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.
- Clogged blood vessels
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Metabolic syndrome
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Use of tobacco, alcohol or illicit drugs
- 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
- Other mental health conditions
- 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
- Medical procedures like radiation therapy for cancer or prostate surgery
- 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.