Erectile Dysfunction

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It’s the Most Common Sexual Problem Reported By Men

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the decreased ability to obtain or maintain an erection satisfactory for you and/or your partner. It’s the most common sexual problem reported by men.


What is Erectile Dysfunction ?

The percentage of men who typically experience erectile dysfunction corelates to their age. For example, 50% of 50-year-olds, 60% of 60-year-olds and so on will have problems with erections. But there are plenty of men in their 70s and 80s and 90s with great sex lives. Learn more about the causes and treatment options.


What are the symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction ?

An occasional inability to achieve an erection is normal and shouldn’t be cause for worry. But failure to reach or sustain an erection more than half of the time, at any age, may indicate a condition that needs treatment. Other symptoms may include decreased sexual desire and less rigid erections.


What causes Erectile Dysfunction ?

There are various physical and psychological issues that can result in poorer erectile function. These include, but are not limited to, increasing age, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, low testosterone, Peyronie’s disease (penile curvature) or stress/mental health issues.


How is Erectile Dysfunction diagnosed?

What to know before your visit to MidLantic Urology in Philadelphia and surrounding counties:

  • During your visit, your doctor will ask you questions regarding your medical history and will perform an exam with focused attention to the abdomen and genitalia. Information regarding situations when you have difficulty obtaining erections, presence of morning/overnight erections, and any prior surgery or radiation is important for your visit.
  • It is essential to provide a detailed history of medication and drug use since nearly 25% of ED cases can be attributed to medications for other conditions.

Tests that may be performed during or after your visit:

  • Blood tests: Testosterone level may be obtained along with other possible laboratory studies
  • Urinalysis: Provides a reading of protein and sugar in the urine. Abnormal measurements of these substances can indicate diabetes or kidney disease, which can cause ED.
  • Penile ultrasound: This test involves using a small transducer held over the penis to assess the quality of blood flow to the penis. An injection of a medication into the penis to create an erection may be utilized to help determine your erectile function.

For patients with ED it is important to have a primary care physician as this condition may be associated with high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, or heart disease.


How is Erectile Dysfunction treated?


  • Prevention/Behavioral changes: Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the best way to prevent the formation and progression of ED. This includes maintaining a healthy weight, controlling blood pressure and blood sugars, limiting alcohol, stopping smoking, and exercising regularly.
  • Medications: Several drugs including Viagra, Levitra, Stendra, Cialis can improve blood flow to the penis in order to enhance your erection in response to sexual stimulation.
    • When taking medications for ED there are a few important instructions:
      • DO take 60-120 min (Viagra, Levitra, Cialis) or 30min (Stendra) prior to desired erection.
      • Do NOT combine with nitrates (drugs taken for blood pressure or chest pain)
      • Do NOT take if have low blood pressure
  • eWave Therapy: With gentle energy pulses, eWave stimulates penile tissue to increase the blood flow needed to improve erectile function and rigidity.
  • Injection therapy: In those that fail or can’t take oral therapy, self-injection of a medication into the base of your penis often can lead to satisfactory erections. Erections should start within 10 min and should not last more than 1 hour. For erections lasting more than 4 hours, you must contact your physician immediately or go to the emergency room.
  • Urethral suppository: This treatment involves placing a small suppository into the tip of your penis to improve blood flow to the penis. Erections start within 10 min and typically do not last more than 1 hour. The most common side effect is penile pain or minor bleeding.
  • Penile pump: A vacuum erection device is a hand-powered pump that works by pulling blood into the penis. Once erect a ring is placed over the base of the penis (do NOT keep ring on penis for more than 30 minutes). These erections tend not to be as firm, can result in bruising, may be cold to the touch, and ejaculation will be obstructed from the restriction band.


  • Penile Implant: A surgical procedure involving the placement of cylinders/implant into your penis, a pump in your scrotum and a reservoir of fluid in your abdomen. This allows for a consistent erection and has a patient/partner satisfaction rate of more than 90%. Watch this video to learn more about penile implants.

Schedule an appointment with a MidLantic Urology Physician near you today!

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