If difficulties maintaining a healthy erection are interfering with your self-esteem and sexual confidence, John Bertini, MD, FACS, and James Harris, MD, at Gulf Coast Urology can help. At offices in Houston and Nassau Bay, Texas, they offer comprehensive diagnostic and treatment services for men of all ages with erectile dysfunction. Learn more about the causes of erectile dysfunction and how you can treat it by calling Gulf Coast Urology today or by requesting an appointment online now.
Erectile dysfunction is a common condition that affects men’s sexual health. This diagnosis involves difficulty getting or maintaining an erection that’s firm enough to engage in sexual relations.
In a healthy male, sexual arousal causes nerves to release chemicals that increase blood flow in the two erection chambers, areas of spongy tissue in the penis. These tissues relax and capture blood, which increases pressure and firms the penis. After orgasm, the tissues relax, and the firmness of the penis decreases.
While it’s normal for men to experience some issues maintaining a firm erection, recurrent episodes of erectile dysfunction require diagnostic evaluation.
Erectile dysfunction can occur when blood flow throughout the penis is restricted or if you have experienced nerve damage in the area.
You can also experience occasional erectile dysfunction because of existing stress or negative emotions.
However, erectile dysfunction can also be a side effect of a more serious underlying medical condition. Some of the most common conditions that can lead to erectile dysfunction include:
You may also develop erectile dysfunction if your arteries are beginning to harden, a condition known as atherosclerosis.
Smoking, drug use, and obesity are also contributing factors to erectile dysfunction. As you get older, you may be at increased risk for erectile dysfunction, especially if you have an underlying health condition.
During an evaluation for erectile dysfunction, your Gulf Coast Urology specialist reviews your medical and family history. They also discuss your lifestyle, especially your use of tobacco products or medications, and the stressors in your life.
Your provider also performs a physical exam, checking your blood pressure, genitals, and your prostate. You may also undergo blood work or urinalysis to check for existing infections or other underlying medical conditions.
In some cases, you may need imaging tests like an MRI or CT scan to check for areas of trauma in the penis that may have caused nerve damage.
Treatments for erectile dysfunction depend on the root cause of your condition. Initially, your Gulf Coast Urology provider may recommend changes to your diet and lifestyle to improve your overall health and ensure healthy blood circulation.
There are oral and injectable medications available for recurrent erectile dysfunction that can improve the quality of your erections. In some cases, hormone therapy can be useful for stabilizing testosterone levels.
When more conservative treatments aren’t enough to treat erectile dysfunction, you may be a candidate for an inflatable penile prosthesis. This implantable device is customized to fit your anatomy and replaces the spongy tissue that captures blood to firm the penis. A pump fills the penis with fluids to achieve a healthy erection.
If you are frustrated by erectile dysfunction and need a diagnostic evaluation, call the Gulf Coast Urology office nearest you today or book an appointment online now.