Erectile dysfunction (“ED”) is the inability to get or keep an erection firm enough for sex. It is much more common than people think. An estimated 40% of men are periodically affected by age 40, and 70% by age 70. Complete ED – when it occurs every time sexual activity is initiated – affects 5% of men by age 40, and 15% by age 70.
The ability to achieve an erection is a complex process involving nerves, muscles, blood vessels, hormones, and emotions. Stress, anxiety, and depression can all make it more difficult to become erect.
Most often, the reason for ED can be traced to a physical cause. Common causes of ED include diabetes, heart disease, vascular disease, obesity, tobacco use, drug or alcohol abuse, sleep disorders, or it may occur as a side effect of certain medications.
ED is also a common complication of surgery for prostate cancer or an enlarged prostate.
If you are concerned about erectile dysfunction, talk to a urologist who specializes in men’s health, like Richard Natale, MD. In many cases, treating an underlying medical condition is enough to eliminate ED. Other times, simple, conservative methods may be needed to manage the condition. The only surefire cure for ED, however, is penile implant surgery.
Take our quiz to find out if you need help with ED.
Erectile Dysfunction Treatment Options
The most common treatment for ED is the use of medications such as Viagra, Levitra, Cialis, or Stendra. These drugs work by relaxing muscles in the penis that in turn allow more blood to flow into the penis when sexually stimulated.
Other treatments for ED include the use of suppositories inserted into the urethra, medication injected into the base or side of the penis, and vacuum-assisted devices. In some cases, testosterone replacement therapy (for men with low testosterone levels) can help when taken in combination with other ED treatments.
Penile Implant for ED
For a permanent solution that allows for spontaneous sexual activity in addition to a natural-feeling erection, penile implants are a popular ED treatment choice.
ED Treatment in Charlotte and Concord, NC
For more information about medical treatments for erectile dysfunction, including penile implant surgery, call the urology practice of Richard Natale, MD, in Concord, Mint Hill and Charlotte, North Carolina, at (704) 786-5131 or request an appointment now.