If you’re suffering from the effects of erectile dysfunction (ED), you’re not alone. It plagues 40% of men over age 40 and rises steadily to 70% by age 70. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as 30 million men in the United States may suffer from some form of erectile dysfunction. Thankfully, strides in research have produced plenty of effective treatments, and the office of Hayle Aldren, MD, in Phoenix has experience in several of the latest treatment options. Don’t let embarrassment stop you from getting the help you need.
Erectile Dysfunction Q & A
- What is erectile dysfunction?
- What causes erectile dysfunction?
- What are common myths about Erectile Dysfunction?
- How is erectile dysfunction treated?
What is erectile dysfunction?
Put simply, erectile dysfunction, also known as ED or impotence, refers to an inability to achieve and maintain an erection that can stay firm enough for sex. While most men will experience some erectile trouble on occasion, if you find yourself unable to achieve an erection on a regular basis, you might suffer from erectile dysfunction. More than half of all men experience difficulties in the bedroom as they get older. As men age, blood vessels in the penis deteriorate and fill with micro-plaque causing decreased blood flow and weaker erections. Without adequate blood flow, nerves also don’t work properly and hormones can’t be delivered where they are needed. The effects of ED don’t stop there. They spill over into everyday life, weakening the quality of a man’s life and relationships, and eroding his self-worth and performance at work. Fortunately, new treatments and programs are now available at Dr. Aldren’s office to put an end to this vicious cycle.
What causes erectile dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction is most often the result of physical changes in your body. Research shows many possible underlying causes for ED, including abnormalities in blood flow hydraulics, nerve activity, hormone supply, blood oxygenation and thickness, prostate health, muscle weakness or tightness, body chemistry, and body fat, and stretching or scarring in certain critical structures that support erection. Expert medical consultation with an experienced men’s health specialist can determine which of these may be causing you to experience erectile dysfunction so that an effective treatment program can be organized.
Prescription and recreational drugs can cause ED, including medications for:
- High blood pressure, Depression, Stomach Acid, Pain, Addiction, High cholesterol, Hair loss, Prostate enlargement, and urination (including some dietary supplements)
Medical marijuana over time often leads to the worsening of ED, even though at first it seems to help. Lifestyle choices that might affect your body, such as regularly drinking or smoking, or obesity, can also lead to erectile dysfunction. Men who frequently ride bicycles, exercycles or motorcycles, sit in saddles on horseback, or drive long distances are more prone to erectile dysfunction. Other risk factors for ED include head injury, surgery to the prostate, lower back, arteries or pelvis, and a history of chemotherapy or radiation treatment for cancer. Losing sleep, or not sleeping well, perhaps because of undiagnosed snoring and sleep apnea, can bring on erectile dysfunction.
Certain medical problems often go together because they share the same underlying causes. As a result, erectile dysfunction is commonly associated with many other conditions, including:
- Heart disease, Diabetes, Pre-diabetes (metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance), Poor circulation, Parkinson’s disease, Gum disease (periodontal), Peyronie’s disease, High blood pressure, High cholesterol, Memory loss, Hair loss, Skin aging, Replacement of muscle by fat (sarcopenia), Arthritis, Peripheral neuropathy, Low vision, Prostatitis, Overactive bladder, Urinary leakage or dribbling (incontinence)
What are common myths about Erectile Dysfunction?
Is most ED psychosomatic or caused by psychological problems?
- No. Although stress, relationship issues, anxiety or depression can certainly aggravate it or seem to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, most of the time they simply expose the existence of one or more underlying physical causes.
Is ED mainly due to low testosterone (low T)?
- No. Although a certain amount of testosterone, in balance with other hormones, is essential for both sexual health and overall health, testosterone levels are related more closely to sex drive than to performance. In 2/3 of cases, boosting testosterone levels by itself has no beneficial effect on erectile dysfunction.
Are pills, inserts or shots before sex the only ways to treat ED outside of surgery?
- No. Although these can often help promote a temporary erection, they are chemical band-aids that do not actually treat the underlying causes, which typically will continue to get worse over time. At Hayle Aldren MD MD(H) in Phoenix, the emphasis is on first restoring blood flow to the sex organs in several ways, while also treating any other factors that may contribute to ED.
How is erectile dysfunction treated?
For most cases of erectile dysfunction, Dr. Aldren treats the underlying conditions causing your dysfunction alongside treatments that target your erection in particular. Combinations of treatments usually work best when ED is more advanced or has lasted a long time. Among the treatments used by Dr. Aldren in sexual rehabilitation are:
- Shock Wave-Sound Wave Therapy
- PRP and P Shot
- Electronic Muscle Stimulation (EMS)
- Neural Therapy
- Tao (Dao) and Tantra
- Vacuum Pumps
- PDE5 Inhibitor (PDE5i) Drugs
- Cavernosal (IC) Injections (Tri-Mix, Caverject etc.)
- Hormone Replacement
- Other Supportive Therapies
- Learn more about these treatments
When will I see results?
That depends on the underlying causes of your ED, how severe it is, and how long you’ve had it. Most patients who still respond well to standard ED medication (Viagra/Sildenafil, Cialis, Levitra/Staxyn, Stendra) tend to see results sooner. You can improve your chances of seeing improvement by getting treated for any underlying conditions that contribute to your erectile dysfunction. If faster improvement is needed on a temporary basis, this can often be achieved.
The best way to find out what treatment is recommended for you, and to get an estimate of how much treatment you might need, is to consult with an experienced men’s health physician.
Are you ready to return to a fun, healthy sex life? Call the office of Hayle Aldren, MD, in Phoenix to schedule your consultation today.