You don’t have to live with erectile dysfunction. With treatment, you can overcome erectile dysfunction and enjoy your love life again.
What is erectile dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction (ED), also known as impotence, is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection that’s firm enough to have sexual intercourse.
Having trouble achieving or maintaining an erection every now and then is not uncommon; however, if you struggle with erectile dysfunction regularly, it's important to talk to your doctor or urologist.
Symptoms of erectile dysfunction
If you have erectile dysfunction, you may experience the following symptoms:
- Trouble getting an erection
- Trouble maintaining an erection during sex
- Lack of interest in sex
Because erectile dysfunction can potentially be a sign of cardiovascular issues, it's important to talk to your doctor or a urologist if you’ve experienced any of these symptoms.
Risk factors for erectile dysfunction
Certain lifestyle habits, health conditions and emotional issues can make you more likely to experience erectile dysfunction. Risk factors include:
- Being over age 50
- Having diabetes
- Having high blood pressure
- Having cardiovascular disease
- Having high cholesterol
- Being overweight or obese
- Having had treatment for cancer near the pelvis
- Depression, stress and/or anxiety
- Smoking, drug and/or alcohol use
Diagnosing erectile dysfunction
Our highly trained team of urology specialists are experienced in diagnosing and treating erectile dysfunction.
When diagnosing erectile dysfunction, finding the cause is important so your doctor can determine the best treatment. To diagnose erectile dysfunction, your doctor may:
- Discuss your health history and symptoms – Your doctor may ask questions about your health history and lifestyle, your symptoms and your stress and emotional health. Some of the questions may be private in nature, but it’s important to answer honestly to help your doctor find the cause of your erectile dysfunction.
- Perform a physical exam – Your doctor will examine your testicles and penis, listen to your heart and lungs and check your blood pressure. Your doctor may also recommend a rectal exam to check your prostate.
- Perform tests – Your doctor may perform blood or urine tests to rule out other conditions. He or she may also perform additional erectile function tests to help determine the best treatment or reassess following treatment.
Request an appointment
Treatment for erectile dysfunctionTreatment for erectile dysfunction will depend on the cause of your symptoms. A combination of treatments may be recommended to help improve your symptoms, including:
If oral medication doesn’t improve your symptoms, your doctor may suggest intracavernosal injection (ICI) or intraurethral (IU) therapy. ICI involves giving yourself a shot into your penis with a very fine needle, while IU involves placing a tiny medicated pellet into your urethra.
Before you begin either treatment, your doctor will provide education on self-injection and placement.
A vacuum erection device is a plastic tube that slips over your penis to create a seal with your body. A pump at the other end of the device creates a low-pressure vacuum, which helps stimulate an erection. A comfortable ring is then placed onto the base of the penis to hold the erection for up to 30 minutes.
Before starting this treatment, your doctor will provide education on how to properly use the device.
Making certain changes to your lifestyle and diet may help prevent erectile dysfunction. These changes may include:
- Regular exercise
- Taking steps to lower your blood pressure
- Reducing your stress
- Limiting alcohol intake and quitting smoking
- Maintaining a healthy weight and eating a more balanced diet
Peyronie’s disease is a condition that results in curved and painful erections. Our urologists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of Peyronie’s disease, offering compassionate care to men across Pennsylvania, including medical and surgical options. Should you need surgery, we also offer one of the only fellowship trained reconstructive urologists in Pennsylvania, Dr. Ryan Mori.
Peyronie’s disease treatment can reduce pain and enhance the ability to have intercourse.
Erectile dysfunction care at Geisinger
Our urology team is here to provide you and your loved ones with compassionate care and the most advanced treatments available. We offer the latest, most minimally invasive procedures for both diagnosis and treatment. Quicker recovery and less time in the hospital means more time for you to do the things you love with those you love.
- Unmatched expertise – Our urology team consists of surgeons and specialists, many of whom are fellowship trained. This highly experienced team of specialists provides care for patients with urologic diseases and conditions, including those affecting the male and female urinary tract system and the male reproductive organs.
- Minimally-invasive treatment options – To minimize discomfort and get you back to the life you love, our urologists treat with the least invasive procedures when possible. Robotic surgery, for example, requires smaller incisions, which means less pain and faster recovery time. Our urologists have performed more than 2,000 robotic urological surgery procedures — more than any other healthcare provider in the region. We routinely perform complex procedures that are often unable to be performed elsewhere in the area, including robotic prostatectomies for prostate cancer.
- World-class care, close to home – With locations throughout central, northeast and south-central Pennsylvania, our experienced urology team provides consultations and comprehensive care. We offer leading-edge treatment options and tailored-to-you care backed by the expertise and innovation of a nationally recognized health system.
- Genetic testing and counseling programs – Special research programs such as MyCode®, are only available at Geisinger. Participating in MyCode allows you to contribute to genetic research. By participating, some may receive information about their own genetic risks. Learn about MyCode