Erectile Dysfunction, also known as impotence, is an issue where someone is unable to achieve or maintain an erection for a period of time. As 1 in 2 men experience erectile dysfunction at some point in their lives, the problem is not as uncommon or embarrassing as you might believe.
The varying causes of erectile dysfunction range from physical to psychological, but can also be drug-induced. Some of the problems are a result of an issue related to blood flow. For example, the hardening of blood vessels in the penis may stop a full erection. In younger men, performance anxiety can be a common psychological factor in erectile dysfunction. Other problems which might cause erectile dysfunction include hormonal problems, previous surgery or trauma to the penis.
It’s normal for men to experience some difficulty with getting or maintaining an erection every once in a while. This might happen after a very tiring day or when there is a lot on your mind to distract you from the present moment. Having too much alcohol is also known to result in temporary erectile dysfunction. If difficulties persist, then it’s time to see your doctor or make an appointment with a specialist.
What does a urologist do?
Specifically trained in the genitourinary tract, a urologist can tell you everything you need to know about the male reproductive tract and organs. The genitourinary tract also includes the kidneys, urinary bladder, adrenal glands, and urethra. Urologists have a specialised understanding of these areas of the body and their related medical diseases and treatments. These include Peyronie’s Disease, the complications of which can cause erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction may also be a barometer of your general health and in some cases may be associated with other important diseases such as heart disease.
When visiting a urologist for a consultation, they will ask questions about your medical background, your lifestyle, and complete examinations that may or may not include an ultrasound to look at the blood vessels in the genitalia and surrounding areas. They will also ask relevant questions about your experience with erections including duration, firmness, masturbation, and ability to have sex.
As an expert in the field, a urologist will be able to discuss and diagnose problems with a high level of understanding and professionalism. As with any confidential medical information, your doctor is discussing these questions and concerns in the interest of helping you reach your full potential, so honesty is the best policy.
When to Be Concerned About Erectile Dysfunction
You should speak with a health professional if you experience any of these:
- Numbness in the areas near and around the buttocks and genitalia
- Painful leg cramps that are induced during physical activity but relieved with rest
- Pain when developing or during an erection
- Lack of erections during the night or when you wake up
Generally, some erectile dysfunction may not be debilitating, and it alone doesn’t often cause for alarm. However, it can be a symptom of something more serious, which is why reaching out to a medical professional or specialist is always in your best interest.
Your London Specialists
London Andrology specialises in the best evidence-based treatments for a variety of conditions related to the male reproductive system and organs, such as erectile dysfunction. Treatment plans might include:
- Simple lifestyle changes
- Oral medication
- Sexual therapy or counselling
- Assistive or constrictive devices
- Shock wave therapy
- Reconstructive surgery
- Penile prosthesis
At London Andrology, urologists Mr Tet Yap and Professor Suks Minhas work together with an allied team of high-level health professionals to develop individualised evidence-based treatment plans. You can request an appointment at any time to learn more.