Erectile dysfunction is a distressing experience for any man and could lead to reduced quality of life as well as being indicative of more serious mental or physical health problems. If you’ve been having issues with your erections, Flagstaff Surgical Associates in Flagstaff, Arizona, can provide you with both a diagnosis for your erectile dysfunction and the most appropriate treatments. For the effective resolution of erectile dysfunction, call Flagstaff Surgical Associates today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online.

What is erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction or ED is a common condition that causes performance problems during sex. It means you can’t get your penis hard enough to have sex, or you can’t keep it hard for long enough.

If you occasionally have difficulty with your erections, that’s not unusual and isn’t anything to be worried about.

If you’re regularly finding it hard to get or keep an erection, or it’s a problem that’s getting worse, you should see a urologist at Flagstaff Surgical Associates.

What causes erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction occurs because there’s a problem with the blood flow in your penis. Sometimes this is an early warning of a circulation problem like atherosclerosis, which causes your arteries to narrow. Conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure can also affect blood flow to the penis.

Your risk of having ED increases with risk factors such as:

  • Being over 50
  • High cholesterol
  • Smoking
  • Drug abuse
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Being obese
  • Lack of exercise

There could be nerve damage that’s affecting the signals between your brain and your penis. Or your ED might be due to stress, a psychological disorder, or emotional problem.

Having erectile dysfunction can also cause emotional issues. You might have low self-esteem or feel guilty about being unable to have sex with your partner. Untreated, ED can lead to anxiety and depression.

How is erectile dysfunction diagnosed?

Accurate diagnosis is the first step to getting the right treatment. Your provider at Flagstaff Surgical Associates first looks at your medical history and carries out a physical exam, looking at your general health as well as examining your genitals and prostate gland. They need to know how you’re feeling both physically and mentally.

You also need to have tests to check your heart and blood vessels, like an ECG (electrocardiogram) and blood pressure check.

Depending on your situation, other symptoms, and any risk factors, you might also need to have blood tests for conditions like diabetes or low testosterone. Once your provider at Flagstaff Surgical Associates has found the cause of your ED, you can begin treatment.

How is erectile dysfunction treated?

The treatment you need for erectile dysfunction depends on the cause of the problem. If it’s vascular or heart-related, then improving your circulatory health should improve blood flow to your penis and resolve the ED.

Treatments for erectile dysfunction also include:

  • Oral medication (e.g., Viagra, Stendra)
  • Testosterone therapy
  • Penile injections
  • Intraurethral medication
  • Vacuum erection devices
  • Penile implants
  • Low-intensity extracorporeal shockwave therapy

You might need to make changes to your lifestyle, for example, quitting smoking, losing weight, and getting more exercise. If you have psychological problems, you might need to undergo counseling to resolve the root of your ED.

If you have erectile dysfunction, call Flagstaff Surgical Associates today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online.