Erectile Dysfunction can seem daunting when first trying to navigate all the information on the internet.
We put together this complete FAQ guide to help you in your journey to finding the facts about ED that can help you take your next best step on the road to finding answers.
This disorder is characterized by the inability to get or keep an erection for sexual intercourse.
Other Names For Erectile Dysfunction
Some other names you may have heard for this disorder are impotence and ED for short.
Characteristics of Erectile Dysfunction
You might notice some different symptoms if you suffer from ED. Generally, these are low energy, low sexual libido, and the inability to form or keep an erection. A risk factor that is less talked about that is normal is aging. If men live long enough, developing ED is a normal side effect of getting older. According to the Massachusetts Male Aging Study, 52% of men between the ages of 40 and 70 years old reported having symptoms of ED. This percentage can increase as age progresses and is not considered abnormal. If you are a male and are in the younger stage of your life and are experiencing symptoms of this disorder, you can seek additional medical care. It is not uncommon to have some trouble with erections here and there in your lifetime. If it is becoming more and more frequent as you are less than 40 years old, talk to your doctor about what your options are moving forward.
What Causes ED?
The number one cause of Erectile Dysfunction that is normal is aging. Everyone ages as life progresses, and this is just a symptom of our bodies changing. Some other causes of ED are being overweight, diabetes, low Testosterone levels, kidney disease, stress, anxiety, depression, relationship issues, drinking alcohol, consuming drugs, certain medications, pelvic injuries, surgeries in the pelvic region, sleep disorders, cardiovascular disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
Risk Factors for Erectile Dysfunction
Risk factors for this disorder are similar to the causes. In a study done by the Journal of Urology, Obesity and smoking can increase the risk of an individual developing symptoms of ED.
Can ED Be Reversed?
Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction can be lessened and improved by doing a few things for your overall health. Since this disorder is not just caused by physical ailments alone, but also emotional and psychological, it can take doing more than just taking medication to help. If you want to try improving your symptoms naturally to begin, consult with your doctor. You want to start by taking a mental note or inventory of what your life is like in three areas. Psychological, emotional, and physical. Here is a breakdown of these 3 areas, and questions that can provoke thought to get you thinking about where you might need some extra help.
Psychologically, do you have a hard time setting boundaries in relationships or with work? Do you struggle with time management and accepting too much on your plate? Are you finding that you are burdened down with stress and anxiety? Do you have the tools you need to take care of your mental state?
Emotionally, do you have straining relationships? Do you get drained from interacting with certain people in your social circle? Is there a lot of stress in your romantic relationship? Do you have strong friendships and connections? Do you have a hobby you frequently enjoy? Do you spend valuable time doing things that bring you joy? Do you take time to relax?
Physically, do you get 7-9 hours of sleep each night? Do you exercise 3-5 times per week? Do you eat well, or do you have time to plan your meals? How much water do you drink per day? Do you mobilize and stretch?
Answering these questions can give you a clear look into areas of your life that could be contributing to your symptoms of ED. Where are some areas you need to adjust?
What Can I Do To Prevent Early Onset Of ED?
Although ED can be brought on by old age alone, a healthy diet and exercise program can aid in reducing the risk factors and symptoms that lead to developing ED.
Nutrition can play a key role in many aspects of our lives. One of them being the ability for holistic foods to help combat disease and sickness. This is an area you can start to work on at home. Take a food log of what you eat and drink for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for seven days a week. It might be easier for you to write it down in a notebook or journal so that you can easily compare the day-to-day of what you consume. You can also log on your phone using a tracking app or the notes feature on your mobile device. Here is a log of questions to ask yourself once this is completed; Answer in a YES or NO format.
1.Do I eat veggies with each meal?
2.Do I drink ½ my body weight in oz of water each day?
3.Do I eat protein at each meal?
4.Do I eat mostly packaged snacks?
5.Do I eat out every day?
6.Do I consume more soda drinks than I do water?
7.Do I buy a lot of packaged foods?
8.Do I take a supplement or vitamin every day?
9.Do I plan my meals ahead?
10.Do I eat minimal amounts of candy, ice cream, and cookies/pastries?
If you answer “no” to more than 4 of these questions listed above, you can find some areas to improve and work on over the next couple of weeks. Choose one question and form it into a positive habit. If you answered no to question 1, start incorporating vegetables at each meal for the next week and see how you feel. If that seems like a stretch for you, you can start smaller. Think about ways to add vegetables at lunch every day for a week, and then you can add in other meals as you see success. Small changes over time will reap big rewards. It just takes time.
Being mindful of certain foods you consume can also help with Testosterone levels which will help with ED. Limiting Soy products, limiting alcohol, decreasing your processed food consumption, overeating and vegetable oil usage will have positive effects in this area.
Eating too little fat, but not enough vitamins and micronutrients, and eating too few calories or overeating too much, has a direct correlation to Testosterone suppression in men. Since low Testosterone Levels is a cause of ED, making sure to dial in your diet is key in keeping yourself healthy and avoiding this disorder.
Exercise is another factor that affects a lot of body processes and functions in our day-to-day life. Exercise doesn’t just affect our physical well-being, but also our emotional and mental health as well. The benefits of the brain alone are jaw-dropping. According to the Center for Disease Control or CDC, exercise can improve symptoms of anxiety and depression in adults. If we recall that anxiety and depression are risk factors for ED, getting our bodies moving has a positive impact on reducing symptoms associated with ED and improves our ability to fight against it.
Exercising for 150 minutes each week performing moderate intensity movement is recommended. This could equate to doing 1-30 minute workout session each day for 5 days of the week.
Moving your body too much or over training, can have a reverse effect on Testosterone production. Meaning if you over train yourself in your workout regime, you could also be harming yourself by decreasing your Testosterone levels, which will put you at risk for developing Erectile Dysfunction. Participating in regular intense exercise sessions will give you the benefits and the results you need for staying healthy and keeping your Testosterone levels normal.
What Can I Do If I Suspect I Have Erectile Dysfunction?
There are many resources available to get you the help that you need. This is not something that you have to endure alone. Reaching out to your doctor to make that first appointment is going to get you on the right track. Your doctor will schedule you a time to come in and discuss your symptoms as well as past relationship history, current relationship history, sexual history, and complete a physical screening and possibly some blood work.
Treatment Options for ED
Focused Shock Wave Therapy
Focused Shock Wave Therapy is a form of treatment used to improve symptoms of ED that is fairly new. It is best used for men who suffer from Vasculogenic ED. This form of treatment uses high-energy sound waves to quicken tissue repair and boost cell growth. To be seen for Focused Shock Wave Therapy, you do not need to plan for anything invasive. There is no anesthesia involved or needed. Using a wand-shaped device, your provider will place it over different areas of the penis at 15-minute increments. During this process, the wand will emit pulsing vibrations that help to trigger blood flow and increased tissue remodeling.
Radial Wave Therapy
Energy Wave Therapy is another term used for Radial Wave Therapy. This treatment option is also used to improve symptoms of ED. Using sound waves, this therapy will increase blood flow through the penis. Your doctor will use a Radial Wave Wand Device that emits low-intensity energy sound waves. Your doctor will use the wand to deliver five points of contact, which will follow at 3 locations on top of the shaft of the penis, and 2 below the shaft of the penis. As the sound waves pass through the skin and through the shaft of the penis, blood vessels are prompted to grow, and blood flow improves. To continue to see progress, appointments need to be scheduled out for 6 treatments over a period of 6 weeks. Each appointment is expected to be less than 30 minutes.
Medications: These medications can be taken orally or through an intra-urethral suppository.
Counseling: If your symptoms of ED are caused by psychological issues, seeing a therapist or counselor can be a viable form of treatment.
Penis Pumps: These devices use a vacuum seal to pull blood into the penis that creates an erection.
Implants: This option involves invasive surgery to place structures on both sides of the penis. These structures can either be inflatable or rods.
Injections: These injections can be taken in the office or at home. Injections are directly made into the penis.
Blood Vessel Surgery: Sometimes, obstructed arteries in the penis can be bypassed to improve ED.
Our ED Self-Test
A useful resource we have to offer is our online Erectile Dysfunction Self-Test. This is our SHIM test or Sexual Health Inventory For Men test. By answering some questions on our website, you can get a better idea on where you stand in your symptoms of ED, and how you can start on the path to getting the help you need. Once you answer the questions on our test, it is submitted to our office and reviewed by our staff. You can then talk with one of our doctors about your results at a discounted price of $30.00.
Visit Genesys Men’s Health for Your Erectile Dysfunction Needs
At Genesys Men’s Health, we specialize in difficult health scenarios that others have given up on. When it comes to Erectile Dysfunction, we have the knowledge and expertise to help get you on the right path to a better you. We hope you have enjoyed this completed FAQ Guide on Erectile Dysfunction. Just as your needs are unique to you, so is your treatment. Take our free ED Self-Test or book your free hormone evaluation. You can also come visit our office located in Sandy, Utah, or give us a call at (801)-671-7456 to find out more. We serve men throughout all of Salt Lake County and surrounding areas. Contact us today!