Medtech1.com: Great Information, Real Community, Better Living.
 Register
 Login
 Main Page
 MedTech News
Tech & Innovation
Living With a Device
 Education Center
Diagnostic Tests
Conditions
Procedures
Women's Health
Companies
Online Resources
Video Library
Dr. Christopher Kwolek  MedTech  Hero™
Dr. Christopher Kwolek:
Pioneering New Blood Clot Treatments.
About Heroes
 Join the Discussion in  Our Forums
 Community
MedTech1 Forums
 Advocacy Center
Contact Congress
Find a Patient Group
 Bookmark Us
 
Search the Body1 Network
August 20, 2018  
EDUCATION CENTER: Medical Conditions
  • Printer Friendly Version
  • Email this Condition
  • Links/Reprints
  • Discuss this Condition
  • Erectile Dysfunction (ED)


    Overview:

    Quick Reference

    Erectile dysfunction, sometimes called "impotence," is the repeated inability to get or keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. The word "impotence" may also be used to describe other problems that interfere with sexual intercourse and reproduction, such as lack of sexual desire and problems with ejaculation or orgasm. Using the term erectile dysfunction makes it clear that those other problems are not involved.

    Detailed Information

    Erectile dysfunction, or ED, can be a total inability to achieve erection, an inconsistent ability to do so, or a tendency to sustain only brief erections. These variations make defining ED and estimating its incidence difficult.

    Call your doctor if you suspect you have ED. Don’t be ashamed to seek help – doctors see this all the time.

    Estimates range from 15 million to 30 million, depending on the definition used. According to the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS), for every 1,000 men in the United States, 7.7 physician office visits were made for ED in 1985. By 1999, that rate had nearly tripled to 22.3. The increase happened gradually, presumably as treatments such as vacuum devices and injectable drugs became more widely available and discussing erectile function became accepted. Perhaps the most publicized advance was the introduction of the oral drug sildenafil citrate (Viagra) in March 1998. NAMCS data on new drugs show an estimated 2.6 million mentions of Viagra at physician office visits in 1999, and one-third of those mentions occurred during visits for a diagnosis other than ED.
    In older men, ED usually has a physical cause, such as disease, injury, or side effects of drugs. Any disorder that causes injury to the nerves or impairs blood flow in the penis has the potential to cause ED. Incidence increases with age: About 5 percent of 40-year-old men and between 15 and 25 percent of 65-year-old men experience ED. But it is not an inevitable part of aging.

    Treatment/Prevention

    ED is treatable at any age, and awareness of this fact has been growing. More men have been seeking help and returning to normal sexual activity because of improved, successful treatments for ED. Urologists, who specialize in problems of the urinary tract, have traditionally treated ED; however, urologists accounted for only 25 percent of Viagra mentions in 1999.

    Most physicians suggest that treatments proceed from least to most invasive. For some men, making a few healthy lifestyle changes may solve the problem. Quitting smoking, losing excess weight, and increasing physical activity may help some men regain sexual function.

    Cutting back on any drugs with harmful side effects is considered next. For example, drugs for high blood pressure work in different ways. If you think a particular drug is causing problems with erection, tell your doctor and ask whether you can try a different class of blood pressure medicine.

    Psychotherapy and behavior modifications in selected patients are considered next if indicated, followed by oral or locally injected drugs, vacuum devices, and surgically implanted devices. In rare cases, surgery involving veins or arteries may be considered.

    Experts often treat psychologically based ED using techniques that decrease the anxiety associated with intercourse. The patient's partner can help with the techniques, which include gradual development of intimacy and stimulation. Such techniques also can help relieve anxiety when ED from physical causes is being treated.

    Drugs for treating ED can be taken orally, injected directly into the penis, or inserted into the urethra at the tip of the penis. In March 1998, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Viagra, the first pill to treat ED. Since that time, vardenafil hydrochloride (Levitra) and tadalafil (Cialis) have also been approved. Additional oral medicines are being tested for safety and effectiveness.

    Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis all belong to a class of drugs called phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitors. Taken an hour before sexual activity, these drugs work by enhancing the effects of nitric oxide, a chemical that relaxes smooth muscles in the penis during sexual stimulation and allows increased blood flow.

    Mechanical vacuum devices cause erection by creating a partial vacuum, which draws blood into the penis, engorging and expanding it.

    Surgery usually has one of three goals:

  • to implant a device that can cause the penis to become erect
  • to reconstruct arteries to increase flow of blood to the penis
  • to block off veins that allow blood to leak from the penile tissues

    Implanted devices, known as prostheses, can restore erection in many men with ED. Possible problems with implants include mechanical breakdown and infection, although mechanical problems have diminished in recent years because of technological advances.

     

    Last updated: 29-Mar-07

  •  
    Interact on Medtech1

    Discuss this topic with others.
     
     
    Related Content
    Results Of Recent Viagra Heart Study Are Promising

    Prostate Cancer

    Impotence

    Hyperprolactinemia

    Between the Sheets – Diabetes and Sexual Health

    More Features ...
     
    Home About Us Press Jobs Advertise With Us Contact Us
    © 2018 Body1 All rights reserved.
    Disclaimer: The information provided within this website is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for consultation with your physician or healthcare provider. The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of the Owners and Sponsors of this site. By using this site you agree to indemnify, and hold the Owners and Sponsors harmless, from any disputes arising from content posted here-in.