Erectile dysfunction (ED), also known as impotence, is the inability to achieve or sustain an erection for satisfactory sexual activity. Erectile dysfunction is different from other conditions that interfere with male sexual intercourse, such as lack of sexual desire (decreased libido) and problems with ejaculation and orgasm (ejaculatory dysfunction). Erectile dysfunction is common; experts have estimated that erectile dysfunction affects 30 million men in the United States. The causes of erectile dysfunction include aging, high blood pressure, diabetes, cigarette smoking, atherosclerosis, depression, nerve or spinal cord damage, medication side effects, alcoholism or other substance abuse, and low testosterone levels.
ED is treatable in all age groups. Treatments can include psychotherapy, adopting a healthy lifestyle, oral PDE5 inhibitors (Viagra, Levitra, Cialis, Stendra, and Staxyn), intraurethral medications (MUSE), intracavernosal injections, vacuum devices, surgery, and working with doctors to avoid medications that can impair erectile function.
Before using over-the-counter and/or supplements, a discussion with Dr. Shoengold is strongly recommended.
Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction May Include the Following:
- Penile Erection Occurs but it is Not Maintained for the Length of Sexual Activity
- Penile Erection That is Not Firm Enough to Penetrate the Vagina
- Inability to Obtain a Penile Erection
The good news is that ED is often treatable, regardless of the cause, how frequently it happens, how long a man has had it, or how old he is. However, patients are often reluctant to ask their doctors about treatment because they’re embarrassed or because they don’t know that ED is very common. You and your partner may be surprised to learn that ED affects about half of all men in the United States aged 40 to 70 years to some degree.