Erectile dysfunction (ED) occurs when a consistent inability to get or maintain an erection prevents you from having satisfying sex. A man with ED either loses his erection before intercourse, gets only a partial erection, or gets no erection at all. ED is sometimes called impotence, but the preferred term is ED.
Various diseases, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), can affect the flow of blood to the penis, while diseases affecting the nervous system can interfere with the body's ability to process sexual stimulation signals.
In 2003, about 225,000 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer in the United States. Of these men, 45% received treatment by surgical removal of the prostate gland (radical prostatectomy.) The majority of those men who have had this surgery will experience temporary or permanent ED.
Radiation therapy is a well-known cause of ED. Radiation therapy uses high levels of radiation to damage cancer cells' DNA in an effort to destroy them or keep them from growing and dividing, while minimizing damage to the surrounding healthy cells.
The diagnosis of ED is easy. Determining why ED is occurring, on the other hand, can be more difficult. Identifying the cause of ED usually begins with a structured interview, followed by a physical examination, and possibly laboratory testing.
Questions Used in Diagnosing ED - Erectile Dysfunction
What questions do doctors ask when discussing ED with patients? Questions relating to the specific erectile complaint, to medical factors that could be contributing to ED, to psychosocial factors, and prior treatment.
Vacuum erection devices (VED), also called vacuum constriction devices (VCD), are commonly used, have been FDA approved and have been utilized for nearly a century in the treatment of Erectile Dysfunction (ED).
Vascular surgery attempts to restore penile blood flow that has been reduced by correcting a blockage or leakage in blood flow to the penis in order to improve a man's ability to get and maintain a natural erection.
Conditions of Erectile Dysfunction vary over a wide variety of health complications. Principally, ED occurs frequently in those that suffer from obesity; diabetes; heart attacks; radical prostatectomy. Of course ED is not limited to these health conditions and can result from a variety of medical and non-medical related concerns.
Erectile dysfunction has many causes, both physical and psychological. Initial management for ED depends on the possible cause of the disorder in each individual patient. Treatment options for ED have significantly improved over the past few years and new research and medications continue to increase treatment choices. Treatments offered depend on the expertise of the physician you see.
Common causes of ED include physiological disorders like diabetes or a stroke, or psychological issues like relationship problems, performance anxiety, stress (job, family, financial), depression or other mental illnesses.
Penile prostheses, or penile implants, are an important treatment option for men with ED who have an established medical cause for ED, fail to respond to nonsurgical treatments (such as oral medications, vacuum devices, injection therapy etc.) and who are motivated to have surgery to improve erectile function.
Many men find it awkward to talk about their erectile dysfunction for the first time. It can therefore be helpful to write down a few questions to ask your health care provider. We've provided a few common questions about ED to give you a head start.
The diagnosis of ED is fairly easy. Determining why ED is occurring, on the other hand, can be more difficult. To accurately identify why a patient is suffering from ED, a medical professional will usually conduct a comprehensive patient interview, followed by a physical examination, and possibly laboratory testing.