If you're suffering from erectile dysfunction (ED), you're not alone. Millions of men have occasional or persistent symptoms achieving and/or maintaining an erection. ED is very common and can be caused by various diseases and conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, prostate challenges; other physical injuries and post-surgery issues; or unhealthy lifestyle habits (i.e., alcohol or drug abuse, tobacco smoking, etc.).
Although ED is more common among older men, that doesn’t make it “normal” – and more importantly its not something you have to live with. What is normal as the aging process occurs is that for older men to need more stimulation to help get them aroused than they did when they were younger. Like male menopause there’s no reason you should have to accept a lack of sexual function as one of the inevitable consequences of getting older. The good news is that there is multiple different therapies and most men can be treated.
Erectile dysfunction and heart disease
Medical experts warn that ED could be an early warning sign of heart disease. Recognizing the connection between these two conditions may help you seek treatment before heart issues become critical. Atherosclerosis, the buildup of plague in the arteries, usually plugs up the smaller arteries in the body, such as the penis, before moving into larger arteries. ED is a warning sign to examine the larger arteries in the body for atherosclerosis, reducing your risk for not only heart disease but also for other conditions such as aneurysm and stroke.
Treating erectile dysfunction
Our medical experts represent multiple specialties including urology, pharmacology, endocrinology and more. The team develops individual treatment plans based on your body chemistry, physical make up and any pre-existing medical conditions. All treatments are safe and FDA-approved.
We have cutting-edge technology to diagnose and treat the problem that you're facing. Therapies include:
- Oral medications
- Vacuum erection devices
- Intraurethral suppositories
- Injection surgery
- Penile implant surgery
Is ED a normal part of the aging process?
Although ED is more common among older men, that doesn’t make it “normal” – and more importantly its not something you have to live with. What is normal as the aging process occurs is that for older men to need more stimulation to help get them aroused than they did when they were younger. Like male menopause there’s no reason you should have to accept a lack of sexual function as one of the inevitable consequences of getting older.
Although erectile dysfunction is more common in men over 75, men of any age can develop erectile problems.
- One in 10 men in the world have erectile dysfunction
- 30 million men in the United States have erectile dysfunction
- 50% of men with diabetes have erectile dysfunction, frequently within 10 years of diagnosis
- The likelihood of erectile dysfunction increases with age: 39% at age 40, 65% over the age of 65
What are the causes of Erectile Dysfunction?
There are many causes for erectile dysfunction such as:
- Heart problems such as high blood pressure, heart medications, atherosclerosis, history of having a heart attack
- Diabetes -- between 35% and 50% of men with diabetes experience ED
- Medications - variety of prescription drugs, including medications for blood pressure, anxiety, and depression
- Neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, strokes, brain tumors and multiple sclerosis
- Hormonal imbalances
- Mood or emotional problems such as stress, anxiety, and depression
- Lifestyle habits such as smoking, recreational drugs and drinking alcohol
- Certain types of cancer surgery such as removal of prostate and bladder surgery as well as colon surgery
How common is ED?
Epidemiology of Erectile dysfunction includes:
- One in 10 men in the world have erectile dysfunction.
- 30 million men in the United States have erectile dysfunction.
- 50% of men with diabetes have erectile dysfunction, frequently within 10 years of diagnosis.
- The likelihood of erectile dysfunction increases with age: 39% at age 40, 65% over the age of 65.
- Smokers have a higher likelihood of erectile dysfunction. Men who smoke more than 1 pack per day have a 50% higher chance of impotency than nonsmokers the same age.
- More men are experiencing impotency because the baby boomer generation is getting older.
- Awareness of the problem is increasing, which increases the number of men who are treated.
- Because, in the past, men have generally been unwilling to talk about their problem or seek treatment, erectile dysfunction has been under-reported.
- Many physicians are not aware of the treatment options, so patients have been either under treated or not treated at all.
What are the best treatment options for ED?
- There are many different treatment options for erectile dysfunction and there is no “one size fit all” approach for treating this disease.
- When the under the care of an expert medical team, there are more options for an increased success rate as the patient is monitored more closely and the medical team can tailor treatments in a more timely fashion.
What are the options when other ED medicine fails?
- Medications – which increase blood flow to the penis and as a family of medicines they are Phosphodiesterase Type 5 (PDE5) Inhibitors. Common brand names such as Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra.
- Compound medications – Vitalize works with compound pharmacies to formulate a personalized formula, dosage, & medication combination that works when all else fails.
- Vacuum erectile device - The penis is inserted into a plastic tube while a hand-held vacuum pump draws blood into the penis. A constriction device is then place around the base of the penis to prevent the blood from leaking out of the penis. This causes a mechanical erection as opposed to a pharmacological one. The plastic tube is then removed and sexual activity can begin. The constriction device must be removed from the penis after 30 minutes.
- Intra-urethral suppository - A patient places an suppository filled with alprostadil into the urethra of the penis and gently pushes a plunger that releases a small, rice-sized pellet of the medication. The medication is absorbed into the penis and dilates the blood vessels in the penis causing an erection to occur usually within 10-15 minutes. This is marked as MUSE in the United States.
- Injection therapy – has been deemed the most efficacious and cost effective method of attaining an erection by the American Urological Association. The medication alprostadil (available as Caverject and EDEX) is injected directly into the penis, causing dilation of the blood vessels in the penis. An erection usually occurs within 10-15 minutes and generally lasts 45-60 minutes. Patients must be warned about a rare but serious side effect is priapism, which is an erection that lasts more than four hours, potentially causing tissue damage in the penis.