Erectile dysfunction was referred to as impotence in the past. Medically, it is the inability to achieve or sustain an erection adequate for intercourse. Millions of American men suffer from “E.D.”. Sadly, many of them do not seek medical attention although it can usually be treated successfully.
Men with E.D. should be screened for diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease since these conditions often contribute to erection problems. Other causes including depression, spinal cord problems, smoking and side effects from medications.
When erection problems are also associated with a loss of interest in sex, a low testosterone level may be the cause. This particular cause for E.D. can be evaluated with a simple blood test. Treatment with hormone replacement is easy and often restores satisfactory erections.
Oral medication to generate an erection are known a PDE-5 inhibitors (Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, Staxyn and Stendra). They are the most common form of ED treatment and produce satisfactory results in about 70% of case. However, the medications are expensive and rarely covered by insurance. These medications are only used when intercourse is planned and must be taken 30-60 minutes prior to sexual activity. Cialis is available for daily dosing. These drugs CANNOT be mixed with nitroglycerin containing drugs under any circumstances.
Many other treatments are available for the treatment of E.D. if oral medications are not successful. The most successful way to treat E.D., however, is the surgical implantation of an inflatable penile prosthesis. Over 95% of patients treated with a penile prosthesis are highly satisfied with the results. The far exceeds the success rate with any other form of treatment. However, the procedure can be expensive. While it is covered by Medicare, many private insurance companies may not cover the cost of such surgery.
Copyright (C) 2016 Steven A. Johnson, M.D., P.A.
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