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Keep it Up: 6 Ways to Beat Erectile Dysfunction

written by Kristy Alpert - Jul 17, 2017

It’s something more than 42 percent of men over the age of 50 will experience at some point in their lives with varying degrees, yet when it comes to seeking treatment for it, many men refuse to admit they’re among the percentage of those who suffer from this all-too-common affliction.

Erectile dysfunction occurs when the male body (specifically the enzyme called type V phosphodiesterase) breaks down nitric oxide too quickly. Nitric oxide is basically the mojo for a man’s erection, and without it things tend to go south quickly, if they go anywhere at all.

“As the body ages there are certain physiologic, emotional, and physical changes that take place,” explains Dr. Jack Barkin, urologic surgeon at the Male Health Center and a clinical investigator and media launch for Viagra, Levitra, Cilais, Androgel, and Nataesto. “With age a lot of men will give up on the exercise that they used to do most commonly when they were younger. They may smoke or drink more, and their diet management is not necessarily the healthiest.”

“There are also other emotional stresses associated with work, such as the loss of a job or the change in a job. Bad business investments that put economic pressures on relationships will affect a man’s ability to perform as well. Situations in the relationship itself, either with the spouse or partner or children, can also impact emotionally on the male. Less exercise and poor diet often comes with an increased risk of high cholesterol high blood pressure cardiac abnormalities all of which can also contribute to erectile dysfunction. As well is a manages the prostate will grow and it’s been shown many times that if a man significant symptoms associated with large prostate is also at higher risk for having erectile dysfunction.”

Photo Credit: by
Photo Credit: by

Dr. Barkin’s work at Men’s Health Solutions includes offering the newest noninvasive, effective approach to the management of erectile dysfunction in men. Although erectile dysfunction’s end result tends to be the same, Dr. Barkin notes that the path to erectile dysfunction can come in many forms. His list of the most common causes of erectile dysfunction includes:

1. Age and weight. Older, overweight men are more likely to experience erectile dysfunction since testosterone slows in production after the age of 40. Also, testosterone binds to body fat, making the body unavailable to perform the vital jobs that testosterone will do.

2. Vascular or Blood Flow Disruptions. High cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, significant benign prostatic hyperplasia, and any cardiac abnormalities that lead to decreased blood flow to the pelvic area can affect a man’s sexual performance. Blood flow can also be slowed or cut off from the penis, causing erectile dysfunction, due to smoking, excessive alcohol, drug abuse, and steroid abuse.

3. Neurogenic Reasons. Conditions such as diabetes or Parkinson's disease may contribute to the neurogenic causes of erectile dysfunction, as well as any major neurologic malady such as a stroke, Lou Gehrig's disease, or multiple sclerosis.

4. Endocrine Issues. Narcotic abuse, anabolic steroid abuse, testicular cancer, or drugs that are used to stop testosterone production as part of the treatment for prostate cancer (such as LHRH analogues or antiandrogens) will have that effect on testosterone delivery or production, which in turn can lead to erectile dysfunction.

5. Emotional Issues. Any major depression, psychosis, or mental trauma can lead to performance problems in bed. Men dealing with repeated performance anxiety, emotional problems in the relationship, or confusion over sexual identity will likely experience some form of erectile dysfunction due to the psychogenic nature of those emotions

As erectile dysfunction becomes more widely talked about in the mainstream media and in many health circles, more and more men are able to find solutions for their conditions. Many men seek relief from their symptoms with a simple change in diet or an increase in physical activity. For persistent problems, Barkin recommends try using one of the pills in the family of PDE five inhibitors, the most common being Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis. Each of the pills is taken approximately one hour before the planned sexual encounter and are best absorbed if taken on an empty stomach. The window of opportunity is approximately 4 to 8 hours per Viagra and Levitra. Cialis and some men will have an effect for up to 36 hours or even longer.

“Erectile dysfunction is a very common and expected problem that can affect a significant number of men throughout the world,” Barkin reassures. “If we can identify the underlying cause, in certain situations we are able to reverse that to allow the patient to resume normal erectile functioning. If they are not willing to accept this normal and expected age-related decrease in performance, then we will offer treatment.”

The good news is that there are options available for men who don’t want to worry about their performance in bed, and treatments include:

1. Tension Ring (a.k.a. “cock ring”). This small band fits around the base of the penis and can help men to maintain an erection once he starts to have physical activity. Simply place the tension ring around the base of the penis after obtaining an erection, and then remove the ring after finishing intercourse.

2. Vacuum Erection Devices (VED). This is most commonly used in conjunction with a tension ring. “If the problem is that he cannot obtain the erection, we will then use the VED,” explains Dr. Barkin. The VED is a plastic cylinder that is applied over the penis. At the base of the cylinder is the rubber tension ring. Attached to the VED is either a battery-operated or hand-operated pump that creates a vacuum around the penis and literally draws the blood into the penis. Once the erection has been created, the patient will then slip the rubber ring onto the base of the penis and remove the plastic cylinder for intercourse.

3. Medical Urethral System for Erections (MUSE). MUSE is a small applicator that introduces a tiny pellet containing a drug called prostaglandin into the end of a man’s urethra or passageway to give him an erection. Before sex, the man will insert the small applicator approximately 1 inch into the end of his penis. The prostaglandin is then absorbed through the passageway into the back of the penis where two spongy tissue filled cylinders, called the corpora cavernosum, will fill with blood to create the erection. Each applicator is good for one time.

4. Intra-Cavernosal Injections (ICI). “For this procedure, we teach the patient how to give himself a very tiny needle into the side of the penis that contains either triple therapy or quadruple therapy, and has a combination of chemicals that will stimulate the erection,” Dr. Barkin explains. “Each time he wants to have sex he will do the injection approximately 15 minutes before the planned encounter.”

5. ED 1000. ED 1000 is a machine that delivers low intensity shockwave therapy to the penis (ultrasound shockwaves; not electrical shocks). Approximately 82 percent of men have been able to get back to normal spontaneous erections without any additional aids, and the results can last between two to five years. Treatments last 20 minutes, and are completed two times per week for three weeks, then a three-week break followed by another three weeks of treatments (12 treatments total over a period of nine weeks).

6. Penile Prosthesis. If all else fails, men can opt for one of two types of prosthesis. “One is called the malleable, which is effectively a bendable silicone covered sterling silver wire that replaces the spongy tissue in the two corpora cavernosum in the penis,” Dr. Barkin says. “The other is called the inflatable prosthesis, which is usually three or four parts that are all inserted under the skin in the appropriate areas to a very small incision either just below or above the penis itself. Once inserted the patient can push a small pump in the scrotum that will draw fluid from the reservoir into the inflatable prosthesis to create the erection. Once he is finished he pushes the pump button again and the fluid will leave the penile prosthesis and go back into the reservoir. In both of these cases nothing is visible from the outside.”

Erectile dysfunction is not a condition that men need to be embarrassed about. Speak to your partner and your physician if you want this condition to be treated and corrected.



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