Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

What is erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is a multifactorial condition causing a persistent inability to develop and maintain penile erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance. There are no universally agreed criteria for how consistent the problem should be and for what duration it needs to be present to fulfill the definition.
Risk factors
  • Prostate problems
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Vascular disease and vascular surgery
  • High levels of blood cholesterol
  • Drugs and Alcohol use
  • Priapism (inflammation of the penis)
  • Chronic diseases such as renal failure
  • Smoking
Diagnosis is usually made with a patient’s medical or sexual history. This may reveal conditions or diseases that lead to dysfunction and help distinguish among problems with erection, ejaculation, orgasm, or sexual desire.
  • Physical exam includes careful examination of the penis and testicles, also checking the nerves for sensation.
  • Blood tests check for signs of heart disease, diabetes, low testosterone levels and other health conditions.
  • Urine tests (urinalysis) look for signs of diabetes and other underlying health conditions.
  • Ultrasounds create a video image to see if blood flow problems exist.
  • Psychological exam screen for depression and other possible psychological causes of erectile dysfunction.
Treatment options such as medication, hormone therapy, and surgery are available. 
  • Erectile dysfunction affects approximately 30 million men in the United States.
  • At age 40, approximately 40% of men are affected.
  • Approximately 617,715 new cases occur in the United States annually.
  • For 2025, the prevalence of erectile dysfunction is predicted to be approximately 322 million worldwide.
about erectile dysfunction (ED)

  • "Erectile Dysfunction." Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 21 Apr. 2017. Web. 04 May 2017.
  • Nusbaum, M. R. "Erectile Dysfunction: Prevalence, Etiology, and Major Risk Factors." The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. U.S. National Library of Medicine, Dec. 2002. Web. 04 May 2017.
  • "Erectile Dysfunction." Cleveland Clinic: Health Library. Cleveland Clinic, n.d. Web. 04 May 2017.
  • "Types of Erectile Dysfunction (ED)." Johns Hopkins Medicine Health Library. Johns Hopkins Health System, n.d. Web. 04 May 2017.


From Our Blog: Common Wellness Exams Men Should Have

It’s important to get a routine annual physical exam by your physician, but for men, additional tests should be done to screen for diseases and other conditions. Depending on a patient’s medical and family history, a doctor can specifically determine which tests a man should have and how often to have them. The following is an overview of common exams men should seriously consider.

common wellness exams men should have


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