Often ED is the result of a treatable underlying condition, such as high blood pressure. Sometimes it requires counselling or lifestyle changes, but sometimes medication is needed to get and keep an erection.
It is very important that ED be treated, as it is often an indication of other underlying conditions, but experts estimate that as many as 90% of men with ED never seek treatment.
For many men who have ED, it is an emotionally charged topic, and a difficult one to deal with. Experts advise that one should not exclude a partner while dealing with this issue, as partners are also directly affected, and also need to understand what is going on. Involving your partner in the treatment may increase the treatment success for ED.
Many men find it embarrassing to discuss their sex lives with their General Practitioners, but there is actually no way around this. The doctor can help to find the cause of the ED, which can be different in each patient, and recommend lifestyle changes, or medication.
Finding and treating the causes of ED
In order to have an erection, nerves, muscles and blood flow need to function effectively. Conditions that can affect these include diabetes, high blood pressure, injuries to the spinal cord and a hardening of the arteries. Treating these underlying conditions can help to treat the ED. Many men also experience erection problems after prostate or bladder surgery.
Medical treatment focuses on the cause of the ED and can include ED medicines that will help to produce an erection, or testosterone replacement medication, or injections directly into the penis to help with the erection.
The doctor may very well recommend, or look into, the following issues:
- Lifestyle changes, which could include quitting smoking, giving up alcohol, losing weight, and getting some regular moderate exercise.
- You may currently be taking medication that could be contributing to your ED, and the doctor could look into changing those.
- He/she could recommend that you seek help to work through some emotional or psychological issues which could be contributing to the ED.
- Surgery or a penis pump could be recommended.
- Lowering your cholesterol levels, as high cholesterol levels can contribute to the narrowing of the arteries.
- If you are obese, a more rigorous weight-loss and exercise programme may be suggested.
In the interest of our patients, in accordance with SA law and our commitment to expertise, MediHub cannot subscribe to the practice of online diagnosis. Please consult a medical professional for specific medical advice. If you have any major concerns, please see your doctor for an assessment. If you have any cause for concern, your GP will be able to direct you to the appropriate specialists.