Erectile Dysfunction

Frequently Asked Questions

Erectile dysfunction or impotence is the condition where a man cannot have an erection or cannot maintain it long enough for coitus. It can happen to everyone once in a while, but it can cause concern if it has been an ongoing issue. It affects the relationship and also dampens self-confidence. It can also point to an underlying health condition that needs attention.

A male arousal and erection is very complex and brings together the brain, emotions, hormone, muscles, blood vessels and nerves. An issue with any of these can cause a problem. Mental health issues and stress can also cause erectile dysfunction or can worsen it. Sometimes it is a combination of physical, mental and physiological problems that lead to this condition.

Physical causes

  • Clogged blood vessels
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Obesity
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Use of tobacco, alcohol or illicit drugs
  • Medications
  • Sleep disorders
  • Peyronie’s disease (scar tissue in the penis)
  • Cancer treatment
  • Treatment for enlarged prostate
  • Low testosterone
  • Surgeries in the pelvic area and/or the spinal cord
  • Trauma to the pelvic area and/or the spinal cord

Psychological factors

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Other mental health conditions
  • Stress
  • Issues in relationship
  • Trouble having an erection
  • Trouble maintaining an erection
  • Lack or decreased sexual desire
  • Medical conditions like diabetes and heart diseases
  • Use of alcohol, drugs and tobacco
  • Obesity
  • Medical procedures like radiation therapy for cancer or prostate surgery
  • Trauma
  • Certain medications
  • Psychological issues

In most people, a history and physical exam can help the fertility expert to diagnose erectile dysfunction. Further tests include

  • Blood tests to rule out heart diseases, diabetes or hormonal imbalances.
  • Urine tests to look for underlying conditions like diabetes.
  • Ultrasound to diagnose problems with blood flow.
  • Psychological exams to see if mental health issues is what is resulting in erectile dysfunction.
  • Treatment of underlying conditions
  • Oral medications like Viagra, Avanafil and Tadalafil help get and maintain erections. Alprostadil self-injection and urethral suppository can also be prescribed.
  • Testosterone replacement if the erectile dysfunction is due to hormonal imbalance.
  • Penis pumps, surgery and implants can be used to help attain an erection.
  • Regular exercise can also improve erectile dysfunction
  • If the condition has psychological roots, psychological counselling can help treat it.

Request Appointment