The Different Causes and Treatments for Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

Man standing covering crotch with both hands crossed

The prospect of erectile dysfunction, or not being able to perform sexually, either due to the inability to achieve an erection or maintain that erection throughout intercourse, strikes fear into the hearts of young and older men alike. And while ED may seem like a concern that would only affect those of advanced age, that’s not necessarily the case. There are different reasons why erectile dysfunction may occur, and each of these has treatment options to address the root cause.

Here at our practice, we have no shortage of younger men – those under the age of 40 – that experience problematic ED. These men can suffer from a variety of issues, both organic (structural) and non-organic such as anxiety, poor past sexual experiences, depression, and more. Regardless, they are often relieved that the cause of their erectile dysfunction can often be treated with medication or talk therapy.

Most men will experience erectile dysfunction, at least temporarily, due to prostate cancer and subsequent treatment, including prostatectomy (prostate removal), and up to 50% of men will experience erectile issues after brachytherapy (radiation). For those patients, Dr. Kapadia offers a comprehensive erectile function restoration program that sees many men achieve at least a partial return of their erectile function within a year, and most see good results in three years. But for some, the impotence is severe enough that medication and even injections are insufficient. Fortunately, for men who do not respond to conventional medical therapy, we have an excellent option: an inflatable penile prosthesis that offers a discrete way to regain erectile function in a reliable and long-lasting way.

Simple aging can also worsen ED. As many men age, their cardiovascular health begins to decline, and one of the first manifestations of this age-related issue is erectile dysfunction. To understand how the cardiovascular system affects the ability to achieve and maintain an erection, it is essential to learn more about proper blood flow and progressive occlusion of arteries due to a phenomenon known as atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is the narrowing of the arteries due to plaque buildup on the arterial walls. This is almost inevitable as the patient ages but can be hastened by a poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle. A significant number of patients that ultimately have coronary artery disease will see the early effects of atherosclerosis as ED. This is because the arteries that supply the penis with blood are smaller in diameter than those that provide the peripheral limbs, known as peripheral arteries, or the heart, known as coronary arteries. It stands to reason, therefore, that they would occlude sooner.

For these patients, a combination of erectile medication, like Sildenafil (generic Viagra), or Tadalafil (generic Cialis), can be effective for a time. However, atherosclerosis is typically progressive, especially if left untreated, so often, patients move on to injections, followed by a penile implant for severe impotence.

Why Do Single-Focus Men’s Clinics and Online Ed Medication Options Only Solve Part of the Problem?

Men who have erectile dysfunction must understand the root cause of their condition. Unfortunately, single-focused men’s clinics and online medication websites often do not delve into the underlying medical issues that may be causing the problem. This is especially true for cardiovascular-related erectile dysfunction, which may delay the treatment of atherosclerosis by years. Instead, it is in the best interest of any patient with ED to visit a men’s health urologist, such as Dr. Kapadia, to get a specialty, whole-body care that includes not only treatment for the sexual component of erectile dysfunction, but also co-occurring or causative medical concerns.

We look forward to helping you with any erectile function concerns that you may have. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Kapadia to learn more about your treatment options and understand how your erectile function can be restored through one of the many options available today.