Erectile dysfunction (ED) affects nearly 30 million men and is one of the most common topics of concern men discuss with their doctors. While it’s not abnormal to occasionally have difficulty getting or sustaining an erection, if it’s happening regularly, there may be an underlying issue causing the problem.
Michael Rotman, MD, is a leading urologist in New York City and has treated numerous men with ED. He wants you to know some of the most common causes of the condition.
Your physical health
Your ED may be a symptom of an underlying health condition. You may know that high cholesterol increases your risk of heart disease, but it may also increase your risk of ED.
The plaque can build up in any of your arteries, including the ones that supply the blood flow to your penis. A decrease in blood flow can make getting and sustaining an erection more difficult.
High blood sugar caused by diabetes may damage nerve endings, including the ones found in your penis, which may affect sensation and make it more difficult for you to get an erection.
High blood pressure, carrying excess weight, and drinking too much may also affect your ability to get and sustain an erection.
Other physical health conditions that increase risk of ED include:
- Multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease
- Peyronie’s disease
- Metabolic syndrome
A decrease in testosterone, which occurs in men as they get older, affects libido and may cause ED.
Your emotional health
For men, erections are most often a physical response to an erotic stimuli caused by the testosterone flowing through your body. However, your emotions also play a significant role in your arousal, and if you’re feeling down or stressed you may have a more difficult time getting excited.
Common emotional causes of ED include:
- Depression or anxiety
- Stress at home or work
- Poor communication with your sexual partner
You may also experience ED if you worry too much about your sexual performance.
Prescription medications often have many side effects, some of which may affect your ability to become aroused or sustain an erection. Dr. Rotman can review the medications you’re taking to see if they may be responsible for your ED.
Medical treatments, such as surgery or cancer treatments in your abdominal or pelvic region may also affect the nerve endings that provide sensation to your penis and lead to ED.
Treating the underlying cause
Determining the cause of your ED helps Dr. Rotman target his treatment to improve your sexual health. Treatment may be as simple as making better food choices and exercising regularly to reduce cholesterol and improve blood flow.
If your ED is due to a decrease in testosterone levels, Dr. Rotman may recommend hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to improve your numbers. HRT not only restores sexual function, but may also improve your mood and energy levels.
Dr. Rotman also offers medication to treat ED, such as Viagra®, which improves blood flow to the penis. However, in order to be effective, it also requires sexual stimulation.
ED is not a condition you simply have to live with. You have many treatment options. Dr. Rotman is an expert in men’s sexual health and can help restore penile function and your sexual health. Call the office today for a consultation or book an appointment using the online booking button.