What is Erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction also known as impotence, is the inability to obtain or maintain a penile erection sufficient for sexual intercourse.

How does Erectile dysfunction develop?

The erection of the penis is a result of the expansion of spongy tissue in the penis that are filled with blood. There is an intricate balance of control for the inflow and outflow of the blood which controls the erection, and problems in this balance can cause erectile dysfunction.

What are the causes of Erectile dysfunction?

There are several causes of erectile dysfunction, some of which are listed here. According to Dr. Kamyar Ebrahimi who is a fellowship trained minimally invasive urologist practicing in Glendale, Long-term and untreated hypertension, and diabetes are the top two reasons for a man to develop erectile dysfunction. Other important causes of erectile dysfunction are obesity, heart disease, and tobacco use. Unfortunately, some of the medications used to treat these conditions can cause ED as well. Surgery for prostate cancer (prostatectomy which is the removal of the prostate) and pelvic trauma can also cause erectile dysfunction. Recently Dr. Ebrahimi adds, the use of certain bicycle seats and pressure on the perineal area have been named as cause for development of erectile dysfunction. Lastly, psychological conditions and pressure can cause erectile dysfunction.

What are the treatments for erectile dysfunction?

The treatment of erectile dysfunction is a multifaceted process. Dr. Ebrahimi believes that exercise and a well balanced diet high in fruits and vegetables and low in fats, especially animal fats, is the first step in the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Oral medications are generally the next step, and they currently include Viagra, Cialis and Levitra. These have around a 60% efficacy and can have some side effects, and should not be taken by patients who take nitrates for heart disease. There is a few other precautions, and the patient should only take these medications under the direction of a physician. There are injectable medications which can be injected into the penis as well. Vacume erectile devices are rather safe and can be employed by most patients. Lastly, surgeries are available where special implants are placed to enable erections. Patients should consult with their urologist for further information.

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