If you have erectile dysfunction (ED), it's important to see a doctor. It could be a sign of a serious underlying medical conditions.
Erectile dysfunction is defined as the inability to get or keep an erection firm enough to have sex. It happens to lots of men from time to time, but if it’s a frequent problem that’s getting progressively worse, it’s time to see your doctor. Your ED may be caused by heart disease, diabetes, or other serious problems.
To understand why, you need to think about what happens when an erection occurs. Blood flow to the penis increases, engorging the blood vessels and creating an erection. If your heart is not pumping efficiently, ED may be the result. Atherosclerosis (hardened or narrowed arteries) and high blood pressure can also interfere with blood flow to the penis.
Other causes of ED may include:
- Nerve damage, which may be associated with diabetes or other diseases.
- Alcohol or drug abuse.
- Low testosterone levels, which may be a result of aging or may be caused by problems with the pituitary gland, the thyroid, the liver, or the testes.
- Stress or depression, which may be treated by exercise, counseling, meditation, and medicine.
- Side effects of prescription drugs; if this is the cause, your doctor may be able to prescribe an alternative.
Doctors sometimes refer to ED as a "canary in a coalmine" because it’s so often a sign that something more serious is going on in the body.
Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help for ED. It could be the symptom that saves your life, if it results in you getting treatment for underlying health problems.
If you have questions about ED, the staff at Affiliated Urologists are happy to talk with you.
Affiliated Urologists is an award-winning practice recognized both locally and nationally that has provided service to patients in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and surrounding communities in the Valley, for over 40 years. The physicians emphasize top-of-the-line comprehensive urological care and strive to deliver the highest outcomes for patient satisfaction. To make an appointment, call 602-264-0608 or contact us for instructions on scheduling an appointment.
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.