Although it is very common, erectile dysfunction can be an embarrassing subject to discuss even with medical professionals. ED can affect men of all ages and can be caused by a variety of factors, so a wide range of treatment options are available.
How Is Erectile Dysfunction Diagnosed?
According to the Mayo Clinic, ED is the chronic inability to get and maintain an erection. It can be diagnosed by talking with a doctor, ideally a urologist, about the patient’s medical history. The doctor may perform a series of tests, including a physical exam, blood or urine tests, an ultrasound, or even a psychological examination to determine if mental health is a factor in the patient’s erectile dysfunction. Sometimes ED is connected to another underlying issue. All of these factors come into play when determining treatment.
What Are The Treatment Options For Erectile Dysfunction?
There are many potential steps to be taken in the ED treatment process. The first step, especially when the patient is a younger man, is usually medical management. Doctors may prescribe common medications like Viagra or Cialis. Both medications are taken only when needed. They do not help cause an erection until the patient has already become sexually stimulated. They are safe, commonly prescribed medications; however, they can cause serious side effects in combination with other medicines, especially nitrates.
For many patients, Viagra or Cialis is enough to help solve the problem of erectile dysfunction. If, however, they are not, another option is a penile injection. The initial penile injection may be given at the doctor’s office as a way to introduce the patient to the process. After this introduction, the patient can self-administer the injections at home as needed.
When these medications are not enough to solve a patient’s erectile dysfunction, another option is penile implant surgery. This is only recommended in cases where no other treatment option has been successful and when the patient’s ED has no chance of being reversed. There are a variety of penile implants on the market to accommodate a patient’s lifestyle and needs.
Erectile dysfunction can lead to feelings of embarrassment and shame, relationship difficulties and lowered self-confidence. However, there is no need to worry that these issues will last a lifetime. With the wide range of treatment options available, ED can be managed, allowing patients to resume normal sexual activity after consulting with their doctor. Our team of urologists at Advanced Urology Institute have extensive experience in working with patients experiencing erectile dysfunction. For more information, visit the Advanced Urology Institute website.