Many men are embarrassed when it comes to experiencing erectile dysfunction (the inability to obtain or keep an erection), but it is actually more common than you might think. Erectile dysfunction is a disorder that affects almost 50% of men between the ages of 40 to 70. Once you finally speak with your doctor, you will find it is much more common than it first seems, and more importantly, there are many different treatment options available.
What Treatment Options Are There?
Treatment for erectile dysfunction can range from medications to lifestyle changes, to surgery. The more honest and open you are with your doctor, the more likely your doctor will be to properly diagnose your ED and get you started with the most appropriate treatment.
Certain medications may be used to enhance the natural chemicals in your body, in order to relax the muscles in your penis and increase blood flow, thereby enabling an erection. There are also medications that you can inject directly into the penis to produce an erection immediately. These injections use a very fine needle causing little to no pain. Penile suppositories are yet another option. Using a special applicator, a suppository is inserted into the urethra (the tube from which you urinate), causing an erection within 10 minutes.
Some ED is complicated by low testosterone levels. Hormone replacement therapy may also help correct low levels. Delivery methods include gels, patches, injections and oral medications. Sometimes medications are not enough, or there may be a reason, such as heart issues, that stop testosterone medications from being a good treatment option.
In such cases, a surgically implanted device, such as a penis pump may be considered. A penis pump is a hallowed tube placed over your penis. It uses a vacuum to pull blood into your penis. When an erection is accomplished, a tension ring can be placed around the base of your penis to hold the blood in and keep it firm.
Penile implants may also be considered. Penile implants are semi rigid or inflatable rods placed in both sides of the penis. These rods allow you to control when and how often you have an erection. All treatment options ultimately depend on the cause of ED, and the guidance of a qualified men’s health physician.
Common Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
The most common underlying causes of ED include: Heart disease, medications, neurological (nerve) disorders, diseases of the endocrine system, and lifestyle factors. Alcohol, nicotine, cocaine, marijuana, and heroin, for instance, can also cause erectile dysfunction. Some common medications that may contribute to ED include: antidepressants, antihistamines, diuretics, blood pressure medications, chemotherapy, hormone replacements, psychiatric medications, and Parkinson’s disease medications. However, you should never stop taking a medication without your doctor’s approval, as this could be extremely dangerous.
If you have questions or concerns about erectile dysfunction, call Dr. Ishan Gunawardene at Advanced Medical in Wellington or Royal Palm Beach. He will take the time to properly diagnose and treat you, and answer any questions you may have. Call today at (561) 434-1935 or request an appointment online.