What is Erectile Dysfunction: Causes, Symptoms, and Prevention

  Rolando R. Rivera   Jul 15, 2016   Erectile Dysfunction   Comments Off on What is Erectile Dysfunction: Causes, Symptoms, and Prevention

facts about erectile dysfunction gulfshore urology

Erectile dysfunction is a common disorder. It afflicts between 20 and 30 million men in the United States alone, yet only 5 to 10 percent of those individuals ever seek treatment. The stigma behind this particular disorder keeps many patients from ever crossing the threshold of a doctor’s office, though many of these issues can be corrected depending on the cause.

Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction

The definition of erectile dysfunction is when a man fails to get or keep an erection firm enough to complete sexual intercourse. The severity of this issue can vary. Erectile dysfunction typically occurs in men above the age of 40, though it can occur in younger men as well.

Symptoms include:

  • Trouble producing an erection
  • Trouble keeping an erection
  • Trouble ejaculating during intercourse
  • A reduction in sexual desire

Erectile dysfunction has been linked to diabetes, heart disease, and other serious health conditions, which is why it is important to schedule an appointment with your doctor if you’re suffering from one or more of these symptoms. However, the cause is not always limited to physical ailments.

Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

The act of sexual arousal for men isn’t just a physical reaction. It’s a complex process that requires a collaboration of psychological, emotional, and physical factors. Some of the most common causes of erectile dysfunction are:

  • Certain medical conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome, Peyronie’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, and prostate cancer
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Being overweight
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Smoking
  • Alcoholism
  • Drug Abuse
  • Sleep disorders
  • Side-effects from certain surgeries or medical treatments
  • Injury

Diagnosis and Treatment

There are several tests and examination that a doctor may recommend to help diagnose erectile dysfunction. He or she will likely start with a physical examination and questions about your symptoms before recommending the best form of testing. This may include a urine test, blood test, ultrasound, or an overnight erection test.

However, if your symptoms seemed to be related to a psychological or emotional trigger, your doctor may recommend a screening for depression or other possible causes.

Treatments may include oral medications, injections, pumps, surgery, implants, or psychological counseling.

Prevention

There are ways to prevent erectile dysfunction. Many revolve around your lifestyle choices, such as:

Cut out Addictive Habits

If you smoke or are struggling with alcohol or drug problems, quit. Seek help if necessary as these habits can also cause serious, long-term health issues.

Address Emotional Hurdles

Consider individual or couples counseling to help work through relationship issues, stress, or bouts of depression.

Lose Weight

Shedding excess weight will help treat and prevent erectile dysfunction.

Remain Physically Active

Exercise reduces stress, helps you lose weight, and helps improve your cardiovascular health.

Schedule an Appointment

Gulfshore Urology is a urological practice located in Bonita Springs, Florida. We deliver exceptional care in a private setting that allows for a more personal and personable approach to medical treatment.

If you are a patient struggling with symptoms of erectile dysfunction, give us a call at 239-333-3200 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced doctors.