had?
- What are the specifics of the circumstances under which ED first occurred?
- Do/did you experience erections at night or during the morning?
- What sexual techniques do you use?
- Are there problems in your current relationship?
After your physical examination and discussion, our doctor will make the best recommendation based on your answers and physical exam.
Who can benefit from Shockwave Therapy for ED?
Anyone with mild to severe ED can benefit from shockwave therapy. This includes the nearly 50% of men that struggle with getting or maintaining an erection.
It may be a good option for men who…
- Desire a treatment to reverse the underlying cause of ED
- Are looking for a better response to the oral medicines used to treat ED
- Want a non-invasive treatment for their ED before moving on to other options
The typical treatment course is 6 treatments over 6 weeks, and 88% of patients will report an improvement in their erections 30 days after they have completed the full treatment cycle.
Are your doctors specialists?
Our medical team of general practitioners have extensive knowledge and specialized training in the area of erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation and all other male sexual difficulties. They focus exclusively on diagnosing, treating and managing sexual related difficulties in men. Their experience is significant and comprehensive. They have an extensive understanding of your anxieties and underlying medical conditions. This specific knowledge allows for effective solutions to each individual condition, diagnosis and solution.
How does diabetes affect Erectile Dysfunction?
Diabetes also can affect the blood vessels, leading to ED. In addition, a condition called diabetic neuropathy which involves damage to the nerves and may cause orgasm without ejaculation.
In men, diabetes can lead to a hardening and narrowing of the blood vessels that supply the erectile tissue of the penis. This can cause problems in getting an erection, and the penis may be less firm while erect.
In women, diabetes can lead to hardening of the blood vessels of the vaginal wall. Decreased blood flow can affect vaginal lubrication, causing the vagina to be too dry for comfortable intercourse. This condition also seems to put women at greater risk for recurring yeast infections.
For people with diabetes, the first step in treating sexual dysfunction is to control their blood glucose levels. When the diabetes is well-controlled, there is a decreased risk for many complications, including sex-related problems.
What is the link between heart disease and Erectile Dysfunction?
There is a very strong link between erectile dysfunction and heart disease. Several studies have shown that if a man has ED, he has a greater risk of having heart disease. For instance, in one study, 57% of men who had bypass surgery and 64% of men hospitalized for a heart attack had, at least at one point, had ED.
Having ED can predict that a man will probably have heart disease symptoms within five years. In fact, having ED is as much a risk factor for heart disease as a history of smoking or a family history of coronary artery disease.
Can anything be done for Erectile Dysfunction caused by prostate cancer treatment?
Yes, there are things you can try if you have erectile dysfunction after your prostate cancer treatment. You should keep in mind that the following things will affect your ability to have an erection after your prostate cancer treatment:
- How good your erections were before your treatment
- Other medical conditions you have like high blood pressure or diabetes
- Some types of medicines you may take such as medicines for high blood pressure or antidepressants
- Things you do in your life (lifestyle) such as drinking or smoking
- Your age
- The type of prostate cancer treatment you had
It is important that you and your partner speak with your doctor or healthcare team about what you can do. Your doctor or healthcare team will speak with you about what might work best for you if you have erectile dysfunction. It is important that you speak with them since some treatments for erectile dysfunction can affect other medical problems you may have.