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  • Erectile Dysfunction

    General overview of the service:

    Erectile dysfunction, also called ED, is the inability to attain or maintain an erection for the sexual satisfaction of both partners. This can affect relationships and self-esteem. It is a very common problem, as an estimated 30 million American men are affected on a regular basis, and nearly every adult male has episodes. For those who seek treatment, there is some relief.

    How the service is done:

    A man’s sexual arousal involves the brain, hormones, emotions, nerves, muscles and blood vessels. A problem with any of these can cause erectile dysfunction. The brain plays a key role, as a number of factors can affect sexual feelings and lead to ED – including stress, anxiety and depression.

    Sometimes a combination of physical and psychological issues causes erectile dysfunction. Medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity also can cause ED. Prescription medications, smoking, alcoholism, sleep disorders, sleep apnea, prostate cancer, enlarged prostate and other factors can also cause ED.

    What methods are used:

    To determine if you have erectile dysfunction, your health practitioner will provide a physical exam and ask questions about your medical history.

    Blood tests might be necessary to check for signs of heart disease, diabetes, low testosterone levels and other health conditions. Urine tests are used to look for signs of diabetes and other underlying health conditions.

    If you have chronic health conditions like these — or your health practitioner suspects that an underlying condition might be involved — you might need additional tests or a consultation with a specialist.

    Several oral medications are available to successfully treat erectile dysfunction. All these medications enhance the effects of nitric oxide, a natural chemical your body produces that relaxes muscles in the penis. This increases blood flow and allows you to get an erection in response to sexual stimulation. Sexual stimulation is necessary for these pills to cause release of nitric oxide – which leads to an erection.

    Are there any side-effects:

    Medications typically do have side effects, so talk with your health practitioner about them. These drugs might not work or might be dangerous for you. Other medications may work better. Your health practitioner can explain all your options.

    Follow-up treatments or next steps:

    Your health practitioner will advise you on follow-up steps.