Conversation 1 in 5 Men Should Have with their Doctor

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Erectile Dysfunction

Intimacy is an important part of any relationship. A hug, a kind remark, or a gift can be romantic even if sex doesn’t  follow. However, for many men, sex is an important factor  of retaining an intimate relationship with their partner.  So when the inability to get an erection firm enough,  or keep it long enough for intercourse arises, it can cause  both physical and mental strain.

Approximately one in five men suffer from erectile dysfunction (ED) and many feel embarrassed to talk to  their doctor. Yet this common problem can be treated  fairly easily, but only if your doctor knows about it.

Erectile dysfunction can have many causes. Most are physical. Some are emotional issues. Often, a combination  of causes is involved. Causes of ED may include:

  • Medical conditions such as diabetes or depression
  • Smoking tobacco or marijuana
  • Prostate problems
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Side effects of medications
  • Injury to nerves or blood vessels
  • Emotional issues such as stress or relationship problems

Treatment for ED is based on the cause of the problem. Some treatment options include:

Lifestyle changes such as cutting back on alcohol, quitting smoking, losing weight, and increasing  physical activity.

Reviewing your medicines and cutting back on, or changing, those that may be linked to ED.

Prescription medicines taken by mouth are commonly used to treat ED. There are many different medicines available.

Vacuum devices can be used to create an erection  by using a partial vacuum to draw blood into the penis. An elastic ring is laced on the base of the penis to keep the blood there during sex.

Testosterone therapy may improve energy, mood, and increase sexual interest in older men who have  low testosterone. It is not advised for men who have normal testosterone levels for their age because of the risk of prostate enlargement and other side effects.

“When treating erectile dysfunction, we often start with oral medications which help in approximately 70 to 80 percent of cases,” said urologist, Benjamin Stockton, MD, FACS. “These medications work in response to sexual stimulation and can be taken within an hour before anticipated sexual activity.”

If other treatments do not work, penile implants can be surgically placed. “The loss of erectile function can have a profound effect on a man and can cause significant strain on a couple,” said Dr. Stockton. “The good news is that ED can usually be treated safely and effectively.”

Ready to start the conversation? Call (269) 983-3455 or visit www.lakelandurology.com to learn more

© Spectrum Health Lakeland 2019