Erectile Dysfunction Treatment in Tucson
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is defined as difficulty in getting and maintaining an erection that is firm enough for sex. This condition is very common and is actually the most frequent sexual health complaint from men of all ages.
Generally, all symptoms of erectile dysfunction will contribute to an inability to develop or sustain an erection. A lowered libido can also be a common sign of ED.
If you experience erectile dysfunction in rare instances, and you have no other related health conditions, you should be able to manage your ED without much trouble. Such situations are completely normal, and should not warrant a significant amount of worry.
However, if you begin to become concerned about erectile dysfunction and how much it is impacting your daily life, we encourage you to see a specialist.
Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
ED normally stems from two separate categories of physical and mental health issues.
Most often, erectile dysfunction is the result of a physical problem. These can include a variety of different situations, but they typically relate to:
- Not having enough blood flow to the penis – Conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and hardened arteries can all restrict the functions of an individual’s circulatory system, which can prevent proper amounts of blood flow to certain areas of the body. It may also be difficult for an individual to keep blood in the penis long enough to sustain an erection.
- Problems with the nerve endings – Damage to the pelvic region can often lead to damage of the nerves. Injury, cancer treatments, or even a disrupted signal from the brain can all cause these nerves to malfunction and diminish a person’s senses.
- Side effects of medication – There is always a risk to taking a medication, but some risks can impact sexual function both temporarily and long-term. Make sure to discuss all possible side effects to a new medication with your healthcare provider.
Other cases of erectile dysfunction may be caused by emotional or psychological issues, such as:
- Relationship problems
- Worry about poor sexual performance
If your physician suspects a psychological cause for erectile dysfunction, he or she may suggest treatment from a psychiatrist, psychologist, sex therapist or marriage counselor. It is important to understand that counseling can many times identify and solve many underlying psychological issues causing erectile dysfunction. Such counseling may also be a part of a recommended regimen to treat the problem.
When considering lifestyle changes as an approach to correct erectile dysfunction, consideration of habits that may be contributing to the condition need to be addressed. These include:
- Decreasing or limiting the consumption of alcohol
- Dietary changes to reduce the intake of fat and cholesterol
- Eliminating the use of tobacco and substance abuse
- Losing weight
- Exercising regularly
A physicians review of the medications you are presently taking may result in changes to them especially if they are known to cause erectile dysfunction.
Non-invasive treatments that include the use of oral medications such as Viagra, Cialis and Levitra are all proven to improve blood flow to the penis by working directly on the blood vessels. They allow the arteries to expand to produce an erection. Note that while widely available today, they do not work for 20 to 30 percent of men.
Vacuum pump therapy may be prescribed as a non-invasive alternative. The pump device is placed over the penis and a vacuum is created mechanically enhancing the flow of blood into the penis. A rubber ring placed at the base of the penis helps to maintain the blood maintaining the erection. These cannot be prescribed for patients with bleeding disorders, are on anticoagulants or those with sickle cell anemia.
The patient inserts a small dose of medication directly into the urethral opening at the end of the penis where the medication becomes absorbed into the erectile tissue. This causes the blood vessels to relax so that the penis fills with blood and becomes erect.
For this treatment, the patient or his partner injects medication directly into the base of the penis. It relaxes muscle tissue and allows blood to flow into the penis creating an erection.
Surgery (Penile Implants)
If the above treatments are unsuccessful in managing erectile dysfunction and psychological causes are ruled out, your physician may recommend penile implant surgery. The implant, called a penile prosthesis, is contained within the body. Considerations for choosing the appropriate implant include medical condition, lifestyle, personal preference and cost. As with all surgeries, there are associated risks that include pain, infection and other complications.
It is certainly possible for both physical and mental factors to contribute to a single patient’s erectile dysfunction. Many people with ED discover that a physical issue will lead to stress in a relationship or about sexual performance, which can make their erectile dysfunction even more difficult to deal with.
Schedule a Consultation
This potentially endless circle can be broken by speaking with Dr. Tristan Berry about your erectile dysfunction and what may be causing it to occur.