Urology Robotic Pyeloplasty

Erectile Dysfunction

Improving Your Quality of Life

It’s normal to have trouble getting or maintaining an erection from time to time. But, if it becomes a consistent problem, it can impact your mental well-being and your sex life. That’s when you need medical care.

The expert urologists at Emory Healthcare are here to help. They can diagnose the cause of your erectile dysfunction and identify your best treatment option.

We’re ready to be your health care partner in getting you back to a full life.

What is Erectile Dysfunction (ED)?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) happens when you can’t get or keep an erection strong enough for sex. It can happen to any male. But it is more common in older males. Researchers estimate ED affects over 50% of males between the ages of 40 and 70.

Your risk of ED increases if you:

  • Are overweight (have a body mass index over 25).
  • Don’t exercise.
  • Have depression.
  • Have diabetes.
  • Smoke.

You may have ED if you experience these symptoms:

  • Complete inability to get an erection
  • Frequent inability to achieve an erection
  • Inability to maintain an erection during sex
  • ED can also be a sign of heart disease.

If you regularly struggle with ED, you may benefit from seeing a cardiologist (heart doctor).

Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

ED is a physical problem, but your mental state also plays a role in this condition. To get an erection, you should feel relaxed, confident and aroused. It is more difficult to get an erection if you are tired, nervous, frustrated or upset. Drinking alcohol can also have a negative effect.

ED may be one of the first signs of many physical health problems. Our urologists can help determine what may be causing your ED. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Cardiovascular disease that reduces blood flow to your pelvis
  • Diabetic neuropathy (diabetes-related nerve damage)
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Kidney disease
  • Low testosterone
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Prescription medications (antidepressants, antihistamines and some blood pressure medications)
  • Stress, anxiety, fatigue and depression
  • Substance use (alcohol, marijuana and tobacco)
  • Surgery or treatment for prostate or bladder cancer

Diagnosing Erectile Dysfunction

Our urologists will conduct a complete assessment to diagnose your ED. They will talk with you about your medical history and any recent physical or emotional changes. They may also order blood tests to check for low hormone levels, diabetes and heart disease.

Sensation (the ability to feel) is critical to getting an erection. Our urologists may conduct a neurological evaluation to assess touch sensation in your genital area. This physical exam can reveal any nerve damage.

Our urologists may also recommend an imaging test called Penile Doppler Ultrasound. This test can:

  • Detect problems with blood flow in and out of the penis.
  • Identify any blood leakage out of the penis during erection.
  • Measure penile vascular pressure.

Treatments for Erectile Dysfunction

  • Vacuum erection device
  • Oral medications
  • Intracavernosal injection therapy
  • Penile implant (aka implantable penile prosthesis)

Why Choose Emory Healthcare

At Emory Urology, we are known for our compassionate, patient-centered approach to delivering high-quality care for difficult-to-discuss problems. Our award-winning fellowship-trained men's health specialists provide the most innovative treatments and leading-edge procedures. And we are dedicated to developing the next generation of research-based therapies that will improve the quality of life for our patients.

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