Oral medications are a successful treatment for erectile dysfunction for many men. The Urology Care Foundation provides free, evidence-based educational materials for patients on urological health to patients, healthcare providers and the general public. We support and improve urological care by funding research, developing patient education, and seeking philanthropic support around the world. Erectile dysfunction, or ED, is the most common sexual problem that men report to their doctor.
It affects up to 30 million men.Erectile dysfunction is defined as difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection firm enough to have sexual intercourse. While it's not uncommon for a man to have some erection problems from time to time, progressive erectile dysfunction or erectile dysfunction that occurs routinely with sexual intercourse is not normal and should be treated. Finding the causes of your erectile dysfunction will help treat the problem and improve your overall well-being. As a general rule, what's good for heart health is good for sexual health.During sexual arousal, nerves release chemicals that increase blood flow to the penis.
Blood flows into two erection chambers in the penis, made up of spongy muscle tissue (the corpus cavernosum). The chambers of the corpus cavernosum are not hollow. During an erection, the spongy tissues relax and trap blood. The blood pressure in the chambers makes the penis firm and causes an erection.
When a man has an orgasm, a second set of nerve signals reach the penis and cause the muscle tissues of the penis to contract and blood flow back into the man's circulation and the erection decreases. Men may notice that penis size varies with heat, cold, or worry; this is normal and reflects the balance of blood flowing in and out of the penis.With erectile dysfunction (ED), it's hard to achieve or maintain an erection firm enough to have sex. When erectile dysfunction becomes an annoying, routine problem, your primary care provider or a urologist can help. If erectile dysfunction affects a man's well-being or his relationships, it should be treated.
The goal of treatment is to correct or improve erectile function, help circulatory health, and improve a man's quality of life. Although erectile dysfunction becomes more common as men age, getting older isn't always going to cause erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction may be an early sign of a more serious health problem. Finding and treating the reason for erectile dysfunction is a vital first step.Normal sex needs the mind and body to work together.
Emotional or relationship problems can cause or worsen erectile dysfunction. Finding the cause of your erectile dysfunction will help you direct your treatment options. The diagnosis of erectile dysfunction begins when your healthcare provider asks you questions about your heart and vascular health and your erection problem. Your provider may also do a physical exam, request lab tests, or refer you to a urologist.
Knowing your history of erectile dysfunction will help your healthcare provider determine if your problems are due to your desire to have sex, erectile function, ejaculation, or orgasm (climax). Some of these questions may seem private or even embarrassing. However, rest assured that your doctor is a professional and that their honest answers will help you find the cause and the best treatment for you.The healthcare provider may ask you questions about depression or anxiety. He may ask you about problems in your relationship with your partner.
Some healthcare providers may also ask if they can talk to their sexual partner. The doctor may request blood tests and collect a urine sample to check for health problems that cause erectile dysfunction. Health experts often use questionnaires to assess your ability to initiate and maintain erections, assess your satisfaction with sexual intercourse, and help identify any problems related to orgasm. For some men with erectile dysfunction, specialized tests may be needed to guide treatment or re-evaluate them once treatment fails.Treatment for erectile dysfunction starts with taking care of your heart and vascular health.
The doctor can point out “risk factors” that can be changed or improved. You may be asked to change certain eating habits, stop smoking, exercise more, or stop using drugs or alcohol. They may offer you alternatives to the medicines you take. Never stop taking or change your prescribed medications without first talking to your healthcare provider.The following treatments are available to treat erectile dysfunction directly: Drugs known as PDE type 5 inhibitors increase penile blood flow.
These are the only approved oral agents in the U. S. UU. By the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of erectile dysfunction.
For best results, men with erectile dysfunction take these pills about an hour or two before having sex. Drugs require normal penile nerve function. PDE5 inhibitors improve normal erectile responses and help blood flow to the penis. About 7 out of 10 men do well and have better erections.
Response rates are lower for diabetics and cancer patients. If you are taking nitrates for your heart, you SHOULD NOT take any PDE5 inhibitors. Always talk to your healthcare provider before using a PDE5 inhibitor to find out how it could affect your health In rare cases where low sexual desire and low blood testosterone levels are the cause of erectile dysfunction, testosterone therapy may correct normal erections or help when combined with medications for erectile dysfunction (PDE type 5 inhibitors).Alprostadil is injected into the side of the penis with a very fine needle. It's very valuable to get your first injection at the doctor's office before doing it on your own.
Self-injection classes should be given in your doctor's office by an experienced professional. The success rate for achieving an erection firm enough to have sex... varies depending on individual response.