Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to achieve or sustain an erection satisfactory for intercourse. It is perhaps one of the most troubling medical conditions a man can face. Impotence can be devastating from an emotional standpoint, not only for the man affected, but also for his intimate partner. For many men, ED is a source of great anxiety and frustration.
OVME treats ED through a variety of methods including hormone replacement therapy and the prescription of ED medications such as Viagra and Cialis. For a complimentary consultation call 770.504.6000 today.
Although erectile dysfunction can actually cause or aggravate psychological problems, we now know that in about 75 percent of cases, erectile dysfunction results from a physical problem as opposed to a psychological one. While it is true that sexual interest occasionally wanes, a passing lack of desire is not to be confused with erectile dysfunction.
No. Impotence is not an indicator of male fertility or infertility and the two should not be confused. A man can achieve an erection, ejaculate, and still be infertile. Also, a man who has trouble achieving or sustaining an erection may still be able to father a child.
It is believed that more than 35 million men in the U.S. suffer from some degree of erectile dysfunction. This may be a conservative estimate when you consider that only a small percentage of men with this problem seek help. While erectile dysfunction is not a normal condition of aging, the condition tends to affect older men at higher rate than younger men. One third of men over the age 60 will experience erectile dysfunction at least some of the time. Severity of the condition in all men can be mild, moderate or severe.
Impotence results from a wide variety of factors. Some forms of the problem are temporary, such as erectile dysfunction resulting from stress, fatigue, depression or excessive use of drugs and alcohol. Other forms are more chronic and persistent in nature. Common causes include diabetes, male hormone deficiencies, side effects of certain prescription medicines, interference with blood flow to the penis (due to high cholesterol or high blood pressure), and prostrate surgery or surgery on other nearby organs in the pelvis which can affect sexual performance.
Drugs that can cause erectile dysfunction include certain medications for treatment of heart disease, high blood pressure, and depression as well as muscle relaxants. Alcohol, used to excess, can have an adverse effect on a man’s ability to have an erection, as can some (illicit) so-called ‘recreational’ drugs. Some legal over-the-counter drugs can also cause temporary erectile dysfunction.
Atherosclerosis (or hardening of the arteries) and/or high blood pressure are often to blame in many cases of erectile dysfunction. Hardening of the arteries happens as people age and certain forms of it can be hereditary. It is also often related to high blood pressure, unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, and lifestyle choices. Diets high in fatty foods, a sedentary lifestyle, and obesity can all contribute to this condition. Excessive cigarette smoking, especially over a long period of time, can cause arterial blockage and wreak havoc with the small blood vessels running through the penis. There also can be a “leakage” problem, in which the penis cannot trap the blood required to cause an erection. Impotence can be an early sign of underlying heart and/or blood vessel disease.
Diabetes, a disease affecting an estimated 13 to 14 million individuals in the U.S., is another major cause of erectile dysfunction. Diabetes – especially undiagnosed, untreated, or uncontrolled diabetes – can set the stage for erectile dysfunction by damaging small blood vessels and nerves essential to the physiological function of achieving an erection.
Rather than simply choosing a pill or penis injection for treatment, our philosophy is to attempt to define the cause of erectile dysfunction. Each patient’s need is unique and therapy is individualized based on cause, severity, partner, and budget.
Treatment will begin with a thorough medical history looking for any underlying conditions that might contribute or cause erectile dysfunction. The initial visit will include a focused physical examination, and when indicated, appropriate blood testing.
The first level of therapy involves optimizing general health, elimination (if possible) of offending medicines, and a proper trial of oral therapies such as Viagra, Levitra, or Cialis. The next step would include adding testosterone, if needed. Various combinations of these options may be used as well. Choosing a treatment for erectile dysfunction is often a decision that must take the patient’s needs, preferences, and sexual activity patterns into account.
Long gone are the days when a man had to suffer with an erectile dysfunction problem in silence, and cause his sexual partner to suffer. Sexual intimacy is one of the joys of living, and its absence can have a devastating effect on a man’s self-esteem. It doesn’t have to be this way. Remember: erectile dysfunction is not a personal failing; it is a medical condition that is highly treatable.