What Causes Erectile Dysfunction?

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Many men suffer from erectile dysfunction. So, what is erectile dysfunction and what treatments can help? Keep reading to learn about the condition and ED treatment options.

Erectile dysfunction definition: A persistent difficulty achieving and maintaining an erection sufficient to have sex.

Causes of erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction may arise for a variety of reasons. The most common symptoms of erectile dysfunction (ED) include:

  • Difficulty getting an erection
  • Softer erections
  • Erections that don’t last long enough for satisfactory sex
  • Change in the angle of your erection
  • Loss of girth
  • Reduced penile sensitivity

Often, erectile dysfunction is caused by physical or medical changes, but occasionally it stems from psychological stress. The following table lists some common causes of erectile dysfunction.

Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
Physical causes Medical causes Psychological causes
Metabolic syndrome (a condition that includes insulin resistance) Condition adversely affecting the blood vessels or nerves in the penis Situational issues
Hypertension Antihypertensives Stress
Body fat around the waist Antidepressants Personality disorders
Low testosterone Atherosclerosis Depression
Sleep apnea Surgery
Elevated cholesterol Radiation therapy

How do you know if you have erectile dysfunction?

If you have experienced any of the symptoms of erectile dysfunction, you’ll want to know how to treat your condition. There is a fairly simple questionnaire called the SHIM score that is often used to identify the severity of ED. Men are asked the following five questions:

  1. How do you rate your confidence that you could keep an erection?
  2. When you had erections with sexual stimulation, how often were your erections hard enough for penetration (entering your partner)?
  3. During sexual intercourse, how often were you able to maintain your erection after you had penetrated (entered) your partner?
  4. During sexual intercourse, how difficult was it to maintain your erection to completion of intercourse?
  5. When you attempted sexual intercourse, how often was it satisfactory for you?

The responses are rated on a scale from 1-5, totaled and evaluated accordingly. A score over 22 suggests there is no ED. A total score of 5-7 suggests severe ED.

There are a few things men can do in the initial stages to improve ED:

  • Try something new- sometimes a big first step is just enhancing arousal.
  • Take the pressure off.
  • Have a conversation with your partner.
  • See a physician-Consider taking your partner with you to that visit. The more you both know about erectile dysfunction, the greater the possibility of overcoming the condition.

Specialty physicians who treat ED can help recognize the signs and symptoms. Qualified physicians will perform a proper evaluation to determine the causes of ED (medical, physical, psychological, or surgical; see the table above). A typical evaluation includes an interview, physical exam, questionnaires such as the SHIM score, and a variety of laboratory tests to seek out other medical problems that may not be obvious from patient history and physical exam.

Erectile dysfunction treatments

One of the most effective therapies for ED is proper testosterone replacement therapy. We use subdermal testosterone therapy (SottoPelle) to help eliminate the symptoms of erectile dysfunction.

Additionally, there is a remarkable new technique to improve ED called a Priapus Shot or P-Shot. The P-Shot takes advantage of the body’s ability to heal itself. Imagine if you were to get a minor cut. The blood flows, coagulates, and a scab forms, eventually sloughing off. Afterwards, there is a redness which eventually resolves to complete the healing process.

Imagine if you could extract those healing properties and concentrate them in useful places. This could include an arthritic joint, scar tissue, or a penis with ED. The P-Shot is an injection that contains PRP (platelet-rich plasma) from your own body. PRP injections utilizes your body’s healing properties to treat the symptoms of ED.

The process begins with a patient blood draw into a special collection device. It’s then processed with a special centrifuge machine in which the resultant plasma is extracted. The extraction contains a concentration of platelets (PRP along with numerous growth factors which also stimulate Stem Cells to migrate to the area). After appropriate numbing of the penis, we infuse that material into the corpus cavernosa of the penis to allow healing and regrowth of tissue that has declined to function. Additionally, we can also incorporate Low Intensity Sound Wave Therapy (LISWT) with the P-Shot to help develop a new blood supply to the genital area. This combined approach results in about a 80-90% success rate of cure for ED (along with normalizing Testosterone levels!).

Again, ED can be caused by a variety of factors and demands individualized attention for each patient. Adequate sexual function has an extreme impact on relationships and can be a source of stress for couples. Additionally, improved sexual function has also been shown to have a positive impact on the immune system all by itself.

We recognize that seeking treatment for ED can be difficult, but it’s important to remember that ignoring ED will not make it go away. Getting successful treatment for ED from a qualified physician can help to restore confidence, improve mood, rescue a troubled relationship, and return harmony at home.

Want to learn more about how we can help with ED? Contact us today!

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