Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common men’s health problem characterized by the consistent inability to obtain or sustain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse. It is estimated that 50% of men between the ages of 40 and 70 have ED. It can involve a total inability to achieve an erection or ejaculation, an inconsistent ability to do so, or a tendency to sustain only very brief erections. Erectile dysfunction is also commonly referred to as impotence. With over 20 experienced urologist office locations in Kansas and Missouri, KCUC proudly offers local treatment of erectile dysfunction in Kansas City, Overland Park, Lee’s Summit, Emporia, Leavenworth, Clinton, Liberty, Ottawa, Lexington, Merriam, Chillicothe, Paola, Olathe, Harrisonville, Independence, MO, and the entire KC metro area.
Risk Factors of ED (Impotence)
The risk of erectile dysfunction increases markedly with age. Conditions that increase the risk for ED include:
- Medications – common examples are some medications used for high blood pressure, depression, and hormones suppression
- heart disease
- elevated cholesterol or lipids
- atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
- obesity, and other conditions that impair the blood flow or nerve supply to the penis
- Overstimulation or desensitization such as excessive use of pornography
Physical exercise tends to lessen the risk.
Smoking accelerates atherosclerosis and has been found to be a strong risk factor for developing ED or impotence.
Erectile dysfunction can have emotional or psychological causes often in combination with the physical problems listed above.
Treatment For Erectile Dysfunction in Kansas City
Treatment for ED begins with a complete evaluation by your doctor and by recognizing and treating the risk factors listed above. It is important to address lifestyle issues contributing to your erection problems. It is unrealistic to remain an obese, hypertensive, smoking diabetic male, and expect a healthy sexual experience. Diet and exercise are the first steps.
Treatment for ED was revolutionized after the introduction of sildenafil (Viagra). This was the first effective pill for the treatment of ED and is now joined by vardenafil (Levitra) tadalafil (Cialis) and avanafil (Stendra). Medications work best for men who can achieve at least partial erections.
Other treatment options include:
- Vacuum erectile device: This is a medical device that fits over the penis and when activated causes negative pressure to pull blood into the penis. A soft band is then placed at the base of the penis to keep the blood from escaping. It is removed after intercourse. This is a cost-effective and non-invasive method of treating ED. This device works best when men are well-instructed and allow some time to work with it.
- Penile injection therapy: Using a very small syringe and needle, medication can be injected into the side of the penis which acts to dilate the penile arteries directly. This can be an effective treatment for selected men who are dexterous and can visualize their penis adequately. Instructions and a test dose in the office are important before patients are advised to do it on their own. This way the proper dose and technique can be determined. If the dose is too much, then priapism is possible. This is a prolonged and painful erection. Men with erections lasting more than three hours should seek medical attention immediately.
- Penile prosthesis: This is a device that is surgically implanted into the penis. There are two types. A semi-rigid device or the more common variety that inflates for intercourse and then deflates. These are very safe and effective but may result in some penile shortening that is concerning to most men.
Erectile dysfunction is a common and treatable condition that eventually affects most men. A healthy lifestyle that includes exercise, weight control, and avoiding cigarette smoking is the best way to postpone the loss of erections. Erectile dysfunction is usually a gradual process and many couples find ways to remain intimate without sexual intercourse. It is therefore important for men to address this issue with their partner and include them in the evaluation and discussion of treatment options. It is important that all men with Erectile Dysfunction undergo a thorough evaluation by their primary care physician to address some of the health issues that may be risk factors that lead to ED.