If you or someone you love suffers from erectile dysfunction (ED), the most important thing you need to know is this: you are not alone.
Erectile dysfunction can affect men of any age for a variety of reasons, including (but not limited to) diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, and side effects from prostate cancer therapies. Here’s the good news, though: effective ED treatments are available. Below, we discuss these options along with answers to FAQs. Reminder: this information is educational only, not medical advice. If you suspect you have erectile dysfunction, talk to your doctor or make an appointment with one of our urologists.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Watch what you eat and drink. (We're looking at you, alcohol.) A nutritious diet has many health benefits, and one of them could be better erections. Over time, excessive alcohol use has been known to contribute to ED. Moderation is key.
- Watch your weight. Yes, the straightforward advice you get at your yearly physical holds true here.
- Get regular exercise. Regular exercise will help you lose/maintain your weight while improving blood flow throughout your body (and healthy blood flow is essential to healthy erections).
- Stop smoking. Smoking causes many health issues, as we all know. One of the problems with smoking is that it damages blood vessels. Damaged blood vessels have a harder time delivering blood. Yes, including to your penis.
- Monitor your emotional state. Are you getting enough sleep? Are you feeling depressed? Are you dealing with self-esteem issues? The mind-body connection is real, and your emotional state can affect your ability to achieve and maintain an erection. And remember: if you can't manage these things on your own, ask for help.
There is also MUSE (generic name: alprostadil), which is a suppository. Essentially, it's a small medication pellet that gets inserted inside the urethra (the tube that transports urine) and releases medication directly into the penis. Some men prefer it, as it may be a bit more effective than oral medications, but some will complain of pain and burning with insertion.
Because it is a hydraulic device, it can give you the hardest erection possible. IPPs have high satisfaction rates among patients AND their partners. (Read this first-hand account from a happy patient.) And once you are done having sex, you push the button in the scrotum and it deflates.
Here, one of our urologists, Dr. Ryan E. Frankel, discusses the penile prosthesis.
Erectile dysfunction is a medical condition. As such, it makes sense to discuss your options with a board-certified urologist since urologists are trained in diagnosing and treating ED Urologists also "get" that ED is an incredibly sensitive topic and difficult for many men to talk about. So not only do urologists understand the medical condition, but also the emotional distress that often accompanies it.
Regarding some of the ads that populate places like sports radio: if you decide to go that route, do your homework. Read reviews. Check out Better Business Bureau listings. But most importantly, consult with your doctor first, especially before paying big bucks out of pocket. Keep in mind that many insurance plans will offer at least some form of coverage for ED treatments (consult your plan provider for more details). And working with a doctor means you'll have the follow-up care that your health requires—and deserves.
About Greater Boston Urology
With over eight convenient locations throughout eastern Massachusetts, including the Cape, we offer patients comfortable, convenient settings with plenty of free parking (why drive into Boston if you don't have to?). Plus, as an integrated urology practice, we strive to manage all of your urologic care under one roof from the moment you walk through our doors. Think imaging studies, diagnostic testing, pathologic testing, and surgical treatments. This makes GBU unique, and we're proud of this distinction.
We're also proud to have such a dynamic group of individual physicians who can take care of so many different needs. We have great relationships with all of the surrounding hospitals and referring primary care physicians as well.
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Men's Health: A Roundup of Helpful Resources
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How Do Acoustic Shockwaves Treat Erectile Dysfunction (ED)?
Got Erectile Dysfunction? You’re Not Alone.
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“Very professional and efficient visit. Problem diagnosed and explained. Remedy prescribed. Started feeling better after one application of medication.”
“Have been to GBU 3 times. They are comfortable, concise and have an urgency in treating the patients. With as many professionals on staff, getting the right treatment is the highest priority.”
“I have never had a doctor take so much time in discussing my health. She didn't make my husband or I feel in the least bit rushed. What a breath of fresh air!”
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“Excellent care, from diagnosis through treatment!”