Erectile Dysfunction

What Is Erectile Dysfunction & How Is It Treated?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a condition in which a man experiences difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection. This condition, also known as impotence, is quite common. It affects up to 30 million men in the United States.

While the exact cause of ED remains unclear, factors like stress, anxiety, age, lifestyle habits, health conditions, and medications all play a role in the likelihood of experiencing symptoms. While ED can occur in men of all ages, it is more common in older men.

Signs & Symptoms

Some common signs and symptoms of ED include:

  • Difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection
  • Decreased libido
  • Inability to achieve orgasm
  • Trouble keeping an erection long enough to have sex

Treatment Options

Treatment options for ED depend on the root cause. In some cases, making lifestyle changes can be enough to help with symptoms. These changes can include:

  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet
  • Exercising regularly
  • Limiting alcohol consumption
  • Quitting smoking
  • Reducing stress levels
  • Maintaining a healthy weight

If lifestyle changes are not enough to improve symptoms, medications like sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), and vardenafil (Levitra) may be prescribed. Injections of prostaglandins or vacuum pumps also may be recommended. Surgery is an option for men with certain underlying conditions.