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Erectile dysfunction (which is known as ED) is when you cannot either achieve or maintain an erection. Sometimes your penis might become partially erect, which causes trouble during sexual intercourse.

How common is erectile dysfunction?

At some point, most men are occasionally unable to achieve an erection. ED happens if you are distracted, stressed, fatigued or if you have consumed too much alcohol. This type of dysfunction is usually temporary, and you can get an erection when you do experience sexual arousal.

Unfortunately, for some men, ED can be recurring and persistent. Although this is more common when you get older, it can happen to men at a younger age, with 50% of 40–70-year-olds experiencing it.

Your IPSA Medical erectile dysfunction consultation

This consultation is undertaken in our highly confidential and private clinical set up. Your IPSA Medical clinician, an expert for ED consultation, will always have a holistic approach to treatment and diagnosis. The clinician involves you completely in the process, as he runs through your symptoms/risk factors and family history. Working with you, your IPSA Medical physician will rule out possible underlying medical disorders that may be behind your ED and will discuss and recommend any of the further necessary blood tests.

Your IPSA Medical physician will also provide immediate ED treatment, and he will arrange any follow-ups (if they are deemed necessary).

Men’s health and the causes of erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction either has a physical or psychological cause.

Physical ED causes

The majority (80%) of all ED cases are associated with a physical cause:

  • In men who are above the age of 40 experience ED due to reduced blood flow to the penis, as the arteries taking the blood to penis narrow, as it happens in other areas of your body. The reduced blood flow might then not be sufficient enough for an erection.
  • Medicines can produce ED as a side effect such as beta-blockers (propranolol or atenolol), diuretics (known as water tablets) and drugs like cimetidine. Many other medicines can also lead to ED.
  • Drug abuse and alcohol abuse over a long time also contribute to ED.
  • Sometimes the nerves leading to your penis can be damaged (e.g. after radiotherapy in your genital region, having a fractured pelvis or receiving a spinal injury, or after having surgical procedures on nearby areas of your body).
  • Diabetes, which affects your blood vessels and nerves, is a common condition causing ED.
  • Long-distance cycling often causes ED, most probably because the pressure is placed on your nerves that go to your penis due to sitting on a saddle for long periods.
  • Diseases that affect the nerves going to your penis include strokes, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and so on.
  • A venous leak is rare, but it is when your blood flows out through the veins from your penis; it is caused by several different conditions that affect the penis.
  • A rather uncommon ED cause is a hormonal imbalance. The testosterone hormone produced in your testes can become imbalanced, leading to ED. If you present with a reduced testosterone level, then you may have other related symptoms (e.g. changes in mood or a reduced libido/sex drive).

The mental health (or psychological) ED causes

Various psychological conditions might lead to the development of ED, for example, relationship issues, depression, stress (e.g. due to problems at work/home), or anxiety.

If I do have persistent erectile dysfunction, what are the steps I should take?

Under these circumstances, we recommend that you visit your IPSA Medical specialist to discuss the related issues. This process will help in identifying and ruling out any possible underlying issues. Before offering treatment, your IPSA Medical practitioner might suggest having some additional tests.

What tests might be done at my IPSA Medical Clinic for Erectile Dysfunction?

Your IPSA Medical clinician might recommend some additional tests, and this will depend on the probable cause of your ED, your particular presenting symptoms, and your age, etc. These tests are mainly to check the risk factors (which are noted above) that might increase your risk of developing narrowing of your arteries and involve:

  • A blood sugar level test
  • A urine test
  • A blood test (for both cholesterol and other fats/lipids)
  • An ECG (which is a heart trace)
  • A blood pressure check
  • Blood tests to rule out the presence of kidney disease/liver disease

If your IPSA Medical specialist suspects heart disease, then additional and appropriate heart tests can be carried out at your IPSA Medical heart clinic.

What are the ED treatment options at my IPSA Medical Clinic?

If your ED problem is physical, then the treatment focus is on trying to determine any underlying cause for your ED. The ED treatment options have improved recently, so your IPSA Medical practitioner is now able to treat many more ED cases.

What are the medications for erectile dysfunction at my IPSA Medical Clinic?

Tablets such as Sildenafil (Viagra®), Tadalafil (Cialis®) and Vardenafil (Levitra®) are used to treat ED caused by underlying conditions and are taken orally. These medicines should be consumed before sexual intercourse to produce an erection by increasing blood flow to your penis.

If ED is troubling you, book your same-day IPSA Medical Erectile Dysfunction Consultation.

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