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Erectile Dysfunction

What is Erectile Dysfunction?

 The consistent or recurrent inability of a man to attain and/or maintain a penile erection sufficient for sexual performance.

How common is it?

You are not alone! It is estimated that there are 2.5 Million men in UK, 18 Million men in USA (between ages 40-70) who suffer from the problem. Nearly 2% Population @ 40 years, 25% Population @ 65 years, 35 -50% of Diabetics are in the same boat.

What causes it?

There is no single cause. Usually a mixture of factors contributes to the problem. These may include:

  • Age
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Hyperlipidaemia (high Cholesterol)
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Drug side effects: e.g. medication for high blood pressure etc
  • Smoking and alcohol use
  • Trauma- damage to spine or pelvic nerves by injury or operations
  • Pelvic surgery
  • Neurological disorders - Multiple sclerosis
  • Hormonal disorders
  • Psychological factors- stress, relationship problems 

Can anything be done about it?

Of course, there are several remedies to overcome the problem. You will need a detailed clinical examination and sometimes special tests to rule out diabetes, low testosterone etc.

What options do I have?  


  • Alteration of modifiable risk factors: e.g. cutting down smoking, excessive alcohol etc
  • Oral Medication:  Availability of oral drugs has revolutionized the treatment of ED. Latest drugs are CIALIS (Tadalafil) - can be taken from 30 minutes to 12 hours prior to sexual activity. Efficacy of Tadalafil may persist up to 24 hours, LEVITRA (Vardenafil) - which is 10 times more potent than Sildenafil. Others include Viagra (Sildenafil) etc. However, they are not for everyone and may have side effects like head ache, nausea etc.
  • Local Therapies:  Topical Alprostadil cream (Vitaros), MUSE (tiny pellet administered via urethra), Penile injection therapy - Using ALPROSTADIL (Caverject)
  • Physical method: Vacuum tumescence device, Shock wave Therapy
  • Surgery: last resort. Only suitable for a small proportion of carefully selected patients. The methods include venous ligation, or penile implant.
  • Sexual and relationship therapy. Your local 'RELATE' may be the starting point.

What is the next step?

Do speak to your GP or practice nurse, who may be able to assess and initiate therapy if suitable. You may be referred to Erectile Dysfunction clinic for further assessment and management. We all appreciate that it does take a lot of courage to speak to people about sensitive issues like these.

Where can I find further information?

 Click here to access the leaflet from British Association of Urological Surgeons


                      ORAL MEDICATIONS
                           INJECTION THERAPY
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                            VACUUM PUMP


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