What Causes Erectile Dysfunction and What Can You Do About It?

(Never stop or change prescription drugs without first talking to your health care provider.)

Your surgeon may suggest a lubricant for your partner. 25–26 Vascular reconstructive surgeries are beneficial in certain groups. These include drugs for high blood pressure, depression, heart disease and prostate cancer. If a penile prosthesis is removed, other non-surgical treatments may no longer work.

As many as two and a half million men around the UK may have some sort of sexual dysfunction at any one time. One way of telling if the problem is psychological is if a morning erection occurs; if so, the erection mechanisms are physiologically normal. (Levitra) are medicines that are taken by mouth that help maintain an erection. Please click here to submit an online appointment request form. Nervous system problems - There is a crucial communication between your brain (desire and/or stimulation) via the spinal cord to the genitals. When pharmacological methods fail, a purpose-designed external vacuum pump can be used to attain erection, with a separate compression ring fitted to the base of the penis to maintain it.

Given that an erection depends on adequate blood flow to the penis, it's easy to see how any condition or medical problem affecting the heart and other structures in the cardiovascular system might have an impact on erectile function. Subscribe, post-50 erection changes slow men's arousal so their erotic pace more closely matches that of a woman. You take a dose before you plan to have sex. Alprostadil is injected into the side of penis with a very fine needle.

Recovery time varies, but success rates are high. The contrast agent provides for enhanced information regarding blood supply and vascular anomalies. Your brain sends a signal through your nerves and hormones, to your blood vessels and muscles before an erection can even happen. But those are just two common causes of erectile dysfunction. When erect, a rubber band is placed at the base of the penis to maintain the erection. Urinary and kidney problems: And be aware that the vast majority of physical or psychological causes of erectile dysfunction are temporary.

It is possible for a man's stress and anxiety to interfere with nerve impulses from his brain when he attempts sexual intercourse. Injury to the nerves going to the penis. What are the risk factors for erectile dysfunction? This is a problem that often, if left untreated, can affect relationships with partners, family and work and the social environment. Your doctor may talk to you about alprostadil if oral medicines aren’t an option for you. In fact, experts find that cardiovascular disease is an important cause of erectile dysfunction.

Blood supply to the penis can become blocked or narrowed as a result of vascular disease such as atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).

The Human Sexual Response

His radio programs recommended expensive goat gland implants and "mercurochrome" injections as the path to restored male virility, including operations by surgeon Serge Voronoff. You should not take more than 1 dose in 24 hours. Other chronic disease states associated with a high prevalence of erectile dysfunction include chronic kidney failure, liver failure, sleep apnea, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Over time, diabetes damages the nerves and blood vessels that power erections. Also known as ED or impotence, erectile dysfunction occurs when a man is unable to get or keep an erection firm enough to engage in sexual intercourse. ED can be treated at any age. Other potential factors in hypertension that may play a role in ED: Surgeries such as a radical prostatectomy (removal of the prostate) has the potential to injure nerves and arteries near the penis, resulting in erectile dysfunction.

 These include: How long the erection lasts will depend on the dose. See additional information. NO may act within the cell or diffuse and interact with nearby target cells. Coronary artery disease also can affect sexual function on its own, but erectile dysfunction is nine times as likely in men who suffer from both coronary artery disease (CAD) and diabetes than men who have diabetes without the addition of CAD. Its biologic half-life is only 5 seconds.

After taking tadalafil, the effects will last for up to 36 hours. Have you considered your other medication? A prior history of pelvic surgery or radiation and trauma to the penis/pelvis/perineum can cause problems with the nerves and blood vessels.

Similarly, in men with a history of arterial trauma, surgical intervention can restore erectile dysfunction.

The Mechanics Behind Erectile Dysfunction

And not all older people have ED — many older people can still get hard, though some may have different needs for getting and staying hard than younger people. ICI Alprostadil may be used as a mixture with two other drugs to treat ED. Although 70% of men over the age of 70 are still sexually active, erectile dysfunction does get more likely as you get older. Organic nitrates are often used to treat angina, and butyl nitrate is a recreational drug that is more commonly known as 'poppers'.

Erectile Dysfunction Overview

Although placement of a penile implant is a surgery which carries risks, they have the highest rates of success and satisfaction among ED treatment options. However, as stated before, they often coexist. Cue the voiceover about erectile dysfunction. What condition is this common while remaining underdiagnosed and, in many cases, untreated? If you and your partner have been at odds lately—whether you’ve been spending less time together or having heated arguments—it’s natural that overall tension can spill over into bed, potentially affecting your ability to have an erection. Blood loss is typically small. Psychological reasons for erectile dysfunction may include:

Mild and moderate erectile dysfunction affects approximately 10 percent of men per decade of life (i. )It is important to distinguish orgasm from ejaculation, as men will continue to have the pleasure sensation of orgasm without ejaculation. The following is a list of some medicines and drugs that may cause erectile dysfunction (ED) in men. Other types of male sexual dysfunction can include problems with libido (sexual interest), orgasm, or ejaculation. Many men like to talk about sex, but like women, they may find it harder to talk about sex when it is not going well.

The cut is either above the penis where it joins the belly, or under the penis where it joins the scrotum. Whatever the case, the key is not to get all twisted up about it. An estimated 10.


Side effects of vacuum pumps include pain or bruising, although these occur in less than a third of men. A pump then sucks out the air from the container to create a vacuum. But one or more of these issues may also likely be at play: Read more about diabetes and sexual and urologic problems. Talk to your health care provider if you're experiencing impotence and share your concerns about any underlying causes. As with all types of surgery, having penile implants inserted carries a risk of infection. The same problem in the brain may cause a stroke, but in the penis, it causes erection problems.

  • There may be contributing effects, as well, from years of smoking or alcohol abuse.
  • Prostate disease and ED Prostate cancer does not cause ED.
  • The short answer is “no.
  • As long as you have normal skin sensation, you should be able to have an orgasm with the right sexual stimulation.
  • Remember, your healthcare provider’s job is to help you find a successful treatment plan for your condition and to listen to your concerns.
  • This is due to narrowing of the vessels – the pipes can’t fill properly with blood and so erections are less than impressive.
  • Aerobic exercise Moderate to vigorous exercise is not only good for your overall health, but also can increase blood flow, possibly helping with ED.


Keeping your body healthy can help prevent erectile dysfunction: Erectile dysfunction is a common, treatable medical problem that affects millions of men in the United States. What's more, the trauma of going through major surgery can cause stress that directly interferes with sexual function. Erectile dysfunction, also known as male sexual impotence, is a constant inability to achieve or maintain an erection that allows satisfying sexual relations. With lifelong premature ejaculation, the patient has experienced premature ejaculation since first beginning coitus. The good news is that ED can usually be treated safely and effectively. The ability to achieve and maintain a full erection depends not only on the penile portion of the process but also on the status of the peripheral nerves, the integrity of the vascular supply, and biochemical events within the corpora.

Fast Facts On Erectile Dysfunction:

These silicone rods give the man's penis the firmness needed for sexual penetration. The FDA recommends that men follow general precautions before taking a medication for ED. Finding the right treatment for you may take several tries. The medical term is erectile dysfunction (ED). According to the International Society for Sexual Medicine, nearly 70 percent of men with sleep apnea also have ED.

And although it is not an easy thing to talk about, there are trained professionals who can give you good advice about what may be the cause of your current predicament. A doctor will most likely talk to you about maintaining good general health. Most often, the side effects of PDE5 inhibitors are mild and often last just a short time. Performance anxiety can also cause impotence. Additionally, as men age, they may need more stimulation to get an erection and more time between erections. Without it, nothing happens. It's usually nothing to worry about, but you should see a GP if it keeps happening.

Many medications, including certain blood pressure pills, cold medications, hormones, antidepressants, tranquilizers, alcohol, tobacco, heroin, and cocaine, are associated with erectile dysfunction. Corpus cavernosometry Cavernosography measurement of the vascular pressure in the corpus cavernosum. Understanding the signs and causes of ED is the first step toward achievinga better sex life. A significant proportion of men who have no sexual dysfunction nonetheless do not have regular nocturnal erections. Apathy, frustration, low levels of self-esteem—these can all inhibit sexual expression. You should be able to notice an improvement after 6 weeks.

What Is The Prognosis For Erectile Dysfunction?

Repeat this exercise 10 to 20 times in a row, three times a day. A pump at the other end of the tube makes a low-pressure vacuum around the erectile tissue, which results in an erection. The choice may depend on: Because of changes in regulations, you no longer need a prescription to get sildenafil. If you prefer to listen to this article, click on the SoundCloud player below. ED can be caused by one of several medical conditions that reduce blood flow and nerve functioning.

Illustration by Joshua Seong. Vacuum device. Over time, illegal and recreational drugs can cause serious damage to blood vessels, resulting in sometimes permanent erectile dysfunction. By strengthening and training these muscles, you may be able to reduce the symptoms of erectile dysfunction.

Hormone abnormalities can cause ED. Increased rates of ED and other types of sexual dysfunction have been seen in men with Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, stroke, and multiple sclerosis. It was estimated that, in 1995, over 152 million men worldwide experienced ED. Their absence may indicate a problem with nerve function or blood supply in the penis.


Some men are too embarrassed to tell their doctors about their symptoms. You should not use a vacuum pump if you have a bleeding disorder or if you are taking anticoagulant medicines, which reduce the ability of your blood to clot. Inflatable devices or malleable rods can be surgically implanted on either side of the penis to help achieve an erection. Doing the following can help: Serious medical conditions, such as heart disease, could be the origin of your erectile dysfunction.

It’s important to know the root cause of your erectile dysfunction to treat it in the most effective way possible.

Key Points About Erectile Dysfunction

Usually there is a physical basis for the problem. A man is considered to have erectile dysfunction if he regularly finds it difficult getting or keeping a firm enough erection to be able to have sex, or if it interferes with other sexual activity. Men should not take these medicines if they have a history of heart attack or stroke, or if they have a bleeding disorder or stomach ulcers.

Both ED and low testosterone (hypogonadism) increase with age. Some of the treatments that may be used include: The first group of men performed regular pelvic floor muscle exercises with a physiotherapist. Erections occur when there is an increase in blood flow to the penile arteries filling up the corpora cavernosa, which are the two blood chambers in the penis. PDE-5 inhibitors can cause some side effects, including:

In the evaluation of physical causes of ED, the health care provider is assessing for conditions that may affect the nerves, arteries, veins, and functional anatomy of the penis (for example, the tunica albuginea, the tissue surround the corpora). Treatment for ED is based on the cause of the problem. Denny's, a Bathmate product, Hydroxtreme7 is both a penis expander and a vacuum penis pump. The 1994 Massachusetts Male Aging Study, for example, found that the prevalence of impotence increases from 5 percent to 15 percent as age increases from 40 to 70 years. In others, the sacral reflex (the motor response that controls both the anal sphincter and muscles of the pelvic floor) are affected. Taking testosterone may help maintain an erection.

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Over time, that can damage and narrow the arteries, decreasing blood flow throughout the body. In men who did not respond to PDE-5 inhibitors, alprostadil injections were successful in 85 out of 100 men. As mentioned above, ED is often a marker that heart disease or other cardiovascular diseases may soon develop. What are the side effects? They do this by affecting cGMP, the chemical involved in widening (dilating) the blood vessels when you are sexually aroused (described above). Lifestyle choices. Chemicals help brain cells communicate to stimulate blood flow to the penis. Since stress or anxiety can cause or contribute to ED, practicing yoga may be an effective way to ease ED symptoms.

The lab testing obtained for the evaluation of erectile dysfunction may vary with the information obtained on the health history, physical examination, and recent lab testing. They do not realise it is a reaction to their mental health problem. Multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and spinal cord injuries are among the neurological conditions that may lead to impotency. Another cause of erectile dysfunction men often overlook are the pills they pop. So how can you know if you're dealing with erectile dysfunction? Due to this, patients suffering from it may also experience reduced sexual desire. However, the ideal exercise plan (in terms of conditions such as frequency and intensity) wasn’t identified.