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Erectile dysfunction, sometimes referred to as ED, is a common men’s health issue. While you might not hear your buddies talk about it, according to the Urology Care Foundation, as many as 30 million men experience ED.
The men’s health specialists at Maiden Lane Medical in Manhattan, NY offer expert diagnoses to identify the root cause of your symptoms and personalized treatments to restore your ability to achieve and maintain an erection.
Call our practice today or schedule an appointment online if you have concerns about erectile dysfunction.
Erectile dysfunction occurs when you are consistently unable to achieve or maintain an erection that is firm enough for sex. Almost every man will occasionally experience an erectile issue.
However, it becomes a problem when erectile dysfunction is so common that it disrupts your sex life, emotional health, and confidence.
When you are sexually aroused, nerve signals increase the blood flow to your penis. You have two spongey erection chambers in your penis called the corpus cavernosum chambers.
The spongey tissue traps the blood, causing your erection. Then, after you orgasm, nerve signals tell the tissue in your penis to contract, releasing the blood and returning your penis to its flaccid state.
Many different issues can contribute to erectile dysfunction. The causes can be loosely grouped into three categories.
Your lifestyle can contribute to your ED. For example, too much alcohol, tobacco, and other recreational drugs can interfere with your erections. Additionally, if you don’t get enough physical activity, have an unhealthy diet, or are overweight, you may have issues achieving or maintaining an erection.
These lifestyle factors can also contribute to other health issues that interfere with the blood flow to your penis. Additionally, your risk of having ED increases as you age. Men over the age of 50 are more likely to have ED than younger men.
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Many health issues can contribute to circulation problems, limiting the supply of blood to your penis when you are aroused. High blood pressure is one of the most common health issues that cause erectile dysfunction.
Other health issues that interfere with your circulation include heart disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, and nerve damage. Additionally, the treatments for some health issues, including radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and some prescription drugs, can contribute to ED.
Your emotional and mental state can also contribute to erectile dysfunction. For example, a common cause of a one-off or short-term issue with erections is stress.
ED is also a common side effect of mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. Erectile dysfunction may also stem from relationship problems or performance anxiety.
If you have persistent erectile dysfunction that interferes with your relationship with a sexual partner or confidence, you should make an appointment with your trusted urologist at Maiden Lane Medical. Our specialists will conduct a physical exam and may perform other types of diagnostic testing to identify the root cause of your ED.
Your doctor begins with a consultation to increase their understanding of your overall physical, mental, and emotional health. They will order urine and blood tests to check for signs of health problems that often contribute to ED. Your doctor might also order imaging studies to examine your blood vessels, internal organs, and tissues.
In most cases, erectile dysfunction can be cured. Once your physician identifies the underlying cause of your condition, they create a personalized treatment plan to restore your health and erectile function.
Your doctor may recommend various options to treat ED. Treatment plans may often combine several therapies to deliver the best possible results. Depending on the root cause of your ED, your treatment plan may include:
Choosing healthier habits can sometimes help restore your erections. Losing weight, getting more exercise, and giving up tobacco and excessive alcohol use not only can reduce health problems like diabetes or hypertension that cause ED, but can also improve your self-confidence.
Sildenafil citrate, commonly known as Viagra, is a common medication for erectile dysfunction which improves blood flow to your penis.
Your doctor may also suggest another drug therapy, such as penile injections or intraurethral therapy, to help increase blood flow to your penis and restore your normal erections.
Your doctor may also prescribe medicine to treat underlying health issues contributing to your ED.
However, be aware that a prolonged erection can be a risk. If you have an erection lasting longer than four hours, it’s best to go to your nearest emergency room.
Your doctor may also prescribe hormone therapy to address low testosterone. Testosterone therapy is available in many forms, including oral tablets, injections, and subnormal pellets.
When medical treatments aren’t successful, your doctor may suggest other options, such as a vacuum erection device, penile implants, or a penile prosthesis.
You should only use devices or surgical treatments to install a penile implant under your doctor’s care. Don’t buy something off the internet without first consulting with your urologist.
Our expert urologists at Maiden Lane Medical are ready to answer any other questions you may have about erectile dysfunction. Call our office in Manhattan, NY today or schedule an appointment online with our specialists!
David M. Kaufman, MD
Board Certified Urologist
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