If you are a male and have been diagnosed with Erectile Dysfunction (ED), there might be a lot of information you don’t know about your condition.
We are sharing all the facts on Erectile Dysfunction here, including what it is, if it is a permanent disorder, and steps you can take to improve your symptoms for a better quality of life.
Erectile Dysfunction Explained
Erectile Dysfunction is a common disorder that occurs in men. Generally, this condition can appear in males over the age of 30, and increases in chances of onset as you age. ED is characterized by the inability to have an erection that can stimulate intercourse. If this occurrence happens once in a while or occasionally, it is not considered abnormal. This can happen for men across the globe every now and then. If these problems persist at least ½ of the time and are interfering with your life, you could be experiencing symptoms of ED. If you have never been capable of getting or keeping an erection, this is also a sign you have this type of dysfunction and help is available. There’s nothing to be ashamed of.
What Causes Erectile Dysfunction?
There is an array of causes of ED, both are physical and mental or emotional. Diabetes, high blood pressure, hormone issues, low Testosterone levels, depression, anxiety, stress, kidney disease, relationship issues, sleep disorders, drug use, alcohol use, Parkinson’s disease, prescription medications, and injury or damage to the pelvic area.
What Are the Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction?
Some symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction are as follows: difficulty getting an erection, difficulty keeping an erection, lack of interest in sex, low sexual desire or libido.
Are My Symptoms Permanent?
There are generally two categories or types of ED. The first is termed “Primary ED.” This is when a man has never had the ability to get or keep an erection in his lifetime. This specific category is more difficult to alleviate. The second type is called “ Secondary ED.” Secondary ED is more common than Primary ED and is characterized by the loss of being able to get or keep an erection. So, to begin with, you had no issue with day-to-day sexual activities, and then things changed and it became a problem. This type can usually be reversed with treatments and lifestyle changes.
Are There Things I Can Do to Prevent Erectile Dysfunction?
There are a few things you can do to reduce your ED symptoms and ultimately reverse your condition. Medications can address the short-term causes and help with symptoms. Lifestyle changes will be long-term and usually can address the underlying causes of the disorder to help get you back on track.
Stress and anxiety can play a major role in this disorder manifesting itself. If this is an area of your life that you struggle with, you have the option to start here. Think about the things in your life that cause you stress. How can you better manage and address these issues in your life? You might consider picking up a yoga class a few times per week, learning how to meditate, seeing a counselor, and really honing in on your self-care. This could also look like thinking about your plate and how many tasks you can say no to, and what you can delegate to free up time in your schedule. Can you set healthy boundaries with work? Start implementing them now.
Diet and exercise also play a key role in preventing this type of dysfunction. Exercise has many benefits for the mind and body. It boosts blood flow, aids in weight loss, and can increase mood. For individuals who participate in regular, intense exercise, blood plasma concentrations of Testosterone will increase after working out. Having a consistent exercise routine also helps to clear the mind and relieve stress and anxiety, along with the other physical benefits that come with regularly moving your body.
Creating a better diet for yourself means taking better care of your body. When I say “diet,” I don’t mean a 6-week challenge or fad diet that will have you cringing by week 3 and rebounding all the weight back you lost 5 days after it’s over. When I say “diet,” I am referring to strictly nutrition and what you choose to feed your body on a day-to-day basis. No strings or challenges attached. Making your diet a lifestyle change with nutrient-dense foods every day, will get you well on your way to reversing your Erectile Dysfunction. Food is medicine, and it can be a powerful tool for those individuals who find themselves with symptoms of ED.
Wellness checks or routine health exams are also essential to your overall wellness. Physicals each year are a great opportunity to check in with your body and address some issues or problems you may be experiencing. This creates room to find out the root of the problems and get you the tools you need to get back on track sooner and healthier. Taking care of current issues can often lead you to avoid symptoms of ED and increase your chances of not getting Erectile Dysfunction in the long run.
Here are a few more things you can do to put your mental, emotional, and physical health on the front lines to decrease your chances of acquiring this disorder.
- Journal every day.
- Make your meals ahead of time & include protein at each one.
- Exercise at least 3X per week for 30-45 minutes. Increase intensity.
- Mobilize and stretch.
- Pick up a hobby.
- Drink ½ your body weight in OZ of water every day.
- Make your yearly physical exam appointments and show up.
- Eat vegetables at every meal.
- Buy yourself a water bottle and carry it with you at work.
- Enjoy your favorite foods.
- If needed, seek out a licensed therapist. Make an appointment.
Where Do I Start If I Notice Symptoms?
If you feel you are noticing consistent symptoms that could be related to a more serious ED condition, there are a few things you can do. Make an appointment with your doctor. Write down any questions or concerns you may have and bring them to your visit so you can address them with your doctor. Your appointment will most likely consist of a wellness exam or physical, discussions of symptoms you are experiencing, routine questions on your sexual history, current sexual relationships and partners, and other aspects of your life that might offer critical insight into your unique situation. A blood test might also be included depending on where your doctor feels the best path for you to take is and what you are comfortable with personally.
What Are The Treatment Options?
There are a few different treatment options for ED. They are as follows:
Focused Shock Wave Therapy
Shockwave Therapy is a treatment option for Erectile Dysfunction, and it has become increasingly popular in recent years. There are several studies that show a positive result. This form of therapy has been shown to work best with men who have Vasculogenic ED since this form affects the blood flow to the penis.
Shockwave Therapy will use high-energy sound waves to quicken tissue repair and boost cell growth. Shockwave therapy helps to improve the blood flow to the penis and strengthens blood vessels in the process. For this procedure, you do not need any anesthesia. Your specialist will use a wand-shaped device and place it on different areas of the penis alternating around 15 minutes each. The wand emits small pulsing vibrations that help trigger blood flow and boost tissue remodeling. There is currently no set protocol for recurring treatments. The most common treatment plan is two times a week for a period of three weeks, followed by no treatments for the next three weeks, and then repeating treatments twice a week for the next three weeks.
Most research that has been performed, has shown no side effects after completing the procedure for men with ED. There is also shown to be no pain associated with the treatment. Since this is a relatively new procedure, there is a need for more extensive research to reveal any lasting effects from Shockwave Therapy for ED. This procedure is usually an out of pocket cost since insurance won’t offer coverage for it, but it is a worthwhile investment that helps men reclaim their confidence.
Radial Wave Therapy
Termed Energy Wave Therapy, in other words, this is another method to help treat Erectile Dysfunction in men. This form of therapy does not involve taking pills or having penile implants or any injections. Radial Wave Therapy uses sound waves to improve blood flow through the penis. The FDA has not approved this method of treatment, although it has shown to have positive results in helping to treat dysfunction in the patients who use it.
A doctor will use a radial wave wand device to deliver low-intensity energy sound waves to the shaft of the penis. During the treatment session, there are five points of contact with the wand to deliver the sound waves. Three on the top of the shaft and an additional two below the shaft. The sound waves pass through the skin and into the tissue to promote blood vessels to grow and increase blood flow, which will in turn increase erectile projections. This treatment is not a one-time appointment option. Generally, Radial Wave Therapy is done over a period of six weeks at twenty-minute increments for a total of six treatments. Since there is no pain associated with this treatment option, normal life can resume after the session. There are no proven adverse side effects as yet seen by research. Since Radial Wave Therapy is a non-invasive procedure, there is also no recovery time scheduled. Sexual life and activities can resume as normal as soon as possible.
These are a series of injections that include medication injected into the penis to produce an erection. Ideally, these erections should last 20-40 minutes. If you have one that lasts longer than one hour, the adjustment will be needed on the medication dosage.
This is a tiny suppository that is placed inside the urethra with a special applicator. An erection with this method of treatment should last 30-60 minutes.
TRT (Testosterone Replacement Therapy)
This is a method to treat low Testosterone, but also to treat this type of dysfunction. For those individuals whose ED is complicated or made worse by low T, this option is a viable one. TRT can be delivered through injections, patches, gum, and oral pellets, subcutaneous pellets, and medication.
Counseling & Therapy
This form of therapy for ED will address the mind. For those individuals whose ED is primarily caused by stress or anxiety, this route is a very helpful option. This can be for the individual who is suffering from ED alone, or their partner as well. Both can benefit from going to see a therapist.
A Penis Pump is a vacuum erection device. Its purpose is to be used to pull blood into the penis.
This is a medical procedure that involves placing devices on each side of the penis. These devices can be inflatable or made of a harder material rod.
Blood Vessel Surgery
This is also a medical procedure. In the case that penile arteries are obstructed, this procedure would choose to fix said arteries.
Visit Genesys Men’s Health for Your Erectile Dysfunction Needs
Here at Genesys Men’s Health, we serve individuals in all age ranges and different walks of life.
We know that every single person is unique and different, and so should their care be also. Our doctors take the time to know each individual’s needs and find the best solution for them that is available. If you have questions about Erectile Dysfunction and are searching for answers, come stop by. We have an office located in Sandy, Utah. Stop by and chat with our friendly staff or give us a call at (801)-671-7456. Contact us today!