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.
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. Implantable penile prosthesis allow the patient to have control over when and how long an erection lasts, but does require surgery.
If erectile dysfunction is the result of stress, anxiety or other factors, a doctor may suggest seeking a counselor or psychologist.
The Jackson Clinic Urologists offer services to patients all over West Tennessee and throughout the Mid-South including Paducah, Jonesboro, Memphis and Tupelo. Urology services are offered at the West Forest location.