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Erectile Dysfunction

Home » Specialties » Urology » Erectile Dysfunction

The inability to get and keep an erection is known as erectile dysfunction. It happens occasionally to every man, but when chronic erectile dysfunction begins to interrupt relationships and self-confidence, seeing a doctor may help.


Erectile dysfunction is often caused by a combination of physical and psychological factors. For instance, if a physical problem slows a man’s ability to get an erection, the anxiety this causes may further prevent the erection.

There are a wide variety of physical causes for erectile dysfunction, including: heart disease, diabetes, obesity, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, excessive tobacco or alcohol use and even certain prescription medication. However, psychological factors, like depression, anxiety or stress, can also cause chronic erectile dysfunction.


If erectile dysfunction is the result of stress, anxiety or other factors, a doctor may suggest seeking a counselor or psychologist.

A number of medications are available to combat the physical causes of erectile dysfunction. The most common medications - Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra - enhance the effects of a particular chemical which relaxes muscles in the penis. Other medications include alprostadil which, taken in injection form or through a suppository, invokes an erection that usually lasts up to an hour.

Penile Prosthesis/Implant Surgery

For patients who are unable to use other treatments such as oral medications or injections, or those with severe ED, an implantable penile prosthesis may be the best or only option. A prosthesis allows the patient to have control over when and how long an erection lasts, but requires surgery to implant the device, which can then be inflated when desired to give an erection.

More information can be found here.

Photo Credit: AMS 700, Boston Scientific