Erectile dysfunction (impotence) is defined as the inability to get and keep an erection firm enough for sex.
If you are experiencing erection trouble from time to time it probably is not a cause for concern. However, if erectile dysfunction is an ongoing issue, it can cause stress, affect your self-confidence and contribute to relationship problems. In addition, it can be a sign of an underlying health condition that needs treatment.
In some cases treating the underlying causes of erectile dysfunction is enough. Other times, medications or other treatments might be needed.
What are the Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction?
- Trouble getting an erection
- Trouble keeping an erection
- Reduced sexual desire
If you are experience these symptoms on a persistent basis, or you have concerns about your erections, it is a good idea to schedule an appointment with your doctor.
How is Erectile Dysfunction Diagnosed?
In most cases, a physical exam and medical history exam are enough for a doctor to diagnose erectile dysfunction and recommend a treatment. If you have chronic health conditions or your doctor suspects that an underlying condition might be involved, you might need further tests. Tests for underlying conditions might include:
- Blood tests
- Urine tests (urinalysis)
- Overnight erection test
- Psychological exam
How is Erectile Dysfunction Treated?
There are several different treatment options, depending on the cause and severity of your erectile dysfunction and any underlying health conditions.
- Oral medications
- Other medications
- Psychological counseling
- Lifestyle changes (quit smoking, lose weight)