About Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is the most common sexual problem that men report to their doctor, being that it affects nearly 30 million men.
ED is defined as not being able to get or keep an erection that is firm enough for sexual intercourse. This can happen when:
- Blood flow to the penis is limited or nerves are damaged
- Stress / emotional reasons (depression, anxiety, stress)
- Signs of a more serious condition (blocked arteries, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes)
ED becomes more common as men age, however, aging is not always going to cause ED. In some cases, a man can function sexually into their 80's. If men are experiencing symptoms of erectile dysfunction at an early age, it may be a sign of a more serious health problem.
Risk Factors Associated with Erectile Dysfunction
- Alcohol consumption
- Certain medications
- Elevated cholesterol
- Neurological problems
- Psychological problems
- Vascular Disease
Evaluation of Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile Dysfunction evaluation would begin by obtaining a detailed sexual, medical, and surgical history. It is also important to inquire about the patient's current medications and any history of head, perineal, or pelvic trauma. Physical examination consists of a review of systems. Following a history and physical examination, blood tests are performed to assess the hormones. Frequently, the physician may be able to establish the causes of erectile dysfunction and treat the problem with oral medication. In rare cases, it is necessary to perform a test called the Duplex Doppler to check the blood circulation of the penis. Currently, many revolutionary oral medications like Viagra, marketed by the Pfizer company, are available and may correct the problem. Patients who do not respond to pharmacological manipulation may consider other options including penile injections and penile prosthesis for treatment of Erectile Dysfunction.