Erectile dysfunction (ED) or male impotence is the inability of a man to achieve and maintain an erection sufficient for intercourse with his partner.
Sexual health and function are important elements of the quality of life. As we age, disorders such as erectile dysfunction (ED) or impotence are becoming increasingly more prevalent. Because this subject is discussed widely in the media, men and women of all ages are seeking guidance in an effort to improve their relationships and experience satisfying sex lives.
Sexual dysfunction is often associated with disorders such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, nervous system disorders, and depression. Erectile dysfunction may also be an unwanted side effect from medication. In some men, sexual dysfunction may be the symptom of such disorders that brings them to the doctor’s office.
The successful treatment of impotence has been demonstrated to improve intimacy and satisfaction, improve sexual aspects of quality of life as well as overall quality of life, and relieve symptoms of depression.
How common is it?
Sexual dysfunction is extremely common in men.
- In the Massachusetts Male Aging Study (MMAS) among a community-based survey of men aged 40-70 years, 52% of the men reported some degree of erectile difficulty. Complete ED, defined as the total inability to obtain or maintain suitable erections during sexual stimulation, as well as the absence of nocturnal erections (erections during sleep), and occurred in 10% of the men in the study. Lesser degrees of mild and moderate ED occurred in 17% and 25% of participants.
- In the National Health and Social Life Survey (NHSLS), a nationally representative sample of men and women aged 18-59 years, 10.4% of men reported being unable to achieve or maintain an erection during the past year.
- Judging from research results, an estimated 18-30 million men are affected by ED.
What are the causes?
Erectile dysfunction can be caused by any number of physical and psychological factors. In general, ED is divided into biological (having to do with a bodily organ or organ system) or psychological (mental) impotence, but most men with physical causes also have a mental or psychological component.
Erection problems will usually produce a significant emotional reaction in most men. This is often described as a pattern of anxiety and stress that can further interfere with normal sexual function. This anxiety needs to be recognized and addressed by your doctor.
Treatment for ED
Core Medical Group takes a multi-faceted approach to treating erectile dysfunction. The first step is an evaluation by one of Core Medical Group’s highly-trained physicians to identify what is causing erectile dysfunction. Upon completing the evaluation, an individualized treatment regimen is created by a Core Medical Group physician. Besides eliminating an underlying cause, such as potassium deficiency or arsenic contamination of drinking water, the first line treatment of erectile dysfunction typically consists of a prescription for a PDE5 inhibitor medication (the first of which was sildenafil or Viagra, followed by Cialis and Levitra). In some cases, however, the PDE5 inhibitor is ineffective or prescribed use of a PDE5 inhibitor is contraindicated because of a patient’s health.
Our Core Medical Group physicians will then explore treatment options ranging from Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) to prostaglandin tablets in the urethra or intracavernosal injections with a fine needle into the penis that can cause an erection. The most widely used of these injectable treatments is Trimix, an injectable three-drug cocktail used to treat erectile dysfunction. The active ingredients in the mixture are usually alprostadil, papaverine, and phentolamine. In beginning the use of Trimix, it is critical that our physicians find the correct dosage as it does vary from patient to patient. Additionally, we provide education to our patients on the least invasive way to administer the treatment.
More facts and information:
Erectile Dysfunction—What You Should Know
Slideshow: A Visual Guide to Erectile Dysfunction (Impotence)
Treating Erectile Dysfunction Medical Options
Adverse health effects of testosterone deficiency (TD) in men.
SOP conservative (medical and mechanical) treatment of erectile dysfunction.
Effects of testosterone on erectile function: implications for the therapy of erectile dysfunction.
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