What is Erectile Dysfunction (ED)?
Erectile dysfunction (impotence) or “ED” is a medical term describing the inability to get and keep an erection firm enough for sex. This condition is one of the most common sexual problems for men. Having erection trouble from time to time isn't necessarily a cause for concern. If erectile dysfunction is an ongoing issue, however, it can cause stress, affect self-confidence and contribute to relationship problems. Problems getting or keeping an erection also can be a sign of an underlying health condition that may need treatment, and a risk factor for heart disease down the road. Dr. Steinberg is an expert in the confidential evaluation and treatment of ED.
What causes Erectile Dysfunction (ED)?
Erectile Dysfunction is not just a part of the aging process, nor is it normal for a man to lose his erectile function as a result of just getting older. There are many causes of ED; diseases and conditions that may cause ED include:
- Psychological issues: Stress, anxiety, depression.
- Aging and a natural drop in hormonal activity
- Certain prescription medications: Some medications, including those used to treat high blood pressure, can interfere with the blood flow to the penis.
- Serious or chronic conditions such as Diabetes, Vascular and Neurological Diseases
- Surgery or Trauma - Surgeries for the treatment of diseases in the prostate, bladder, colon or rectal area can damage nerves and result in ED. Many men who undergo radical prostatectomy, for example, often experience some degree of ED after surgery.
- Low testosterone - Imbalances of hormones such as low testosterone can also be a factor in ED. A deficiency in testosterone can cause low libido and low energy which can result in erectile dysfunction. While improving low testosterone doesn't cure ED, it may positively affect a man's sex drive, which could result in improved erections.
- Excessive drinking or drug use
- Smoking, which can lead to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
- Uncontrolled or undiagnosed chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, kidney disease, cardiovascular disease or prostate cancer
What are the Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction (ED)?
The symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction include problems associated with male sexual performance, including:
- Difficulty getting an erection
- Difficulty keeping an erection
- Reduced sexual desire
How is Erectile Dysfunction (ED) Diagnosed?
Diagnosing the cause of your ED is the first step to developing a successful treatment plan and can often be done in one or two office visits. Although discussing ED can be difficult and feel embarrassing, Dr. Steinberg has the professionalism and experience to understand the medical, physical and psychological effects of Erectile Dysfunction, and how to help. Dr. Steinberg will work with you to devise a comprehensive plan of care that is personalized to your individual needs and condition. In addition to asking a series of detailed questions about your sexual health, activity, and erectile function, Dr. Steinberg may also perform a physical exam that includes checking your blood pressure and the circulation to your penis. He may also perform a digital rectal exam to check your prostate if necessary, and order blood work and other lab tests to rule out any chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and even low testosterone.
If you are experiencing the symptoms of ED, contact Dr. Steinberg at his Milford office at 508-473-6333 to schedule an evaluation.