Erectile dysfunction is a condition where the penis does not get firm or stay firm for long during sexual intercourse. Most male patients go through a phase of erectile dysfunction, and often it gets better with time. The incidence rate for erectile dysfunction is more common between 40-70-year-old men. Studies show that the prevalence rate of complete ED rises by 15% as men start reaching the age of 70.
Notably, if the male patients have some underlying disorder or health condition, the damage may become permanent. Thus, it is important to contact the right doctor for the diagnosis and treatment of erectile dysfunction. Indeed, they would run tests, both physical examination and psychological analysis, to determine the cause of the condition.
Causes of erectile dysfunction
There are multiple erectile dysfunction causes, including emotion-based and physical-based reasons. The following are the main causes per category.
· Mental health conditions like anxiety or depression.
· Relationship issues from stress, lack of communication, or other obstacles.
· Low levels of testosterone
· Injuries at the spinal cord or pelvic area
· Multiple sclerosis
· Drug use
Which doctor to consult for erectile dysfunction?
Generally, men can get help with their male infertility issues from a primary care physician first. Later, for more complex diagnosis and treatment, consulting an endocrinologist or a urologist is effective.
How are psychotherapists helpful for treating erectile dysfunction?
In many cases, one of the erectile dysfunction causes is the mental or emotional instability of a person. Therefore, for this diagnosis, you should visit a psychologist, psychiatrist, or counselor. Essentially, they run mental health check-ups to see if any emotional stressors are causing the condition.
The erectile dysfunction symptoms they look for include the following:
· Intense levels of stress
· Extreme fatigue
· Communication issues or relationship problems
· Depression symptoms, like low interest in performing any activity, concentration issues, extreme tiredness, and/or suicidal thoughts
· Performance anxiety
Furthermore, these psychotherapists ask questions regarding the personal life, relationships, and history of patients. Based on the information, they diagnose the erectile dysfunction causes and plan a treatment method.
How does a urologist examine you?
Urologists are specialized health professionals who have expert training for treating the male reproductive system and urinary tracts. Mainly, they conduct diagnosis and treatment for issues like cancer kidney stones, kidney disease, urethra disease, bladder disorder, infections, and pelvic muscle problems. Also, they provide treatment for male infertility and erectile dysfunction conditions.
First, they conduct particular inquiries about the medical history of their patients. Overall, common concerns here include:
· The cause of the ED
· The permanence of the dysfunction
· Available treatment options
· Side effects and how the patient would respond to them.
Moreover, urologists prescribe particular tests to see the stage of erectile dysfunction and its causes. They are:
· Nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT) test
· Blood test to check hormone levels
· Penile ultrasound
To note, the NPT test includes an overnight stay for the patient. Essentially, urologists use sensors to verify the regular rate and intensity of involuntary erections while a person is sleeping. Plus, they would conduct a digital rectal examination to find if there are any abnormalities inside the prostate glands.
In terms of treatment, urologists provide prescription medication. Also, they handle invasive treatment plans as well, like implants and surgery.
When should I see a doctor about erectile dysfunction?
You need to see a doctor if you:
· Display signs for other conditions besides the erectile dysfunction symptoms
· Have an underlying medical condition like diabetes or coronary artery disease
· Cannot get sufficient erection and notice delayed or premature ejaculation during sexual intercourse
Treatment options for erectile dysfunction
Doctors conduct multiple tests to find the cause of the condition in male patients and provide treatment. An MMAS report showed that 52% of the participants have erectile dysfunction to some degree. Out of them, 25% of responders observed moderate ED, 17% saw mild erectile dysfunction symptoms, while 10% got complete ED.
For treatment, doctors can prescribe particular drugs to male infertility patients that as avanafil, tadalafil, sildenafil, and vardenafil. Other treatments include:
· Surgical implants in the penis
· Special devices such as vacuum pumps enhance blood flow in the region.
Furthermore, tests show if the male patients have diabetes, high blood pressure, or hardened arteries. In such cases, they prescribe medications for these conditions. Also, often the causes of erectile dysfunction are previous medical treatment plans, like radiation therapy or prostate surgery. Here, doctors provide medications and medical support suitable for such cases.
However, if the main reason for erectile dysfunction is due to emotional causes like depression or anxiety, doctors recommend a psychological evaluation.
Overall, you should go to a counselor, general physician, or specialized experts like urologists for erectile dysfunction treatment. They have training and expertise in every male infertility condition.