Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED) — formerly called impotence — is persistent trouble getting or keeping an erection. While most men experience this problem from time-to-time, for many others it’s a regular occurrence, one that can cause frustration, embarrassment and even depression.

There’s no need to accept erectile dysfunction — even as you grow older. Our experienced team offers a range of treatments and looks at the condition from every angle — physical, emotional and mental. It’s crucial to address erectile dysfunction early — while there’s likely a straightforward cause that we can fix without further issues, the condition can also indicate serious problems.

Why choose Henry Ford VUI for erectile dysfunction (ED)?

We realize erectile dysfunction is a sensitive health issue and work to both treat you and make you comfortable. Specifically, our program offers:

  • A relaxing, flexible and judgment-free environment, with staff aware of all potential factors — culture, relationships, sexual orientation, etc.
  • The opportunity to include your partner to help make sense of the problem and undergo treatment, but also the right to do so alone
  • Personalized care, with time spent creating a plan just for you
  • A team approach that brings together different specialists, including urologists, reproductive endocrinologists and therapists specializing in emotional and psychological issues
  • Care delivered in one place, so you don’t need to visit multiple offices

Erectile dysfunction diagnosis

Erectile dysfunction is diagnosed with:

  • Full Medical history
  • Physical exam
  • Blood tests

Erectile dysfunction treatment

There are various treatments available for erectile dysfunction, and our doctors may recommend a combination of approaches to achieve the best results. Options include:

  • Counseling: We can help you with emotional, psychological and relationship issues. If lack of confidence is the problem, we help you realize you can perform the way you desire.
  • Lifestyle Changes: We might recommend getting more exercise, losing weight or cutting back on alcohol, tobacco or other drugs.
  • Oral Medications: Medications are the most commonly used first approach providing success.
  • Penile Injections: A painless injection of a mixture of agents can help many patients.
  • Penile Vacuum Erectile Devices (VEDs): Patients use a customized pump to help their penis become erect.
  • Penile Prostheses: A device is implanted in the penis to compensate for severe tissue degeneration. While we try other treatments first, the implants work well in the right patients, and the approach is less invasive than it sounds. Technological advances have also lowered the risk of complications.

Erectile dysfunction causes

Erections depend on artery and vein blood flow (vasculature), hormones, nerve signals and the right psychological state. Normally the penis fills with blood and becomes erect with stimulation, but certain factors can get in the way:

  • High cholesterol (the only risk factor for up to 40 percent of patients)
  • Psychological, emotional or relationship issues — including stress, anxiety, depression and past sexual trauma
  • Being older than 50
  • Cardiovascular disease (hardening of the arteries, or atherosclerosis)
  • Alcohol, drug or tobacco use
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Diabetes (which can cause nerve damage)
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Medications (particularly thiazide diuretics used to treat hypertension and edema)
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Low testosterone
  • Surgery or radiation therapy for prostate, bladder, colon or rectal cancer

Several medical conditions are also associated with erectile dysfunction, including:

  • Metabolic syndrome (obesity and high blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol)
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Obstructive sleep apnea

Erectile dysfunction and heart disease

Erectile dysfunction is a risk factor for heart disease and can (especially for men with diabetes) predict future cardiovascular problems as accurately as:

  • Smoking
  • High cholesterol
  • Family history of heart attack (myocardial infarction)
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