Erectile dysfunction (ED) – you know the term. It’s when a man can’t get – or keep – an erection hard enough for satisfying sex. Your father or grandfather might have called it “impotence,” if they talked about it at all.
It’s normal to have difficulty getting and sustaining an erection from time to time. But if your inability to have an erection happens frequently, and it’s affecting your mood and relationship, you may be experiencing erectile dysfunction (ED).
This problem affects men of all ages, but as men get older, there is a greater chance of developing erection problems. Population studies show that nearly 20% of men over the age of 20 and about 50% of men over the age of 50 have ED.
What are ED symptoms?
Symptoms of ED include:
- Low sex drive
- Difficulty getting an erection
- Difficulty keeping an erection
Besides physical symptoms, ED may also cause depression or performance anxiety.
What causes ED?
The primary cause of ED is poor circulation to the penis. Just as poor circulation to the heart may result in a heart attack, so too in ED, the penis often suffers from lack of adequate circulation which results in poor erections.
Some medical conditions may also impair the blood flow to your penis or affect the nerves. Common physical causes of ED include:
- Obesity or lack of activity
- Heart disease, hypertension, or high cholesterol
- Alcohol and drug abuse
- Prescription medications
- Low or declining testosterone
Your emotions also affect your ability to have an erection. Depression, stress, and problems in relationships may contribute to your ED.
How is ED treated?
Treatment for your ED may depend on the cause. Dr. Banno conducts a thorough in-office examination to identify the right treatment for you, which may include:
- A physical exam
- Blood tests
- Screens for diabetes or heart disease
- Psychological testing
Using this information and other factors, such as your age, current health, and medical history, he develops a personalized treatment plan.
Treatments for ED might include:
- Management of the underlying cause
- Prescription medications such as Viagra®, Cialis®, or Levitra®
- Testosterone replacement
- Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
- PRP is an injection of your own body’s platelet growth factors to stimulate cellular regeneration and tissue repair of the penis and generates new blood vessels for improved blood flow and nerve sensitivity for pleasure. Learn More about PRP here.
- Low-Energy Shockwave
- Low-Intensity Shockwave Therapy (LiST) is a groundbreaking “drug and surgery-free” procedure that uses acoustic waves to stimulate a cascade of biological actions that lead to the healing and regeneration of the sexual organs. Learn more about Low-Intensity Shockwave Therapy here.
- Vacuum Erectile Device (VED)
- A safe and non-drug treatment in which a cylinder-shaped device is placed on the penis and with the magic of negative pressure, the device pulls the blood into the shaft of the penis to produce an erection.
- Penile Implant (Penile Prosthesis)
- A surgical procedure that involves the placement of a balloon inside the shaft of the penis so that a patient is able to manually pump the device to inflate and get an erection. The erection lasts as long as needed, and with a simple push of a button, the penis is once again soft. Learn more about the implant option by clicking here.
- Certain types of penile rehabilitation