erectile Dysfunction 

Erectile dysfunction, or ED, is when a man struggles with getting or keeping an erection that is firm enough for sex. About 30 million men in the United States are affected by ED. Although ED is more common in older men, age alone does not cause ED.

Years ago, ED was mostly thought to be a psychological problem. Today, ED is primarily considered to be a physical or medical problem with three main causes:

  1. Not enough blood flows into the penis. Smoking, heart disease and diabetes can affect blood flow throughout the body and contribute to ED. 

  2. The penis can’t store enough blood during an erection. This means a man can’t maintain an erection because blood doesn’t stay trapped in the penis long enough. 

  3. Nerve signals from the brain or spinal cord don’t reach the penis. Certain illnesses, injuries or surgeries in the pelvic area can cause damage to the nerves in the penis.

If your ED is caused by taking specific medications, your health care provider may change your medications or reduce the amount of medicine you take. Never stop medications without talking to your health
care provider first.

You have options in treating your ED. Erection recovery is possible with proper treatment. Treatments may include oral medications, devices, surgery or mental health counseling. 

Lifestyle changes can also help prevent or improve ED. Eat a healthy diet, be physically active, manage your weight and get enough sleep. These have all been shown to affect ED.

Visit UrologyHealth.org for more information on ED.

UrologyHealth.org  |  FALL 2019  |  UROLOGYHEALTH extra