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What are erection problems?

A man has erection problems if he cannot get or keep an erection that is firm enough for him to have sex. Erection problems are also called erectile dysfunction or impotence.

Erection problems can occur at any age. But they are more common in older men, who often have other health problems. Treatment can help both older and younger men.

What causes erection problems?

Erection problems may be caused by physical problems, such as injury to nerves or loss of blood supply to the penis.

They can also be linked to other health problems. These include diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and atherosclerosis. Erection problems can also be linked to problems with the nervous system, such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.

Many medicines for other health problems may cause erection problems, but most do not. If you recently began taking a new medicine and started having erection problems, this could be a side effect of the medicine. Talk with your doctor. He or she may be able to change the dose or type of medicine you take.

Men who drink too much alcohol, smoke, or use illegal drugs also are at risk for erection problems.

Anxiety, stress, or depression can cause erection problems.

Other causes include surgery, such as for prostate cancer, or injury to the pelvic area.

What are the symptoms?

The only symptom of an erection problem is being unable to get and keep an erection that is firm enough to have sex. But even with an erection problem, a man may still have sexual desire and be able to have an orgasm and to ejaculate.

How are erection problems diagnosed?

Your doctor can find out if you have an erection problem by asking questions about your health and doing a physical exam. Your doctor will want to know if the problem happens all the time or just from time to time. The exam, lab tests, and sometimes mental health tests can help find out the cause of the problem.

How are they treated?

There are a number of treatments for erection problems. Doctors usually start with lifestyle changes and medicines. They usually don’t advise surgery or other treatments unless those first steps don’t help.

Treatment can include:

  • Making lifestyle changes, such as avoiding tobacco, drugs, and alcohol. It may also help to talk about the issue with your partner, do sensual exercises, and get counseling.
  • Finding and then stopping medicines that may be causing the problem. In some cases you can take a different medicine that does not cause erection problems.
  • Taking prescription medicine that can help you get erections. These include pills such as Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis. Check with your doctor to see if it is safe for you to take Viagra, Levitra, or Cialis with your other medicines. These can be dangerous if you have heart disease that requires you to take nitroglycerin or other medicines that contain nitrates.
  • Taking medicines and getting counseling for depression or anxiety.
  • Using vacuum devices or getting shots of medicine into the penis.
  • Having surgery to place an implant in the penis.

Can you prevent erection problems?

Because erection problems are most often caused by a physical problem, it’s important to eat healthy foods and get enough exercise to help you stay in good health.

To reduce your risk of having an erection problem, do not smoke, drink too much alcohol, or use illegal drugs.

You may be able to avoid erection problems related to anxiety and stress by talking with your partner about your concerns. This may help you relax.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Learning about erectile dysfunction (erection problems):
Being diagnosed:
Getting treatment:
Ongoing concerns:
Living with erectile dysfunction:

Source: http://www.webmd.com

What is Peyronie’s disease?

Peyronie’s disease is an abnormal curvature of the penis caused by scar tissue in the erectile tissue. Because the scar tissue prevents straightening of the penis, the curvature is most obvious during an erection. The curvature may be so severe that it prevents penetration during intercourse.

Peyronie’s disease occurs over a wide range of ages, with some men as young as 18.

What causes Peyronie’s disease?

Although the exact cause of Peyronie’s disease is unknown, some experts believe the scarring is caused by injury to the penis (such as bending or hitting).

Peyronie’s disease is not caused by cancer and does not increase the risk of cancer. It is not caused by sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of Peyronie’s disease may develop slowly or suddenly. Common symptoms include:

  • A lump or thickening along the shaft of the penis that is most noticeable when the penis is soft (flaccid).
  • A bent or curved appearance of the penis that is most noticeable when the penis is erect.
  • A painful erection. Some men do not have pain with an erection but have tenderness when the lump along the side of the penis is touched.
  • An inability to maintain an erection.
  • An inability to achieve penetration during intercourse.

What are the stages of Peyronie’s disease?

Peyronie’s disease is usually divided into two stages:

  • The active phase. The most common symptoms of this phase are painful erections and a change in the curvature of the penis.
  • The secondary phase. Stable curvature may be the only symptom of this phase. Pain, if present during the active phase, usually gets better or goes away completely.

How is Peyronie’s disease diagnosed?

Peyronie’s disease is usually diagnosed using a medical history and physical examination. Your health professional will ask you questions about when you first noticed your symptoms and whether the symptoms were gradual or sudden. This will help determine which stage of Peyronie’s disease you are experiencing.

Because symptoms of Peyronie’s disease are usually most noticeable when the penis is erect, your health professional may ask you to take a photograph of your penis while it is erect. Other tests that may be ordered include:

  • An X-ray, to produce a picture of the structures within the penis.
  • Doppler flow studies, which use sound waves to monitor blood flow patterns. It is important for your health professional to determine whether blood flow to the end of your penis is interrupted or decreased during erection.

How is it treated?

Treatment usually is not necessary unless Peyronie’s disease causes pain or interferes with sexual function. Peyronie’s disease goes away without treatment in some cases.

Most men are able to remain sexually active. Counseling can help couples maintain an active sexual life.

Although there is no standard treatment for Peyronie’s disease, medicines (such as verapamil, potassium aminobenzoate [Potaba], colchicine, or injected steroids) and vitamin E may help treat pain and improve sexual function. But the use of medicines has shown only limited success, and none are well studied for the treatment of Peyronie’s disease.

Surgery is considered for men who have severe pain, a severely curved penis, or sexual dysfunction related to Peyronie’s disease. Surgical options include removing the scar tissue or shortening the unaffected side of the penis (plication). In some cases, use of a penile prosthesis may be used to help maintain an erection during intercourse.

Source: http://symptoms.webmd.com/

Information about Erectile dysfunction


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