We know it might be uncomfortable to talk about Erectile Dysfunction (ED), but you’d be surprised to know that it’s something the vast majority of men have experienced at least once in their lifetime. Research shows that 40% of males will experience ED by the age of 40, and that number goes up to 70% after they reach an older age, which means is more common than what some may think. Also, transient ED can affect men of all ages so don’t be alarmed if you are ever one of them.
What is ED?
Erectile dysfunction (ED), is the inability to have or maintain a successful erection which ultimately prevents you from partaking in sexual activities.
What are the causes?
The causes behind ED can be physical as well as psychological, the leading top five are:
- Hormonal imbalance (Andropause): Often men will suffer from hormonal imbalances that will lead to ED. Low testosterone and abnormal hormone levels are some of them.
- Heart disease: According to Harvard Medical School heart and arteries diseases can majorly impact ED since atherosclerosis in arteries supplying the penis can prevent the increase in blood flow that is needed to start or sustain an erection.
- High blood pressure: High blood pressure directly affects ED by distressing the blood flow. Also high blood pressure medications such as diuretics can decrease the blood flow that goes to the penis making it difficult to get an erection.
- Depression or anxiety: Both of these causes are the result of lack of chemicals in the brain, which affects the ability of stimulating blood flow and ultimately the ability of getting an erection by negatively impacting your libido.
- Substance abuse (smoking, alcoholism): Any substance abuse can be detrimental for your health, but smoking and drinking are one of the top leading causes for ED. Smoking damages your blood vessels, and alcohol is a depressant that often prevents male from reaching a successful erection.
The physiological aspect plays a role in men’s ability to perform, but as you can see most causes behind ED are related to blood flow. Often men take drugs such as PDE5 Inhibitors that can help them have a healthier sex life, but these sort of treatments only target the symptom rather than the causes. Ultimately, men who depend on these type of drugs lose the ability of being spontaneous when it comes to having sex and end up having a lower self-esteem.
As mentioned before, there are several causes that might trigger ED, luckily for you at VIOR we like to target the causes rather than the symptom itself. That is why we offer a few treatments that might be beneficial for your ongoing condition.
One of the treatments we offer to take care of ED is our Shockwave Therapy, which is a multidisciplinary device used in orthopedics, physiotherapy, sports medicine and urology. As a non-surgical therapy with no down-time makes it an ideal therapy to speed up recovery and treat several different conditions, such as ED.
For erectile dysfunction, this treatment helps clear vascular plaque, create new blood vessels and recruit growth factors. As you may know blood flow is an essential part of erectile function, therefore this treatment would be ideal as it helps wakeup those dormant stem cells in the penis, which leads to improved erectile function and enhanced tissue growth.
Shockwave therapy is a treatment with no reported side effects. Also, this treatment has been proven to work for patients who were non-responsive to PDE5 inhibitors, however the combination of low dose taldalafil (Cialis) is recommended to enhance the treatment benefits.
The second treatment, which is preferably combined with shockwave therapy, is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections into the penis. PRP has regenerative properties and stimulates angiogenesis – growth of new blood vessels. When is comes to erections, blood flow is everything. Typically three injections spaced 1 month apart are recommended. A numbing cream is applied to make the process comfortable. As an added benefit there is a temporary increase in girth. Some anecdotal evidence suggests a minimal, long-term increase in size, however higher level studies have not verified this.
The third treatment we offer is Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT). This amazing procedure is an alternative approach that more closely represents the body’s own chemical structure of hormones.
The benefits of Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy for Men are:
- Improved libido
- Maintain sleep and feel more rested
- Elevated move and cognition
- Increased strength and athletic performance
- Heightened sense of well-being and motivation
At VIOR, we follow a detailed process to determine if you are a candidate for BHRT and then get you started with a custom program! Many patients opt for the bio-identical approach because it strays away from the “one size fits all” approach and provides a personal, customized treatment protocol.
Now, how do we balance your hormones? There are three ways of doing it:
Cream applicators in a variety of bases. The creams are applied daily and the hormone is absorbed through the skin and interacts with the hormone receptor.
Testosterone may be injected intramuscularly. Most common injection is the gluteal muscle. Formats include Testosterone Cypionate, Enanthate and Proprionate in either a Grapeseed or Sesame oil base.
Hormone Pellets are inserted below the surface of the skin and gradually release the desired hormone into the body. A simple procedure is performed in our office every 3-4 months.
Hopefully you found some knowledge in this article and will be encouraged to try out the alternative treatments we offer at VIOR Life & Aesthetics.