Erectile Dysfunction Overview

Male Sexuality

Erectile dysfunction -- commonly known as impotence -- affects 15 to 30 million American men and more than 140 million men worldwide. It is estimated that in the past only 10 percent of men affected by erectile dysfunction (ED) sought treatment; the vast majority of them simply lived with it, keeping silent out of fear, embarrassment, and the mistaken belief that nothing much could be done to help. Today, however, approximately 60 percent of affected men seek treatment. But for those who don't, their relationships suffer and their self-esteem plummets. That's extremely unfortunate, because ED is not only common, it's treatable. And since ED is often caused by some other health problem, seeking treatment is crucial to more than just your sex life: Your life itself could depend on it.

In this article, we will explore all facets of erectile dysfunction over the course of the following sections:

  • Understanding Erectile Dysfunction

    Most people are familiar with the results of erectile dysfunction, but not many understand the how and the why. Before you can begin to determine if you have erectile dysfunction or what treatment options you would like to pursue, you must first understand what exactly erectile dysfunction is. On this page we will delve into the mechanics of an erection and find out exactly what can go wrong whether the cause is physical or psychological.

  • Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

    There are two main causes of erectile dysfunction. The first cause is a preexisting medical condition. For instance, many cardiovascular disorders will affect blood flow, and, consequently, the ability to form an erection. There are also many prescription medications that can affect sexual desire and cause ED. Finally, abuse of either tobacco or nicotine may also cause ED. The other main cause of erectile dysfunction is psychological factors such as excess stress or depression. We will also explain how ED can cause a mental "vicious cycle" of insecurity and frustration.

  • Diagnosing Erectile Dysfunction

    If you believe you might have erectile dysfunction, you might be apprehensive about seeing a doctor. It might comfort you to know exactly what steps your doctor will most likely take to diagnose you with the condition. We will take you through these steps in this section. First, we show you how creating a detailed medical history is the important initial step you should take in diagnosing any medical condition, and which important questions you will need to know the answer to. We will also let you know what type of physical and psychological screening you might undertake. Finally, we explain the various tests for erectile dysfunction.

  • Seeking Help for Erectile Dysfunction

    The first trip to the doctor's office to seek treatment for erectile dysfunction can be stressful for some patients. In this section, we will tell you everything you need to know to begin getting medical treatment for ED. We will tell you what type of doctor you should see and what you will need to bring to your appointment. We will also weigh the pros and cons of attending the appointment by yourself or with a loved one. Finally, we will give a list of general considerations you should keep in mind throughout your treatment.

  • Non-Invasive Treatments for Erectile Dysfunction

    Of the many treatments for erectile dysfunction, the most desirable are the non-surgical or non-invasive treatments. Surgery, especially in such a sensitive area can be an upsetting prospect for some patients. However, there are still many non-invasive treatments to sort through. On this page, we will help you wade through the various treatments, including psychological counseling, muscle toning, oral medications -- such as Viagra or Cialis, hormone supplements, vacuum devices, and injection therapy. With all this information, you should be able to choose the treatment that is right for you.

  • Surgical Treatments for Erectile Dysfunction

    Finally, we will review the surgical treatments for erectile dysfunction. While most people tend to avoid surgery at all cost, sometimes there is no other option. First we will talk about urethral inserts, which is a pellet inserted into the tip of the penis. Next we will examine arterial and venous surgery, which involve reconstructing arteries to improve blood-flow to the penis. Lastly, we will discuss what many feel is the last resort, penile implants. As the name implies, this surgery involves the insertion of an object into the penis.


This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.