Urologists located in Charlottesville, VA
Erectile dysfunction (ED) isn’t easy to talk about, even with your doctor, but it may help to know that it’s a common problem affecting one in 10 men. The doctors at Urological Associates have years of experience helping men overcome ED and regain a healthy, satisfying sex life. To learn about your treatment options, call the office in Charlottesville, Virginia, or book an appointment online.
Erectile Dysfunction (ED) Q & A
What causes ED?
ED occurs when you can’t have an erection or keep an erection that’s strong enough for sexual intercourse. Many underlying health conditions can cause ED by affecting the hormones, nerves, and blood vessels that are essential for an erection. For example, ED develops when you don’t have enough blood flowing into the penis, a problem that’s often caused by hardened arteries, also called atherosclerosis.
Your ED may be due to conditions such as:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Cardiovascular disease
- Hormone imbalance
- Enlarged prostate
- Sleep disorders
- Certain medications
Other factors like stress, smoking, alcohol, depression, and emotions can also interfere with sexual function. In many cases, physical and psychological factors work together to cause ED.
How is ED diagnosed?
Although your symptoms are obvious, diagnosing the underlying cause of ED may require an extensive review of your medical history and a variety of diagnostic tests, including blood work and a urinalysis.
Your doctor may use a vasodilator to determine whether the blood vessels in your penis can dilate to cause an erection. In some cases, diagnostic ultrasound may be needed to check for prostate problems.
What treatments are available for ED?
The doctors at Urological Associates offer individualized treatment for ED that may include any of the following:
Oral medications such as sildenafil, vardenafil, tadalafil, and avanafil work by relaxing smooth muscles and increasing blood flow in your penis. These medications only lead to an erection when you’re sexually stimulated. Other self-injectable medications cause an erection without sexual stimulation.
If your ED is caused by low testosterone, your doctor may recommend hormone replacement therapy.
A vacuum device helps you have an erection by pulling blood into your penis. You place an elastic ring on your penis to maintain the erection. The ring can stay in place for up to 30 minutes.
Inflatable penile implant
Your doctor surgically implants two cylinders inside your penis, a fluid-filled reservoir under your abdominal wall, and a pump inside your scrotum that allows you to send fluid into the cylinders to create an erection.
Two rods are surgically implanted inside your penis. You can bend the rods up for an erection, then bend them back down to restore a non-erect penis.
If your sex life is affected by ED, schedule an appointment online or call Urological Associates.
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