Erectile Dysfunction

If you have trouble getting or keeping an erection, you have lots of company. Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a problem getting an erection firm enough or keeping it long enough for intercourse. This problem can happen to any man at any age. Health problems can lead to ED become more common as a man ages. Up to half of men over age 40 experience ED at some point.

Causes of Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

  • Medical conditions such as diabetes or depression
  • Smoking tobacco or marijuana
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Side effects of medications
  • Injury to nerves or blood vessels
  • Emotional issues such as stress or relationship problems

ED Can Be Treated

Many prescription medications for ED are now available. They help many men who try them. Depending upon the cause of the ED, though, medications may not be enough. In these cases, other treatment options are available. These include erectile aids and surgery. Your healthcare provider can tell you more about the treatment that is right for you. And new treatments for ED are being studied. No matter what the treatment you decide on, stay in touch with your doctor. If your symptoms persist, he or she may be able to adjust your current treatment or try something new.

  1. Phospodiesterase Inhibitors
    • Medications like Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, Stendra©, etc.
    • Should not be taken if you are taking Nitrates for chest pain
    • Common side effects include headaches, nasal congestion, gastric reflux, flushing and temporary visual changes.
    • Priapism is an erection lasting more than 3 hours. Prompt treatment is needed and may necessitate a trip to the Emergency room should your urologist not be available.
  2. Vasoactive Injection
    • Composed of prostaglandin, papaverine, and phentolamine
    • Injected directly thru the cavernosa of the penis.
    • Common risk and side effects include priapism and in less common circumstances peyronies disease which is a curvature of the erect penis.
    • An erection lasting more than 3 hours is called priapism. Prompt treatment is needed and may necessitate a trip to the Emergency room should your urologist not be available.
  3. Inflatable Penile Prosthesis
    • Implanting a prosthetic device that mimics erection
    • This is the most invasive form of treatment and usually the last treatment option
    • Ask your urologist is this option is right for you.