Erectile Dysfunction Specialist in Kingston, PA
Common Symptoms and Cause of ED
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is defined as difficulty in getting and maintaining an erection that is firm enough for sex. This condition is very common, and is actually the most frequent sexual health complaint from men of all ages.
What Are the Symptoms of ED?
Generally all symptoms of erectile dysfunction will contribute to an inability to develop or sustain an erection. A lowered libido can also be a common sign of ED.
If you experience erectile dysfunction in rare instances, and you have no other related health conditions, you should be able to manage your ED without much trouble. Such situations are completely normal, and should not warrant a significant amount of worry.
However, if you begin to become concerned about erectile dysfunction and how much it is impacting your daily life, we encourage you to see a specialist.
Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
ED normally stems from two separate categories of physical and mental health issues. Most often, erectile dysfunction is the result of a physical problem. These can include a variety of different situations, but they typically relate to:
- Not having enough blood flow to the penis – Conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and hardened arteries can all restrict the functions of an individual’s circulatory system, which can prevent proper amounts of blood flow to certain areas of the body. It may also be difficult for an individual to keep blood in the penis long enough to sustain an erection.
- Problems with the nerve endings – Damage to the pelvic region can often lead to damage of the nerves. Injury, cancer treatments, or even a disrupted signal from the brain can all cause these nerves to malfunction and diminish a person’s senses.
- Side effects of medication – There is always a risk to taking a medication, but some risks can impact sexual function both temporarily and long-term. Make sure to discuss all possible side effects to a new medication with your healthcare provider.
Other cases of erectile dysfunction may be caused by emotional or psychological issues, such as:
- Relationship problems
- Worry about poor sexual performance
It is certainly possible for both physical and mental factors to contribute toward a single patient’s erectile dysfunction. Many people with ED discover that a physical issue will lead to stress in a relationship or about sexual performance, which can make their erectile dysfunction even more difficult to deal with. This potentially endless circle can be broken by speaking with a doctor about your erectile dysfunction and what may be causing it to occur.
Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction from Riverview Urologic Associates
Talking with a medical specialist is the first step in getting the proper treatment for erectile dysfunction. This process begins with a physical exam that can include a full analysis of your vascular system, nervous system, thyroid, prostate, and genitals. Once a patient’s particular cause of ED has been identified, our urologists will be able to give their expert recommendations on which type of treatment will offer the best solution for that individual. Common treatment options include:
- Shockwave therapy
- Psychological counseling
- Lifestyle changes
- Drug therapy
- Penile pumps
- Penile implants
This simple therapeutic method involves a specialized device that delivers controlled electrical impulses to the patient’s penis. Though this may sound intimidating, shockwave therapy sessions are incredibly gentle and pain free. The electrical currents used during these sessions will help to clear away any plaque within the arteries that may be causing a blockage in blood flow to the penis.
If your physician suspects a psychological cause for erectile dysfunction, they may suggest treatment from a psychiatrist, psychologist, sex therapist, or marriage counselor. It is important to understand that counseling can many times identify and solve various underlying psychological issues causing erectile dysfunction. Such counseling may also be advised in combination with other solutions.
When discussing lifestyle changes as an approach to correct erectile dysfunction, consideration of habits that may contribute to the condition need to be addressed. These include:
- Decreasing or limiting consumption of alcohol
- Dietary changes to reduce the intake of fat and cholesterol
- Eliminating the use of tobacco and illicit substances
- Losing weight
- Exercising regularly
Non-invasive treatments often include the use of oral medications such as Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra. Each of these medications are proven to improve blood flow to the penis to help produce and sustain an erection. Patients should still note that while these types of medications are often beneficial, they do not work for approximately 20 to 30 percent of men.
A vacuum pump device may be prescribed as another type of non-invasive alternative. The pump device is placed over the penis and a vacuum mechanism is created to enhance the flow of blood into the penis. A rubber ring placed at the base of the penis helps to retain blood flow and keep the penis erect. These cannot be prescribed for patients with bleeding disorders, persons taking anti-coagulant medications, or those with sickle cell anemia.
For this treatment, the patient or his partner injects medication directly into the base of the penis. The medication quickly relaxes muscle tissues and allows blood to flow into the penis to create an erection.
If the above treatments are unsuccessful in managing symptoms of erectile dysfunction, your urologist may recommend a penile implant procedure. The implant, called a penile prosthesis, is contained within the body. Considerations for choosing the appropriate implant include a patient’s current quality of health, their lifestyle, personal preference, and cost.