Erectile Dysfunction (Impotence): Symptoms, Signs, Causes & Treatment

Antidepressants. What to know about penile implants. All of these things could affect how you view your relationship. Erectile dysfunction, or ED, is sometimes caused by serious cardiovascular issues, among other conditions. Bradley, 24, used to worry every day about his ability to perform. Of the drugs used for depression, tricyclic antidepressants may be associated with erectile problems and other drugs may be substituted to prevent this complication. It could also be your body’s way of telling you that you have another, more serious concern to deal with, explains S.

About 75% of diagnosed cases of ED go untreated. The only symptom of an erection problem is being unable to get and keep an erection that is firm enough to have sex. “I was able to open up and really talk about the issues,” he says.

[1] In many cases, a trial of pharmacological therapy with a PDE5 inhibitor, such as sildenafil, can be attempted.

ED is sometimes called impotence. Lifestyle choices. There are two methods for measuring changes in penile rigidity and circumference during nocturnal erection:

It’s probably not a big deal if it only happens once. An injury could contribute to symptoms of ED. Oral ED medications have changed the way clinicians discontinue medications in patients with ED and has improved the approach.

In many cases, ED might be the first clue that something is amiss. Due to the amount of anxiety about erectile dysfunction, mild erectile dysfunction and intermittent difficulty can lead to constant erectile dysfunction in some patients. An erection is the result of increased blood flow into your penis. Although alcohol and other recreational drugs may heighten sexual desire initially, they usually sap it the more you indulge.

High-sodium, high-cholesterol, and high-fat foods make the list of what should be eliminated from the diet to lessen ED symptoms," advised Dr.

Low Testosterone

Not talking about it is the main barrier to getting treatment. Your sexual partner may also be interviewed. These devices require a surgical procedure that takes about an hour.

But do involve your partner in the process. Men who have diabetes are two to three times more likely to develop ED than men who do not have diabetes. Blood flow is usually stimulated by either sexual thoughts or direct contact with your penis. If you don't want to use medicine, or if medicine doesn't work for you, you may want to talk with your doctor about some of the following options. Indeed many men say that treatment has transformed their lives. About four percent of men in their 50s experience erectile dysfunction, while nearly half of men older than 75 do, according to the National Institutes of Health. Your GP is more likely to suggest referral if you have been found to have a hormonal problem, if the cause is related to another condition like circulatory problems, or if you are young and the condition started after an injury.

But those are just two common causes of erectile dysfunction. These patients often respond to such drugs as Cialis, Levitra and Viagra, all of which enhance the effects of nitric oxide, a natural chemical in the body that relaxes the penis muscles and increases blood flow. Then work toward treatment options that will get you feeling back to your old self again. However, none have been proven to successfully treat ED. The prevalence of complete ED increased from 5% at age 40 to 15% at age 70. How can one tell the difference between ED that is psychological or stress-related, and ED that is a heart disease risk? CBT helps you realise that your problems are often created by your mindset. Ask a doctor about trying Viagra today.

  • A pump at the other end of the tube makes a low-pressure vacuum around the erectile tissue, which results in an erection.
  • The erectile dysfunction causes typically worsen over time and can progress from mild to complete impotence, if not treated appropriately.
  • Although it might not be possible to always prevent erectile dysfunction, taking care of yourself can help you avoid persistent problems.
  • The erection should seem typical to both the patient as well as his partner.


Symptoms of ED can occur when this process is disrupted. There are several different devices. Behavioral modification, including smoking cessation, nutritional counseling, and optimization of over the counter and prescription drugs that may be promoting erectile dysfunction should be the first line of treatment. Other drugs that act in a similar manner to Viagra are Levitra (vardenafil) and Cialis (tadalafil). Nelson says that, for young men in particular, ED can feel like “total humiliation. This is an excellent choice to improve uninterupted intimacy and makes relations more spontaneous. See additional information.

Hormones and other medicines may be prescribed for men who have low testosterone or high prolactin levels. Here are some of the options: Other men can receive a private prescription from their own GP. Since the discovery that the drug sildenafil, or Viagra, affected penile erections, most people have become aware that ED is a treatable medical condition. Once a complete sexual and medical history has been completed, appropriate laboratory studies should be conducted. This is an important step because treatment options for differ depending on the affected components.


Is it possible to have 'a little' ED?

The man cannot get or maintain an erection. About 7 out of 10 men do well and have better erections. Talk with your health care provider about the benefits and risks of these medicines. These medicines should only be used under a physician's supervision as they have the potential to interact dangerously with other prescription medications and shouldn't be combined with alcohol. They are sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra), and tadalafil (Cialis). Causes of a new and persistent problem are usually physical. While these drugs may treat a condition, they can also affect hormones, nerves, or blood circulation, which can all increase the risk of erectile dysfunction.

Though many people are able to recognize erectile problems based on knowledge of their normal sexual performance, doctors can also use something called a Sexual Health Inventory for Men (SHIM) score to quantify ED. Depending on the results, your doctor may also order blood tests for hormones, fasting blood glucose (sugar), and cholesterol. Symptoms may include any of the following:

All About Pregnancy

Sometimes the fix might be straightforward, like adjusting your meds if you take prescriptions that are messing with your ability to get hard. Occasional, or intermittent, sexual problems don't necessarily point to erectile dysfunction. Treatment for erectile dysfunction has improved a great deal over the last 10 years. ED is difficulty getting and keeping an erection. After age 50, men’s levels of testosterone slowly go down and ED becomes more common. Sometimes increasing testosterone makes the pills work. Many men do experience occasional failure to achieve erection, which can occur for a variety of reasons, such as drinking too much alcohol, stress, relationship problems, or from being extremely tired. In some cases, treatment can involve inserting prostaglandin pellets into the urethra, injecting smooth muscle relaxants and vasodilators into the penis, a penile implant, a penis pump, or vascular reconstructive surgery.

Oral therapy with PDE5 inhibitors is often successful and safe for appropriately selected patients and should be considered the first line of treatment.

Physical Examinations And Tests

So some men with low testosterone “run into a wall in trying to treat ED through the NHS,” says Savage. The result can be disastrous," added Dr. "Review your risk factors for an erection problem.  Symptoms, of course, are rather obvious. Relationship difficulties. It’s Important to Connect the Dots ED can be embarrassing. The use of tobacco, alcohol, or illegal drugs.

These drugs need to be taken prior to engaging in sexual activity. But while carrying Viagra may prevent embarrassment in the bedroom, it can lead to other humiliations. In many cases, psychological issues develop into performance anxiety which, in and of itself, becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Hormone-induced impotence. 12 It is important to recognize that short-form questionnaire does not evaluate specific areas of the sexual cycle, such as sexual desire, ejaculation, and orgasm; however, it may be useful in discussing ED with patients and evaluating treatment results over time. But keep in mind that the usual antidote, antidepressants, can make ED worse. Benzodiazepines, the findings observed in the pomegranate group were unprecedented. A high blood sugar level may mean the presence of diabetes , which can contribute to erection problems.


But not everyone can use them safely. Call a doctor if erection problems occur: Additional hormonal evaluation may include thyroid stimulating hormone in those with a clinical suspicion of hypothyroidism or appropriate diabetes screening in those presenting with a concern for impaired glucose metabolism. Over time, diabetes damages the nerves and blood vessels that power erections. In many cases—especially if we’re talking about a physical cause of erectile dysfunction, rather than a mental one—there are certain signs that can serve as a harbinger that issues may be brewing. Often, as a last resort if other treatments have failed, the most common procedure is prosthetic implants which involves the insertion of artificial rods into the penis. Nerves can be damaged by diabetes, multiple sclerosis, prostate surgery or damage to the spinal cord. It is important to understand that in most cases, ED is a symptom of another, underlying problem.

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to get or keep an erection firm enough to have sexual intercourse. If you have a follow-up appointment, write down the date, time, and purpose for that visit. This can result from depression, anxiety, brain diseases such as stroke, and low testosterone (the male sex hormone). He’s sympathetic to patients who feel embarrassed, but it’s always best to state your concerns up front, he says.

A man is considered to have ED when these symptoms occur regularly.

Living Well

Examining your relationships and life events. Sublingual apomorphine hydrochloride, this causes increased blood flow, following which an erection usually develops within 15 minutes. But they can be dangerous in certain men. It may mean you have nerve damage from diabetes.

The surgeon or health care expert in the surgeon's office will talk about how to inflate and deflate the implant.

However, ED is now well understood, and there are various treatments available. Reduced blood flow to the penis. This is a result of other conditions, such as hardening of the arteries, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol or diabetes. Corpus cavernosometry Cavernosography measurement of the vascular pressure in the corpus cavernosum.

Researchers found that testosterone levels were negatively correlated with levels of body fat and abdominal fat.

Erectile problems can also be a sign of heart disease, as a narrowing of the arteries can make it difficult for the penis to receive enough blood flow to become erect. Nutrition to avoid erectile dysfunction, also, it increases lean muscle mass, boosting confidence in how you look and feel. It is the difference between having to give a speech in front of all the people you most respect in the world, or a group of strangers – which is going to make you more nervous? Psychological factors — Psychological issues such as depression, anxiety, guilt or fear can sometimes cause sexual problems.

Flexible cylinders are embedded in the penis.

This results in increased levels of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) and ultimately in smooth muscle relaxation, enhancement of arterial inflow, and veno-occlusion, producing adequate firmness for sexual activity.

Diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2)

Your CBT therapist will be able to help you to adopt more realistic and helpful thoughts about these issues. Cardiopulmonary examination to help evaluate the patient's fitness for future treatment options. These oral medications reversibly inhibit penile-specific PDE5 and enhance the nitric oxide–cGMP pathways of cavernous smooth muscle relaxation; that is, all prevent the breakdown of cGMP by PDE5. Neuropathy to either system can cause ED. Talk with your health care provider about these steps: Moreover, the difficulty is often not psychological in origin.

  • Many men do not seek treatment due to feelings of embarrassment.
  • A 2020 study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine noted that 1 in 4 men under the age of 40 who sought help for ED actually suffered from the condition.
  • Usually patients are less anxious after talking through their problems and learning they're not alone, he says.
  • If the trouble disappears with your hangover, then you don’t have anything to worry about.
  • Sometimes, the culprit is another health issue.

Diagnosis of Erectile Dysfunction

But never stop a medication unless your doctor tells you to. If it plummets, your desire to get going in the say may, too. Blood sugar (glucose) levels. Hormone abnormalities can cause ED.

What Is Erectile Dysfunction?

About 7 in 10 men aged 70 and above have ED. The treatment for ED starts with taking care of your heart and vascular health. Brinkley initiated a boom in male impotence cures in the U. For example, you should not take a PDE5 inhibitor if you take nitrate medicines (including glyceryl trinitrate (GTN)) which are often used to treat angina. However, they should become easier over time. 11 Hormone deficiency, however, is less frequently the cause of ED than diabetes or vascular disease. If you or your partner is concerned about erectile dysfunction, you’re not alone. Some anti-depressants cause erection problems, too.

“If you think about it, it makes total sense,” Dr. Counseling also may be used with medicine treatment or vacuum devices for erection problems that have psychological and physical causes. The most common cause of erectile dysfunction for young men is anxiety. It’s called the penis. Organic impotence. Shteynshlyuger said. Erectile dysfunction may arise when that blood flow is compromised, making it difficult to achieve or maintain an erection for sex," Nesochi Okeke-Igbokwe, internal medicine physician and health expert, told INSIDER. "Ask if your condition can be treated in other ways.