Most men don’t want to talk about erectile dysfunction (ED). Many feel embarrassed about ED or think that it doesn’t happen to everyone. However, the fact of the matter is that more than 30 million American men experience some degree of ED at some point during their lives.
So let’s talk about ED. We’ll cover what it is, the various causes, how we diagnose it, and the treatments we offer.
What is ED?
Clinically, ED is a condition that interferes with your ability to achieve or maintain an erection firm enough to have sexual intercourse.
What causes ED?
ED has many potential causes, both physical and psychological. The physical causes of ED typically cause problems with the flow of blood in and out of the corpus cavernosum (the spongy chambers in your penis). Some of the common issues that interfere with male genital circulation include:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Venous leaks
Other medical issues that can cause ED include low or abnormal hormone levels, benign prostatic hyperplasia, prostate cancer, neurological diseases, and some medications.
How is ED diagnosed?
The expert urologists here at Urology of Greater Atlanta begin with a thorough consultation and physical exam. Next, we ask about your general and sexual health and your experiences with ED. Finally, we ask about your specific ED symptoms, including their frequency and how they affect your quality of life.
Our physicians also complete physical exams, including blood and urine tests. In addition, we check your blood pressure, heart health, and screen for the various diseases that can lead to ED. We also offer penile duplex Doppler ultrasound to evaluate the circulation in your penis.
About Penile Duplex Doppler Ultrasound
Penile duplex Doppler ultrasound is a type of ultrasound evaluation. Ultrasounds use high-frequency sound waves and their echoes to create images of the inside of your body and map your blood flow.
The sound waves bounce off your blood vessels and the pitch changes in the echoes of moving blood. If the Doppler ultrasound echoes don’t change pitch, it means there isn’t any blood flow in the area. These tests also help us identify the best treatment to relieve your symptoms and address any underlying conditions.
How is ED treated?
We offer customized treatment to address your unique needs. For example, the doctors often recommend making healthy lifestyle choices, including getting regular exercise, sufficient sleep, eating a healthy diet, and cutting back or eliminating alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.
We may also refer you to your primary care provider for treatment to address underlying health issues such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.
Depending on the root cause of your ED, we may prescribe medication, such as ViagraⓇ, CialisⓇ, LevitraⓇ, or StendraⓇ. ED medicines usually work by dilating your blood vessels and improving blood flow into your penis. You may also benefit from testosterone therapy.
In addition, some patients benefit from intraurethral suppository therapy. This involves inserting medicine into your urethra instead of taking it orally. In other situations, we may suggest penile or intracavernosal injections or a vacuum erection device.
Your doctor might prescribe MuseⓇ suppositories to address ED. Instead of taking this medication orally, you insert it into your urethra. It works by improving blood flow into your penis. It usually works within 10 minutes and produces an erection that can last for 30-60 minutes.
When less invasive treatments don’t resolve your ED, we may also suggest a penile implant. We offer state-of-the-art devices from Boston Scientific and Coloplast. Penile implants are inflatable devices that help you get and keep an erection. They don’t affect your sensitivity or ability to ejaculate and are undetectable by your partner.
If you have ED that causes distress or interferes with your life, don’t delay talking to our experts here at Urology of Greater Atlanta. In most cases, ED is easily treated. Call any of our offices or schedule a consultation online today.