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Erectile Dysfunction/Impotence

Erectile dysfunction (ED) or impotence is defined as the inability to get or maintain an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. There are countless television commercials showing popular prescription drugs that can help in the treatment process. However, finding the source of the problem and attempting to deal with it, rather than just treating the symptoms, is where we provide a valuable service for our patients.

While occasional difficulties are common and usually benign, a persistent problem may be the sign or symptom of an underlying medical condition which may be evaluated, diagnosed, and treated as any other medical condition.

The root causes and risk factors can be attributed to any or a combination of concerns:

  • Cardiovascular – Heart, blood vessel, high blood pressure
  • Hormonal – High cholesterol, diabetes, low testosterone, metabolic syndrome (a condition of high blood pressure, high insulin level, high cholesterol, and excessive fat around the waistline), spinal cord injury
  • Neurologic – Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, sleep disorders
  • Substances – certain prescription medications, alcoholism, substance abuse, tobacco use
  • Peyronie’s disease – scar tissue formation within the penis
  • Some prostate cancer or enlarged prostate treatments or surgery
  • Psychological – depression, stress

Diagnostic testing by your AUCNY urologist can help determine the specific cause for the erectile dysfunction/impotence:

  • Detailed history and physical examination – requesting details on symptoms, personal and family medical history, social history including smoking habits, physical examination with special emphasis on the bladder area including rectal/pelvic exam
  • Blood test
  • Urine test
  • Ultrasound – an imaging method to check for structural or blood flow abnormalities

Treatment Options

Treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED) / impotence is tailored to the root cause of the problem by your AUCNY urologist after diagnostic testing and determination of the specific problem and may include any or a combination of:

  • Prescription medications in pill form, testosterone replacement
  • Self-administered injections into the base of the penis or suppositories self-administered within the penis
  • Mechanical penile pumps
  • Surgical penile implants
  • Psychological counseling services
  • Lifestyle alteration — exercise, over-the-counter supplements as recommended by your AUCNY urologist, smoking and alcohol cessation, obesity treatment

Urological Conditions & Treatments

Urological Cancers & Treatments