Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED), also known as impotence, means that you cannot get a proper erection. The most common cause is narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to the penis. This is due to a build-up of fatty deposits (atheroma) in these arteries in the same way that heart arteries are affected in people with heart disease. Most cases of ED are treatable. The most common treatment is a tablet taken some time before sex. However, shockwave therapy for erectile dysfunction may suit you better. You should also make any recommended changes to your lifestyle. You may also receive treatments to reduce your risk of heart disease. This page covers a great deal of information about erectile dysfunction, but you can skip down to any section below:

What is Erectile Dysfunction?

Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile Dysfunction Causes

Do You Have Erectile Dysfunction?

Types of Erectile Dysfunction

Diagnosis of  of Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile Dysfunction Treatment

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What is Erectile Dysfunction (ED)?

Having ED, also known as impotence, means that you cannot achieve an erection or not maintain an erection long enough for sexual intercourse. Sometimes sufferers find that their penis becomes partly erect but not hard enough to have penetrative sex properly. At other times you may find that you cannot maintain an erection long enough to reach orgasm. In other cases, you will experience no swelling or fullness of the penis at all. Doctors may take a more detailed view of what is erectile dysfunction.

How Common is Erectile Dysfunction (ED)?

Almost all men have experienced the odd time when they fail to get an erection. Most commonly this is because you’ve drunk too much alcohol or are stressed, tired or distracted. If this isn’t a persistent problem and you get an erection most times when you are sexually aroused then it’s not really a medical condition to worry about. However, if your ED is persistent and recurring then it should be investigated. Although erectile dysfunction can occur at any age it is increasingly common as men get older. with increasing age. Studies have shown that 52 percent of men above the age of forty suffer from erectile dysfunction. And once men get to 70 or more this increases to about 70 percent.

Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction

As all men are different, so too are their ED causes and symptoms. ED symptoms may include the following: inability to achieve an erection; inability to maintain an erection; lack of desire to initiate sexual activity; lack of desire to attempt sexual intercourse; inability to penetrate your partner during sexual activity; inability to maintain an erection to the completion of intercourse; inability to ejaculate; inability to climax or feel an orgasm; lack of confidence in your ability to get and keep an erection; lack of satisfaction with your overall sex life.

Erectile Dysfunction Causes

Over 80% of cases of ED are caused by physical factors mostly related to poor blood circulation, called vascular insufficiency, specifically caused by the narrowing of the arteries not allowing enough blood to flow into the penis.

Do You Have ED?

In order to find out if you are suffering from ED please complete the International Test of Erectile Dysfunction online now. The test is an anonymous questionnaire. The questionnaire only takes a few minutes to complete.International medical test rosette

United States National Institute of Health (NIH) 1993

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Types of Erectile Dysfunction

ED can be classified as physical ED or psychogenic ED. Physical ED is erectile dysfunction due to a physical problem. The most common form of physical ED is due to issues with blood flow in or out of the penis. This is called vascular or vasculogenic ED. Physchological or pyschogenic ED is of a mental or behavioural origin. If you are suffering from ED the type may be purely physical, purely psychogenic or a mixture of both.

Erectile Dysfunction Diagnosis

Although ED is a sensitive and taboo topic that can have an impact on your self-esteem and interpersonal relations, you are not alone as regardless of the stigma attached, the condition affects many men, increasing in prevalence with age.

As with any other medical condition, the sooner the disease is diagnosed and treated the better. Because identifying and correcting any underlying problem can prevent further deterioration.

The good news is that for many men, once their issues are diagnosed through consultation and assessment, erectile function can be improved by being treated safely and effectively.

Erectile Dysfunction Treatment

The best treatment for erectile dysfunction depends on whether the problem is caused by physical or psychological factors, or a combination of these.

Generally, the following treatments have are successful more often than not:

  • Lifestyle changes, giving up unhealthy behaviour
  • Treatment to modify reversible causes of ED
  • Changes in current medication that may have side-effects causing ED
  • Hormone replacement with the male hormone, testosterone,  where levels are low
  • Corrective surgery in case of penile curvature (Peyronie’s disease) or trauma

First-line treatments

growing body of clinical research evidences the success of low-intensity shockwave therapy in treating vasculogenic ED. ED shockwave  treatment may be used with or without other lines of treatment.

Second-line treatment

  • Intra-cavernosal injection therapy

Third-line treatment

  • Surgery (prosthesis/implant)

Your doctor should consider the least invasive but suitable treatment for ed first. Studies have shown that non-surgical treatments work for 60 to 70% of men. So, all effort should be made to avoide unnecessary surgery.

Please visit this page for a more detailed discussion about erectile dysfunction treatment options.