Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction, or ED, is when you can’t get or keep an erection that's firm enough for sex. It’s a problem that affects as many as 30 million men, and there are treatment options that can help. Men are 24 percent less likely than women to visit a doctor annually, and getting treatment for erectile dysfunction is obviously emotionally difficult for most men.


What Causes Erectile Dysfunction?

Blood-flow problems can cause erectile dysfunction. It also can be caused by physical or emotional stress. It’s important to determine what’s causing your erectile dysfunction, because you could have an underlying illness that’s causing the ED. Some diseases that can cause ED include diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.


How is Erectile Dysfunction Diagnosed?

It’s normal to have erectile problems from time to time. When it happens more than 50 percent of the time, a diagnosis of erectile dysfunction can be made. Blood and urine tests for diseases like diabetes and heart disease are important if you have ED. You may also need some erectile-function testing to see if the blood vessels, nerves and muscles of your penis and pelvic area are working properly.


What is the Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction?

There are some lifestyle changes that can improve ED, like quitting smoking and avoiding drugs and alcohol. Any underlying emotional problems should also be treated. If there is no improvement, there are medications for erectile dysfunction.


Medications for Erectile Dysfunction

Testosterone Replacement Therapy

Testosterone replacement therapy can help with ED when your blood test results show your testosterone level is low.

Oral Drugs for Erectile Dysfunction

Drugs like Viagra, Levitra and Cialis can be taken before sex to relax the muscle cells in the penis and increase blood flow. About 80 percent of patients report good results with these oral drugs for ED.

Other Drugs for Erectile Dysfunction

If your ED is not improved with oral medication, you still have options. Alprostadil is another drug for erectile dysfunction that can have success rates up to 85 percent. Using a very thin needle, you inject the drug into the side of the penis. Another method of using Alprostadil is to insert a tiny pellet of the medication into the urethra, though success rates are lower with this method.


Medical Devices for Erectile Dysfunction

Vacuum Erection Device

Another alternative to treat ED is use of a vacuum erection device. A plastic tube slipped over the penis makes a seal with the skin of your lower abdomen. A pump on the end of the tube creates a low-pressure vacuum which produces an erection. Then you slip an elastic ring onto the base of the penis to keep the blood in for up to 30 minutes. While some training is needed, almost all men can get and keep an erection with this device.


Surgery for Erectile Dysfunction

A penile implant can help you to have normal sex. In a minority of cases, surgical repair of the blood vessels in the penis may be required to treat erectile dysfunction.


Resources

Video: Learn more about Erectile Dysfunction (by Dr. Jared Bieniek) Watch now
Health Library: Learn more about Erectile Dysfunction Click here
Learn more about Men's Health & Sexual Function Click here

     •  Learn more about
        Erectile Dysfunction

        by Jared Bieniek, MD

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Meet our Erectile Dysfunction Specialists:

Name Specialties Location
Bieniek, Jared M., MD
860.947.8500
  • Urology
  • Farmington
  • Glastonbury
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Crawley, David F., MD
860.443.0622
  • Urology
  • Waterford
  • Norwich
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D'Amato, Abram Cooper, MD
860.947.8500
  • Urology
  • Hartford
  • Farmington
  • Manchester
  • West Hartford
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DiStefano, Anthony Joseph, MD
860.643.2731
  • Urology
  • Urologic Oncology
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  • Manchester
Dorin, Ryan P., MD, FACS
860.223.0800
  • Urology
  • Urologic Oncology
Show Less
  • Plainville
  • Bristol
  • Meriden
  • Meriden
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Graydon, R. James, MD
860.947.8500
  • Urology
  • Avon
  • Farmington
  • Hartford
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Griffith, John James, MD
860.643.2731
  • Urology
  • Manchester
  • Hartford
Show Less
Kershen, Richard Todd, MD
860.947.8500
  • Urology
  • Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery
  • Reconstructive Urology
  • Urogynecology
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  • West Hartford
  • Plainville
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McLeod, Brian Scott, MD
860.564.9250
  • Urology
  • Plainfield
Pyo, Paul, MD
203.238.1241
  • Urology
  • Meriden
  • Cheshire
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Quinn, Anthony Dennis, MD, FACS
860.443.0622
  • Urology
  • Waterford
  • Norwich
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Rosenberg, David Jeremy, MD
860.643.2731
  • Urology
  • Manchester
Schoenberger, Steven Harris, MD, FACS
860.443.0622
  • Urology
  • Waterford
Stahl, Brandon Christopher, MD
860.886.1956
  • Urologic Oncology
  • Urology
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  • Norwich
Tarantino, Arthur Edgar, MD
860.947.8500
  • Urology
  • Glastonbury
  • Farmington
  • Hartford
Show Less
Wong, Jean F., MD
203.238.1241
  • Urology
  • Meriden
  • Meriden
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Yu, Stephen C., MD
860.223.0800
  • Urology
  • Bristol

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