ED can stand for several things. Sometimes it means eating disorder, while on other occasions it could mean emergency department. However, when it comes to men’s health, ED is most often used to refer to erectile dysfunction. It’s an issue that many people are aware can arise as you get older, and at other times too, but it’s not one that people often want to talk about. Many men feel that it’s an embarrassing issue to discuss, and might feel reluctant to address it if they find themselves experiencing it. Understanding ED, why it occurs and what treatments are available can help you to confront the issue
What is ED?
Erectile dysfunction, sometimes called impotence, is a problem for many men. Men over 50, in particular, can find that it becomes a problem as a natural part of aging. It’s not uncommon for men to occasionally fail to get or keep an erection, and there can be many causes, from stress to alcohol. However, for some men, it can start to happen more often. If it’s something that occurs regularly, it could have either a physical or psychological cause that needs to be addressed. Although ED can be embarrassing to acknowledge, it can have a significant impact on your life.
What Causes ED?
ED can have a range of causes, which might be physical or psychological. The most appropriate treatment for ED depends on what is causing it, so it’s important to consider what could be behind erectile dysfunction.
Some Physical Causes of ED Include:
- Narrowing of the blood vessels in the penis
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Hormone problems
- Medication side effects
Emotional and psychological causes of erectile dysfunction might include stress, depression, anxiety and other issues. One indication of ED being caused by a psychological issue is if someone only sometimes has erectile problems but experiences issues at certain times.
Seeing a doctor will help to determine a possible cause for ED. Although it might feel awkward or embarrassing, it’s nothing that medical professionals haven’t heard about before. They can help you to discover what might be causing your problems and make recommendations for treatment.
When Should You See a Professional?
You might be unsure about when you might need to see a medical professional about erectile dysfunction. Most men have experiences when they can’t get or keep an erection, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that there is a problem that needs to be addressed. It only becomes something that you might want to speak to a doctor about if it’s an issue that keeps happening. If it has started to affect your sex life, your romantic life and your emotional wellbeing, you should consider seeing someone. Speaking to a medical professional will help you to identify the cause of the problem and start considering the best treatments.
Erectile Dysfunction Diagnosis
When you see a doctor about ED, they can do a number of things to test for underlying conditions and come up with a diagnosis. Some of the things that they might do include a physical examination, blood tests, urinalysis (urine tests), ultrasound and a psychological examination. All of these things are designed to help identify any potential problems that could be causing your erectile dysfunction. Giving the doctor your medical history also helps to inform them about any potential factors that could make a difference, such as medications that you’re taking.
Talking to Your Doctor
Speaking to your doctor about erectile dysfunction can be difficult as it is a personal issue. However, being able to discuss it openly with your doctor can help you to find a cause and look for a solution. When you make an appointment, you can prepare by writing down some things that you might want to tell your doctor. This doesn’t just include your symptoms and when you experience them, but also useful information such as any medications that you take and information about your lifestyle. If you have a partner, you might want to ask them to come with you to your appointment.
As well as providing your doctor with relevant information, you might want to ask some questions. Some questions that you could ask include:
- What is the cause of my ED?
- What treatments are available?
- Will my symptoms go away on their own?
- Should I see a specialist?
- Where can I find more information about ED?
Writing down some of the questions that you have will help you to remember them at your appointment. Your doctor might refer you to a urologist if they think it is necessary.
What Treatments Are Available for ED?
Once you know what could be causing your ED, you can think about your possible options for treating it. There are various treatments and recommendations that might be made to help you address ED. Some people might find that making some lifestyle changes can help them by improving their overall health. Losing weight, eating a healthy diet, quitting smoking, exercising regularly, reducing stress and cutting back on alcohol can all be helpful if you want to live a healthier lifestyle. Moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise has been shown to be helpful. However, making lifestyle changes isn’t always going to help you when you’re dealing with ED.
Some people are prescribed or recommended medication to help with erectile dysfunction. These include sildenafil, which is sold as Viagra, tadalafil, vardenafil and avanafil. These medications can help some people, but they are not suitable for everyone. For example, people who have low blood pressure should not take Viagra. Medication also might not address an underlying cause of ED, so the real problem could go unaddressed and covered up. As well as oral medications, some other options include injecting alprostadil or testosterone replacement for men who experience ED due to low levels of the hormone.
Another possibility that some men find effective is vacuum pumps. They work by increasing blood flow to cause an erection. Sometimes they might be recommended for men who find medication isn’t right for them.
Therapy can offer treatment for men who have ED caused by psychological issues. It might include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or other types of counseling and psychotherapy to help deal with anxiety, stress, depression or other problems. Sex therapy is another possibility, which could be combined with other types of therapy to get the most benefit from it.
Surgical implants offer an option for some men, but they are not recommended until other treatments have been tried first. Implants involve placing devices on both sides of the penis that are either inflatable or bendable rods which you can control. As with any type of surgery, there are risks involved in getting these implants.
Treating ED With Gainswave
There are also therapies that are designed to address the physical aspects of ED. Gainswave is a non-invasive therapy option, which expands blood vessels and helps to generate new ones too. It uses low-intensity extracorporeal shockwave therapy, which is an acoustic wave that encourages the repair and generation of blood vessels. Better blood flow leads to improved erections. The treatment is usually carried out across six to 12 sessions, depending on the severity of the problem and what the patient wants to achieve.
The Benefits of Gainswave
Gainswave offers a number of benefits for people who are considering it as a treatment for erectile dysfunction. One benefit is that the treatment is non-invasive and doesn’t require any surgery, needles or drugs. Those who are looking for a treatment that helps them to avoid the risks and side effects that other treatment options present might choose Gainswave as an alternative. The treatment is safe and uses an FDA 1 cleared device that hasn’t been shown to produce any adverse effects. The results can last up to two years, and it’s possible to receive ongoing treatment to help maintain the effects too.
Gainswave treatment improves blood flow by repairing and encouraging the generation of blood vessels. Better blood flow leads to improved erection quality and improved sensitivity, leading to better sexual performance and satisfaction. The long-term effects offered by Gainswave give it an edge over other treatments, such as medication, which only lasts for a short while. Several sessions of the therapy can offer benefits for up to two years, whereas a medication like Viagra only provides a very short-term effect of a few hours. Gainswave addresses the root cause for men experiencing ED due to problems with blood flow.
Dealing with erectile dysfunction can be difficult for anyone. It is a tough problem to suffer from and it’s often difficult to talk about too. However, if you don’t address the problem, it is unlikely to get better on its own. There are several potential causes and a number of treatments that can help you if you are experiencing ED. By taking steps to diagnose and treat the problem, you can improve your quality of life and your mood. ED is a common issue, and you are not the only person who is looking for a solution.