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Erectile Dysfunction Therapy 3

Erectile dysfunction, or ED, is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection suitable for intercourse. An estimated 30 million American men suffer from ED, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

There are many potential causes of ED, and they can be divided into two categories: physical and psychological.

  • Physical causes of ED include:
  1. Cardiovascular disease
  2. Diabetes
  3. Obesity
  4. High blood pressure
  5. High cholesterol
  6. Metabolic syndrome
  7. Parkinson’s disease
  8. Alzheimer’s disease
  9. Sleep disorders
  10. Drug or alcohol abuse
  11. Smoking
  12. Pelvic surgery
  • Psychological causes of ED include:
  1. Depression
  2. Anxiety
  3. Stress
  4. Relationship problems

Diagnosis of Erectile Dysfunction

A thorough medical history and physical examination are the first steps in diagnosing ED. Your doctor will ask about your symptoms, medical history, and lifestyle. He or she will also conduct a physical examination, which may include a penile exam. Based on the results of these tests, your doctor may order blood tests or additional tests.

Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction

Treatment for ED will vary depending on the underlying cause. In some cases, treating the underlying cause may resolve the problem. In other cases, medications or other therapies may be needed.

Medications used to treat ED include:

  • Phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors (such as sildenafil, tadalafil, and vardenafil)
  • Hormone therapy
  • Penile injections
  • Penile implants
  • Vacuum devices