Erectile Dysfunction After Cancer Treatment

Herbal Remedies For Erectile Dysfunction

While many herbs and supplements claim to treat ED, none have been scientifically proven to work. Some of them are not safe.

A patient’s medical or sexual history can help distinguish problems with erection, ejaculation and orgasm (climax). Oral medicines that increase blood flow to the penis include sildenafil, vardenafil and tadalafil. Alprostadil is also available as an injection or suppository.

Causes

Erectile dysfunction is a common problem for men, especially as they age. It can cause embarrassment and may lead to a lack of sexual desire, which can affect relationships. It is important to discuss the symptoms with your healthcare provider and determine the cause.

ED is caused when conditions interfere with the blood flow to your genitals. Some of these include diabetes, heart disease, vascular problems (such as peripheral neuropathy) and some medications. Depression is also associated with a decrease in libido and can be a contributing factor.

A psychological approach to ED involves changing the patient’s perspective on sex, and helping them change their behaviours that perpetuate sexual difficulties. Psychosexual therapy can have a positive impact on the wellbeing of both the patient and their partner. PDE5 inhibitors are very effective at treating ED. This is especially true when combined with behavioural change. If the initial treatment does not restore erections then the underlying cause must be investigated.

Symptoms

Men with ED have difficulty maintaining an erection that is firm enough to engage in sexual activity. It affects their quality of life, often resulting in strained relationships and feelings of embarrassment, shame or guilt. They may find it difficult to seek help.

A person with erectile dysfunction is more likely to have other health problems, such as heart disease or diabetes. ED can be one of the first signs that these conditions are causing problems with blood flow to the penis.

When diagnosing ED, your doctor will ask you questions about your medical history and your sex life. These questions may be embarrassing or private, but are necessary to determine the cause and treatment of your problem. Your doctor will also give you a physical exam, order lab tests and/or refer you to a Urologist. The most common treatments for ED are PDE5 inhibitors, oral medications that can improve blood flow to the penis. Other options include vacuum constriction devices and surgical insertion of a penile prosthesis.

Diagnosis

Your doctor will examine you and ask about your sexual history to diagnose erectile dysfunction. Your doctor may also ask your sexual partner about their experience. Your doctor will do tests to see if your symptoms are caused by an underlying health problem, such as diabetes, heart disease, low testosterone or high blood pressure.

The injection test involves injecting a medication into the penile area to induce an erection. It is then measured how long it lasted. The penile ultrasound test measures blood flow in the area. Blood tests can show the levels of certain hormones, such as testosterone and phosphorous. A urine test can look for a health problem that may cause ED, such as diabetes and high blood sugar.

Medications that reduce blood flow to the penis, such as blood pressure medicines and antidepressants, can cause erectile dysfunction. You can improve your symptoms by changing medications or reducing alcohol and other substances. Treatment for psychological issues can also help.

Treatment

Depending on the cause, severity and your personal preferences, your doctor will discuss various treatment options. Some treatments increase erections through increased blood flow to the penis while others reduce symptoms of ED.

Your doctor will begin with a physical examination of your genital region, checking the testicles and nerves in your penis. Your doctor may want to know about your family history of erectile disorder. He or she will also ask about your sexual history, and how your symptoms changed over time.

Your doctor will ask about all medications, including supplements and over-the-counter medicines. And he or she will want to know what medical conditions you have, especially heart disease, diabetes and low testosterone levels. He or she will also ask whether you have any emotional problems, such as depression or anxiety. He or she might suggest that you see a therapist. And he or she will recommend you exercise, eat healthy foods and avoid substances that can cause erectile dysfunction.