Treating Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction refers to an ongoing inability to get or maintain an erection during sexual activity. While occasional erectile dysfunction is not a cause for concern, chronic erectile dysfunction is an important men's health and sexual health issue. Read on to learn more about potential causes for this issue and how they are treated.

Often, erectile dysfunction has a physical cause, such as high blood pressure, clogged arteries, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, tobacco use, alcoholism, sleep disorders, and certain medications. In these cases, treating the underlying cause often resolves the erectile dysfunction. Psychological causes, such as stress, anxiety, depression, or relationship issues, can also make it difficult to get or maintain an erection. If that's the case for you, counselling to resolve these feelings often helps.

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If you've seen your doctor to resolve any underlying health issues and erectile dysfunction persists, he or she will explore other causes. For many men, oral medications such as Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra can help. These medications increase nitric oxide in the blood. This substance relaxes muscles in the penis, increasing blood flow and making it easier to get an erection with sexual stimulation. Other options include injectable medicine, which produces an erection lasting about an hour; a urethral suppository, which can produce an erection lasting between 30 and 60 minutes; and testosterone replacement therapy for men whose erectile dysfunction is caused by a hormone imbalance.

For those who are not a candidate for these types of treatments, other treatment options are available. A penis pump is a hand operated vacuum that pulls blood into the penis, creating an erection. Penile implants are inflatable rods that can be surgically implanted into the penis, allowing you to control when and how you get an erection. Blood vessel surgery may be effective if your erectile dysfunction is caused by obstructed blood vessels.

If you're experiencing regular erectile dysfunction, talk with your doctor. He or she can help determine and treat the underlying cause of this issues you're experiencing. While this problem can be frustrating and demoralizing, it's also highly treatable.

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