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Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED), also known as impotence, is the inability to obtain and/or maintain an erection that is firm enough for sexual intercourse. The condition can cause psychological stress, relationship problems and a lack of self-confidence. In addition, ED can signal underlying health problems such as uncontrolled diabetes or heart disease.

Some men with ED may be reluctant to speak with their doctor. Other men who only experience ED sporadically may be confused about whether to address the problem with the help of a physician. In general, it is important to consult a urologist when:

  • ED presents a sexual problem for a patient and/or his partner
  • A patient has heart disease, diabetes or another condition that could be related to ED
  • A patient has other symptoms when experiencing ED that seem unrelated

ED has a wide range of potential causes that are both physical and psychological. Common physical causes include, but are not limited to:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Clogged blood vessels
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Low testosterone
  • Certain prescription medications
  • Tobacco use
  • Alcoholism and other forms of substance abuse
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Multiple sclerosis

Because the brain plays a critical role in initiating and maintaining an erection, many psychological problems can cause ED. These include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Relationship problems
  • Other mental health problems

There are several potential treatment options for ED, including popular oral medications and penile prostheses. A consultation with a Temple urologist is the first step towards diagnosing the root cause of ED and developing an effective treatment plan.

Jack H. Mydlo, MD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Urology at Temple, provides an overview of erectile dysfunction.

To schedule an appointment with a Temple urologist, click here or call
1-800-TEMPLE-MED (1-800-836-7536).