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Erectile dysfunction (ED) is when a man cannot get or keep an erection. ED can be a problem with blood flow to the penis, and it's one of the most common sexual problems for men.
It affects up to 30% of men at some point in their lives, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). It often happens right before or during sex, but not always.
The main cause of erectile dysfunction is atherosclerosis--when arteries become narrowed because they've been damaged by high cholesterol levels and other factors such as smoking or diabetes mellitus (diabetes). Other causes include:
There are many causes of erectile dysfunction, including:
Stress and anxiety.
Depression or low self-esteem.
Physical illnesses, such as diabetes and high blood pressure (hypertension). Certain medications can also cause ED by reducing blood flow to the penis or interfering with nerve signals from the brain that tell you when to get aroused or ejaculate during sex.
Men who are over 40 years old
Men with diabetes or high blood pressure
Men who have had a heart attack, stroke, or heart surgery in the past 6 months (or have other heart problems)
Erectile dysfunction is a common condition that can affect men of all ages. It's not a normal part of aging and it's not necessarily linked to other health issues, but there are some risk factors that you should be aware of.
Symptoms may include:
Difficulty getting or keeping an erection
Difficulty having an orgasm (orgasmic disorder)
Loss of sexual interest (sexual apathy)
Medications: The most common medication used to treat erectile dysfunction is sildenafil (Viagra). Other types of drugs can also be prescribed by your doctor, including tadalafil (Cialis), vardenafil (Levitra) and avanafil (Stendra). These drugs work by increasing blood flow to the penis during sexual stimulation. They don't affect your ability to get an erection or ejaculate if you're not sexually aroused; they just help sustain an erection after arousal has occurred.
Devices: Inflatable penile prostheses are devices that can be inserted into the penis to help create an erection when desired. These include semi-rigid rods that provide support for an existing erection as well as inflatable cylinders that allow men who have lost their natural ability to get erections due to nerve damage or diabetes mellitus type 2 (DM2) disease process issues caused by DM2 complications such as neuropathy or retinopathy among others
While erectile dysfunction can be a difficult disorder to live with, it is not the end of the world. There are many effective treatments for erectile dysfunction, and you do not have to suffer in silence.
Talking about your concerns with your doctor is one way to get help for your condition. Your doctor can tell you about treatment options or refer you to another specialist who can provide more specialized care. You should also talk with other men who have experienced ED so that they can share their experiences and provide support when needed (see Resources).
It's important not only that men know about these treatments but also that they seek them early enough so as not to let their problem become worse over time--and so they don't feel alone in their struggle against this common condition!
Men with ED need not suffer in silence. There are many ways to treat the condition, and most men who seek treatment find that it improves their quality of life significantly.
At NYUrology, We are committed to providing personalized and compassionate care for all our patients. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.