Without adequate blood flow, erection problems can occur. In some cases, the erection is weak. In others, the man is unable to have an erection at all.
ED can have physical or psychological causes, and occasionally a combination of both. The causes of ED may include: Health conditions: Diabetes, heart disease, obesity, high cholesterol and other conditions can affect blood flow to the penis and contribute to ED. Medications: Drugs prescribed for high blood pressure, heart disease, depression and other mental health problems can cause erectile dysfunction. Lifestyle: Smoking, excessive drinking, drug use and diet can also contribute to ED. Psychological conditions: Stress, anxiety, depression and relationship problems can all cause or worsen ED. .
Lifestyle changes are one of the most effective treatments. Weight loss, increased physical activity, cutting out smoking, getting enough sleep and reducing alcohol can all have a big effect on erectile dysfunction. If you have obstructive sleep apnoea, make sure you are using your CPAP machine.
The partner notification service is part of a public health initiative to help protect the public and limit the spread of STIs.
In this study, ED proceeded CVD in almost 70% of cases. Similarly, many men with ED have been found to have pre-existing CVD. A study by Vlachopoulos et al evaluated the incidence of asymptomatic CVD in 50 men with ED.22 These authors found that 19% of men with ED had asymptomatic CVD. Similarly, Mulhall and colleagues found that 20% of men presenting with ED and vascular insufficiency on penile duplex had asymptomatic CVD.23
For many of the 30 million Americans affected by erectile dysfunction, Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis are the first line of ED treatment — and they’re successful for about 80 percent of men. These drugs, called phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors, are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and work by increasing blood flow to an erection. Common side effects include nasal congestion and headache. Note: If you take nitroglycerin pills for heart disease, you won’t be able to take ED pills, as they can cause a dangerous drop in blood pressure.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to share any life changes or stressors that could be affecting your mental health, such as the death of a loved one, a job change, the birth of a child, or trouble in your relationship.
Your partner may suffer without saying much, so it is very important that you openly discuss the best way to cope with this condition.
The third and final exercise which may be of benefit if you have erectile dysfunction is pelvic floor exercise (Kegels).
You may already know most of the names: Cialis, Levitra, Staxyn, Stendra, Viagra. Learn more about these medications that can help men with erectile dysfunction.
Depending on the symptoms elicited, further investigations including blood tests will be performed. These blood tests will include a check of testosterone (which is best checked first thing in the morning, preferably after fasting), as well checking other hormones, including thyroid function and blood sugar (or glycosylated haemoglobin, HbA1c, which may be used to check for diabetes).
Erectile dysfunction occurs when sexual stimulation or arousal does not result in enough blood flow to your penis, even though you may still have the urge. For some men there is a physical or medical reason for this. For others the problem is related to thoughts or emotions.
Recent stroke or heart attackSevere heart disease, such as unstable angina or irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)Severe heart failureUncontrolled high blood pressureUncontrolled diabetesVery low blood pressure
According to Professor Bente Klarlund Pedersen from the University of Copenhagen and Ellids Kristensen, doctor and research scientist at the Sexological Clinic in Copenhagen, these conclusions are supported by known mechanisms that can explain the link to erectile dysfunction: Physical activity makes the blood vessels more elastic, allowing more blood to flow to the sex organs. Physical activity stimulates the body’s production of nitrogen oxide, allowing the blood vessels to expand. This is essentially just what the popular medicine, Viagra, does.
Risk exposure is important to consider in the PDE5 inhibitors. Cardiovascular diseases may be a contraindication to treatment, as severely impaired patients may run the risk of a cardiac complication related to vigorous sexual activity. Likewise, patients actively taking nitrates, including nitroglycerine and other agents, are contraindicated from receiving prescriptions for PDE5 inhibitor. Relative contraindications to the use of PDE5 inhibitor include alpha-adrenergic antagonists. Visual disturbances can be seen with sildenafil (blue haze to the visual field) as a result of inhibition of the PDE6 enzyme.
You may see many herbs and supplements that claim to help sexual performance or desire. However, none have been proven to successfully treat ED. Plus, they may not always be safe. DO NOT take anything without talking with your provider first.
Every day, UW Medicine makes a difference in the lives of our patients and families. At our hospitals and clinics, we help them move from difficult diagnoses toward brighter, healthier futures. Looking for a Sub Internship?