Erectile Dysfunction

Men with erectile dysfunction, once called impotence, have trouble getting or sustaining an erection long enough to have sex. It's a common condition, affecting as many as 30 million American men. Erectile dysfunction affects older men more than younger men. About 1% of men in their 40s, 17% of men in their 60s, and nearly 50% of men 75 or older aren't able to achieve an erection sufficient for intercourse.

Sometimes erectile dysfunction develops gradually. One night it may take longer or require more stimulation to get an erection. Another time, an erection may not be as firm as usual, or it may end before orgasm. When such difficulties occur regularly, it's time to talk to a doctor.

The culprit behind erectile dysfunction is often clogged arteries. In fact, in nearly one-third of men who see their doctors about trouble getting or keeping an erection, erectile dysfunction is the first hint that they have cardiovascular disease. Other possible causes of erectile dysfunction include medications and prostate surgery, as well as illnesses and accidents. Stress, relationship problems, or depression can also lead to it.

Regardless of the cause, erectile dysfunction often can be effectively treated. For some men, simply losing weight may help. Others may need medications. If these steps aren’t effective, a number of other options, including injections and vacuum devices, are available. Given the variety of options, the possibility of finding the right solution is now greater than ever before.

Erectile Dysfunction Articles

When drugs for erectile dysfunction don't work: What's next?

If erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs in pill form don't work, there are four major alternatives: penile injection, medication pellets, vacuum constriction method, and penile implant. Each option has pluses and minuses, and will work for different men depending on their preferences. Injection is the most effective option, but some men find it difficult to insert a needle in the penis. Inserting a medicine pellet in the tip of the penis works less well than injections. The vacuum constriction method does not produce a fully firm, natural-feeling erection. The penile implant approach is reliable but disturbs the natural erectile anatomy, which means that ED medications will no longer work. (Locked) More »

Impotence (Erectile Dysfunction)

Impotence means that a man's penis doesn't get hard enough to have sexual intercourse. The man cannot get or maintain an erection. The medical term is erectile dysfunction (ED).   (Locked) More »

Are erectile dysfunction pills safe for men with heart disease?

In men without cardiovascular disease, erectile dysfunction (ED) pills are very safe. The three rivals -- Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra -- have similar side effects, including headache, facial flushing, nasal congestion, diarrhea, backache, and, in a few Viagra or Levitra users, temporary impaired color vision (men with retinitis pigmentosa, a rare eye disease, should check with their ophthalmologists before using these medications). Headaches and blue vision are one thing, cardiac abnormalities, quite another. Are ED pills safe for the heart? These drugs are safe for healthy hearts, but all men with cardiovascular disease should take special precautions, and some cannot use them under any circumstances. The problem is their effect on arteries. All arteries, not just those in the penis, generate nitric oxide, so any artery can widen in response to Viagra, Levitra, or Cialis, causing blood pressure to drop temporarily by 5-8 mmHg, even in healthy men. More »

Heart disease and erectile function

Men: Don't be surprised if a discussion with your doctor about erection problems veers into a talk about your heart, or vice versa. Problems getting or keeping an erection may be a red flag for heart trouble down the road, and many men with heart disease have sexual concerns they aren't talking about. The connection between heart disease and erection problems (doctors call it erectile dysfunction) isn't far-fetched at all. Both follow the same age-related trajectory and become increasingly common from age 45 onward. They even share common causes. A study of middle-aged California men begun many years ago shows that smoking, overweight, and high cholesterol or high triglycerides — all risk factors for heart disease — were also linked with erection problems 25 years later.  More »