Erectile Dysfunction Treatment

Erectile dysfunction, also known as impotence, is the inability to achieve or sustain an erection for satisfactory sexual activity. Erectile dysfunction is very common and estimations currently state that around 30 million American men are thought to have suffered with erectile dysfunction at some point or another. The problem is uncommon amongst young men and becomes more common through middle age. By age 45, most men will have experienced erectile dysfunction at some point in their lives.

Risk Factors for Erectile Dysfunction

There are some risk factors for erectile dysfunction and if you suffer from any of these medical conditions or if you make any of these lifestyle choices, you are more at risk of erectile dysfunction than those individuals who do not.

  • Advanced age – over 45
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • Psychiatric problems or diseases such as bipolar disorder
  • High cholesterol
  • Smoking
  • Recreational or heavy drug use

Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

To achieve or sustain an erection, the individual needs to have a healthy nervous system, meaning that the correct messages can be sent to the correct nervous centers in the body, a healthy network of arteries, healthy muscles around the penis and adequate levels of nitric oxide within the penis. If one or more of these requirements is not met, erectile dysfunction can occur. Many of the medical conditions mentioned above could cause erectile dysfunction by affecting the blood vessels and arteries, the nervous centers within the body, the muscles in the pelvic area or the levels of nitric oxide within the penis.

Although medical conditions are often the cause of erectile dysfunction, anxiety can really contribute to the problem. If an individual has suffered with erectile dysfunction once, they are more likely to suffer with it again – not because of any underlying problem, but because their anxiety and their desire to perform prevents them from being able to sustain an erection. Erectile dysfunction can also be caused by stress and worry.

Erectile Dysfunction Treatments

There are a number of treatments for erectile dysfunction, so you mustn’t worry that you’ll never be able to have a satisfactory sexual experience again. The first step is to visit with your doctor as you can then work together to find a treatment that suits you. You’ll start by ruling out medications or medical conditions as being the cause of your erectile dysfunction, and your doctor may swap your medication around to make sure you’re not taking anything that could increase the likelihood of you having erectile dysfunction problems.

A few simple lifestyle changes could also help with your problems, such as quitting smoking, quitting drugs, exercising more and eating healthier foods.

A number of medications are available for men suffering with erectile dysfunction, such as Viagra, Levitra and Cialis. Viagra was originally created to help with heart problems, although it was found that it helped to achieve and sustain erections and so has been developed into an erectile dysfunction drug. It’s thought to be effective in up to 80% of men. Levitra was the second erectile dysfunction drug accepted onto the US market, followed by Cialis. Both drugs are more effective than placebos in treating erectile dysfunction.

Injections can be used in those who do not respond to drug treatment or lifestyle changes, whereby a drug is injected directly into the corpora cavernosa muscle to attain and sustain an erection. These injections can cause significant side effects, such as scarring and a higher risk of priapism, although their success rate stands at a good 80%. Suppositories can be inserted into the penis in order to sustain an erection, but these can be very painful.

In individuals who do not respond to other treatments, vacuum devices, penis prosthetics and surgery can be used in order to achieve an erection, although these are last resort techniques.