Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is the persistent inability to achieve and maintain an erection that is firm enough or lasts long enough to complete sexual intercourse. It is estimated that ED affects about 1 in 10 men at some point in their life. Erectile Dysfunction, however, is NOT a normal part of aging.
The occasional failure to achieve or maintain an erection due to factors such as excessive alcohol consumption, extreme fatigue or severe stress is common for most men at some point in their lives. Persistent ED, however, is often a sign of an underlying health condition that Dr. Lerner will address through a comprehensive evaluation. The good news is that almost every case of ED is treatable and Dr. Lerner works with each patient to help them understand the condition, the causes and to develop a treatment plan that is specifically tailored to a man's personal situation.
In most cases, ED is caused by an underlying medical condition that should be addressed by a physician. Diseases and conditions that cause ED include:
- Diabetes, which can cause damage to the nerves and blood vessels that control the flow of blood to the penis.
- Cardiovascular disease, including atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), high blood pressure and high cholesterol, all which restrict blood flow.
- Low testosterone
- Neurological diseases such as Muscular Sclerosis (MS), stroke, Parkinson's disease, etc.
- Surgery or Trauma, including prostate, colon and bladder surgery
- Psychological causes such as stress, anxiety and depression
- Poor lifestyle choices such as excessive use of alcohol, illicit drugs, smoking and obesity
Dr. Lerner understands that erectile dysfunction is a private and emotional condition. From working with hundreds of patients dealing with ED, he knows that this condition can be a difficult one to talk about, and can cause loss of self-esteem and emotional distress for most men, as well as their partners. It's because of this understanding and compassion that so many men turn to Dr. Lerner for diagnosis and successful treatment.
Treatment Options for Erectile Dysfunction
Fortunately, there are a number of highly effective treatment options for men experiencing ED, including medical treatment for underlying health conditions. Dr. Lerner will work with you to find the treatment that is just right for you and your lifestyle.
Treatments for ED include:
- Oral Medication such as Viagra, Cialis, Levitra and Staxyn. Oral medications, which work by increasing the blood flow into the penis so that a man can become aroused and erect when sexually stimulated, are often the first line of treatment for men experiencing erectile dysfunction.
These medications are taken 30 to 60 minutes before sex and can allow both partners to enjoy more spontaneity in their sexual activity. Medication therapy may not be right for all men and does have a number of disadvantages and side effects that Dr. Lerner will educate you about.
- The Vacuum Erection Device (penis pump) is a plastic cylinder that is placed over the penis, and a pump (manual or battery operated) creates vacuum suction within the cylinder. Pumping the air out of the cylinder draws blood into the penis to create an erection. The erection is maintained by placing a stretchable elastic band over the base of the penis.
- Injection therapy requires the man to use a small needle to inject medication directly into the penis. The medicine relaxes the blood vessels and allows for increased blood flow into the penis, creating an erection. Injections are effective, fast-acting treatments because the medicine is delivered directly into the penis.
- Intraurethral suppositories contain a medication that works like the injection. A small suppository is inserted into the urinary tube using an applicator, delivering the medication indirectly into the blood stream. The medication in the suppository relaxes the blood vessels in the penis, allowing blood to flow into the penis, creating an erection.
- Lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, exercising regularly, only using alcohol in moderation, maintaining a healthy weight and eating a well balanced diet, and reducing stress can also help men with erectile problems.
- A penile prosthesis (penile implant) is a medical device that requires surgery to implant inside a man's penis. A viable option when other ED treatment modalities have not been successful or produce unpleasant side effects, penile implants, have been in use for more than 30 years. New designs and surgical techniques utilized by Dr. Lerner have improved the safety and efficacy of penile implant surgery over the years.
Learn more about penile prosthetic devices here.
Dr. Lerner will work closely with you to develop a personalized treatment plan to return you to optimal sexual function and a better quality of life. While not every treatment option is right for every man, Dr. Lerner will find the treatment that fits your lifestyle, your health, and your needs.