What is Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction is an inability to achieve and sustain an erection that is adequately firm to engage successfully in sexual intercourse. Erectile dysfunction may affect half of American men between the ages of 40 and 70. Occasional erection difficulties do not constitute erectile dysfunction, and are experienced about 20% of the time by all men, but inability to achieve and maintain a firm erection 50% or more of the time signifies erectile dysfunction.
What are the Causes of Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction can be caused by a variety of physical or psychological problems. Many times, erectile dysfunction is caused by diseases that affect the blood flow to the penis, which is how an erection takes place. These chronic diseases, like atherosclerosis, diabetes, and vascular disease, are responsible for 70% of cases of erectile dysfunction. Neurological causes of erectile dysfunction include things like Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, or as injury to the spinal cord. Some men experience erectile dysfunction after nerves and blood vessels in the pelvis are damaged during prostate or bladder surgery.
Peyronie’s disease, an inflammatory disorder that results in scar tissue in the penis, can cause erectile dysfunction. Between 1% and 4% of all men with may have some degree of Peyronie’s disease, which usually occurs in middle age.
Alcoholism and cigarette smoking are both associated with erectile dysfunction. Sometimes, men with erectile dysfunction have low levels of testosterone, which can be easily corrected. Psychological problems, like stress or depression, can result in erectile dysfunction. If you are experiencing an inability to achieve or sustain an erection that is preventing your from enjoying sexual intercourse, you should call Dr. Larish, a top New York urology doctor, today.
Determining the Cause of Erectile Dysfunction
If you are experiencing problems achieving or maintaining an erection, the first step in treatment is finding the cause. Dr. Larish will take an extensive medical history at your consultation, which include questions about physical, social, and psychological aspects of your life. He will also ask questions about stressors, habits, and your relationship with your partner. After obtaining a thorough medical history, Dr. Larish will complete a physical examination. A simple exam of the penis can reveal many clues through characteristics like sensory responses of the penis to touch, pulses, and hair growth patterns. Unusual characteristic of the penis may reveal a problem like, for example, Peyronie’s disease.
Dr. Larish will also obtain blood tests that measure hormone levels, blood sugar, cholesterol, thyroid function, and function of the liver and kidney, to search for conditions that impact normal erectile function. An ultrasound examination will evaluate blood flow to the penis and any leaks from the veins or signs of atherosclerosis. You will be tested to see if you have nocturnal erections, and there are several highly specialized tests that can be performed by an experienced urology doctor to check the state of the blood vessels in the penis, if further investigation is required.
Depending upon the results of your examination and diagnostic tests, there are a variety of treatment options available for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. You can be successfully treated for your problem, so you can once again enjoy sexual intercourse.