We offer non-invasive and minimally invasive treatments aimed at restoring physical, age-related, or other types of erectile dysfunction.
Erectile dysfunction (or impotence) is a man’s inability to get or keep an erection that allows sexual activity with penetration. Erectile dysfunction is not a disease, but a symptom of some other problem – physical, psychological or a mixture of both.
Don’t worry about occasional failure to get or keep an erection. This is normal. Some of the causes include drinking too much alcohol, anxiety and tiredness. Unless it continues, there is no reason to be concerned. However, if your erectile dysfunction is ongoing, see a doctor.
Treatments for erectile dysfunction include medications given orally (usually tablets), counselling, vacuum penile pump devices, injections directly into the penis, and penile prosthetic implants.
Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
Doctors used to think that erectile dysfunction was mainly caused by psychological factors, such as anxiety or depression. In fact, most cases of erectile dysfunction are caused by physical illness. Psychological problems cause only one in ten cases of persistent erectile dysfunction.
Physical erectile dysfunction happens over a period of months or years and is often a gradual loss of function. If erections still occur spontaneously overnight or in the morning, the problem may be psychological.
Erectile Dysfunction can be due to:
- Physical illness – erectile dysfunction is often associated with conditions that affect blood flow in the penis, such as diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, cigarette smoking, obesity, heart disease and multiple sclerosis.
- Psychological factors – a man’s sexual drive or performance can be affected by stress such as problems at work, relationship difficulties or financial worries. Psychiatric conditions, and feeling depressed or anxious about poor sexual performance can also result in erectile dysfunction.
- A combination of physical illness and psychological factors – physical problems with maintaining an erection may cause the man to feel anxious about sexual performance, which makes the problem worse.
- Medications – prescribed medicines used to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, depression and psychiatric disorders, and prostate disease, may cause or worsen the symptoms of erectile dysfunction.
- Unknown – in a few cases, neither physical nor psychological causes are obvious. Vascular disease is likely to be the underlying cause in these cases.
Diagnosis of Ongoing Erectile Dysfunction Cause
If you have ongoing erectile dysfunction, have it investigated by a doctor. While occasional erectile dysfunction is normal, ongoing erectile dysfunction can be a symptom of a serious physical illness.
You can get in touch with one of our medical experts to learn when it will be possible to fully investigate any ongoing problems to check for any underlying medical cause that may also need treatment. This may include heart and blood vessel diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
Tests can determine if the blood flow to your penis is affected. Blood tests can also help to determine if hormone problems, such as low testosterone, are causing erectile dysfunction.
Once you find out whether your erectile dysfunction has a physical or psychological cause, you can get the proper course of treatment.
Treatments for Erectile Dysfunction
There are many treatments aimed at restoring the erectile function. These can be grouped according to their level of invasiveness, being:
- non-invasive treatments;
- minimally invasive treatments;
- surgical treatments.
More precisely, the ED treatment supposes:
- changing your prescription medication if it is the cause;
- psychotherapy and counselling;
- oral medication (tablets) such as Viagra, Cialis and Levitra;
- external vacuum penile pump devices to create blood flow;
- injections directly into the penis (such as Caverject Impulse);
- penile prosthetic implants;
- hormone therapy (rarely given);
- vascular surgery (rarely undertaken).
The first approach is to treat the underlying cause if one is identified. If no underlying cause is found, treatments to directly restore erectile function are used. A doctor will help you decide the best treatment for you.
Medication (usually, tablets) is effective in about 70 per cent of men with erectile dysfunction. Brand names include Viagra, Cialis and Levitra. These are known as PDE5 inhibitors – they inhibit a particular enzyme in the penis, improving the erectile response to normal sexual stimulation. Tablets should usually be taken at least one hour before sexual contact.
Minimally invasive treatments include injections and testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). Some medication can increase blood flow when it is injected into the penis. A penile injection can create an erection within five to 10 minutes and last for up to one hour.
Counselling and psychotherapy can help if one of the underlying causes of your erectile dysfunction is psychological. Counselling can also benefit men who have lost sexual confidence, even though their erectile dysfunction is caused by physical factors.