Trouble with Erections
If you’re suffering from erectile dysfunction (ED), you’re not alone. It is estimated that millions of men have difficulty obtaining and maintaining erections. It’s normal for men to occasionally have problems getting or keeping an erection, but ongoing trouble with erections, may be a sign of an underlying cause.
Erections are a spontaneous reaction to physical or emotional stimulation. When a man is sexually stimulated, his brain sends signals to his nerves telling them to relax the muscles of the penis. When those muscles relax, blood flows into the penis, causing it to expand.
Diseases, medical conditions, or lifestyle issues that affect the brain, the nerves, or blood flow to the penis can lead to erectile dysfunction.
Certain medical conditions can also contribute to erectile dysfunction. Medical conditions that can cause impotence include:
- Low testosterone
- Enlarged prostate
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis)
- Metabolic syndrome
- Venous leak
Lifestyle issues can also cause trouble with erections. Lifestyle issues that can cause erectile dysfunction include:
- Tobacco use
- Alcohol use
- Drug use
In addition to diseases, medical conditions, and lifestyle issues, other factors can contribute to erectile dysfunction, including:
- Prostate cancer treatments
- Certain surgeries
- Prescription drugs
- Psychological issues (e.g., stress, depression, performance anxiety)
Before you can be diagnosed with erectile dysfunction, you’ll need to provide a medical history and be given a thorough physical exam. Some of the questions you will be asked may seem embarrassing, but it’s important that you answer them honestly in order to help Dr. Jones determine the cause of your impotence. You should also be prepared to take a blood test, a urine test, and other tests (e.g., ultrasound, overnight erection test).
- Oral medications
- Penile injection therapy
- Psychological counseling
- Intraurethral suppositories (MUSE)
- ED Pumps
- Blood vessel surgery
- Penile implant surgery
For more information on trouble with erections, contact Leroy Jones, MD, urology specialist of San Antonio.