Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
Erectile dysfunction, or impotence, is defined as an inability to achieve an erection that is satisfactory for sexual activity. It might mean an erection that is too soft or one that doesn’t last long enough for some. It might mean not getting any erection at all for others.
One thing is true for almost everyone: erection problems are difficult to discuss. Most men don’t like to admit that they could have this condition, because of embarrassment or a belief that it shows a psychological problem or physical weakness. It can have a significant effect on relationships by interfering with the intimacy that most couples enjoy. Erection problems are almost always due to physical changes that occur in all men as they get older. Changes in the arteries that supply blood to the penis during an erection, or abnormal function of the veins or nerves in the penis, are the most common causes. These can result from many conditions, such as arteriosclerosis (“hardening of the arteries”), high blood pressure, diabetes, back injuries, strokes and trauma, to name just a few. There can be psychological causes, too, but these often are due to worry and concern about the physical changes that occur in our bodies as we get older. In other words, once a physical problem starts, performance anxiety can make it worse.
Other common causes of ED include side effects of commonly used medications, lack of exercise, excessive alcohol use, smoking and unhealthy diets.
The good news is that almost all cases of erection problems can be accurately and quickly diagnosed. The ease of diagnosis makes finding a treatment simpler and faster than ever before.
WHAT IS THE CLINICAL ASSESSMENT USED TO DIAGNOSE ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION (ED)?
At Pacific Coast Urology Medical Center’s Male Health and Hormone Center of Excellence, we begin with a thorough health history, medical examination, medication review, lifestyle review, and a detailed discussion of a patient’s ED symptoms, including:
- How long you have been experiencing ED?
- Are you still experiencing spontaneous nighttime or morning erections?
- Is your libido (sex drive) still strong?
- And a variety of medical questions to help determine the cause of a patient’s ED.
A basic physical examination, coupled with some simple blood or x-ray tests, are typically all that are required to help Dr. Robert Pugach with his diagnosis and allow him to recommend a course of treatment.
Your examination and tests may include:
- Examination of the penis for any anatomical problems
- Examination of the prostate gland via a digital rectal exam and PSA test for prostate cancer
- Blood tests for hormone levels (testosterone and other hormones)
- Ultrasound testing to measure blood flow or plaque formation inside the penis
- Psychological assessment when indicated
- Medication review.
To learn about ED treatment options available for men of all ages, please review ED Treatment Options. Is it time for you to improve your sex life and restore intimacy?
Call 888.735.4336 for your confidential appointment or more information.