How many men are suffering from Erectile Dysfunction (ED)?
According to the National Institute of Health, there are 30 million American men that are affected with Erectile Dysfunction (ED). Most men who suffer from ED are over the age of 40. However, the prevalence of ED increases with age. Chances are, you or someone you know is suffering from ED right now.
What is Erectile Dysfunction (ED)?
ED (also called impotence) occurs when a man has difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection. There are many causes of ED. Some of the most common reasons include heart disease, vascular disease, diabetes, alcohol, drugs, surgical complications and Peyronie’s disease. Chronic heart and vascular disease, along with diabetes can severely impair the blood vessels of the patient, restricting blood flow to the penis. This can result in an inadequate erection. Alcohol, tobacco and drug use (even prescription drugs) can also limit blood flow to the penis, leading to ED.
What is Peyronie’s Disease?
Finally, Peyronie’s disease occurs when a man has developed scar tissue in his penis, preventing him from achieving or maintaining an erection. At this time, causes for Peyronie’s disease are not known although most researchers believe that it occurs due to repeated trauma to the penis. This can happen via sexual activity, sports or an accident. Besides having ED, other symptoms of Peyronie’s disease include a significant bend to the penis, shortening of the penis, and pain even without having an erection.
What are the treatments for Erectile Dysfunction?
There are currently only three treatments for ED: prescription medications, use of a penis pump, and penile implants. Most patients that are newly diagnosed with ED are prescribed medications by their doctors.
Oral medications for Erectile Dysfunction
The most commonly prescribed drug is Sildenafil, or more commonly known as Viagra. This medication works by enhancing nitric oxide, which is a naturally occurring chemical in the human body. What nitric oxide does is it relaxes the muscle tissue to allow increased blood flow to the penis, resulting in an erection. However, there are a couple of downsides to this medication. First, it does not provide an immediate effect. It takes an average of 10-20 minutes after taking the drug to achieve a full erection. Second, since Sildenafil only amplifies the effects of nitric oxide in the body, the patient must first be sexually stimulated before the full effects of the medication could be realized.
Penis pumps, on the other hand, works mechanically. A vacuum tube is placed on the penis. The vacuum pulls the blood into the penis, and a ring is set on the base of the penis to make the erection last. The downside to the penis pump is it does not allow for spontaneous sexual activity, and it can take between 5-10 minutes to get the penis erect entirely. The pump can also cause bruising on the penis. Finally, the band at the base of the penis can affect ejaculation.
Indications for Penile Implant Surgery
Most men can be successfully treated with either medication or through the use of a penis pump. But for men who are either unsatisfied with these treatment options or for whom these treatment options have failed, there is one last available treatment for them: penile implants. A penile implant is a medical device that is surgically-inserted inside of a man’s penis to allow him to achieve an erection. This treatment option may be the most invasive, but most men who have had the procedure done reports that it is the most satisfying option for them. According to the Mayo Clinic, these devices last up to 10 years without the need for replacements 60-80% of the time.
If you or someone you know has Erectile Dysfunction and has tried other treatments and failed, contact us today at 212-541-6239 and schedule your free appointment. To find out more about penile implants, visit our website at FifthAvenueUrology.com.
- Nunes KP, Labazi H, Webb RC. New insights into hypertension-associated erectile dysfunction. Current Opinion in Nephrology and Hypertension. 2012;21(2):163–170.
- Mayo Clinic. Penile Implants. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/penile-implants/about/pac-20384916?p=1