Erectile dysfunction is referred to as the repeated inability of a man to have an erection or maintain it during sex. However, if this happens on a one-time or occasional basis, no need to worry. This is normal and happens to most men at one time or another in their life.
Several factors can cause erectile problems.
Psychological: anxiety, stress or relationship problems.
Vascular: the narrowing of blood vessels, poor lifestyle or disease. See: smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, increased cholesterol, etc.
Neurological: damage to the fine ends of the nervous system typically caused by diabetes, multiple sclerosis, stroke, a herniated disc, etc.
Hormonal: testosterone deficiency.
Medicinal: the side effects of antidepressants, anti-psychotics, steroids, recreational drugs, etc.
Erector spinae problems: direct or indirect surgical effects (ex. radical prostatectomy) or radiotherapy for prostate cancer.
Why is it important to consult a doctor in case of doubt?
Several factors can cause you to suffer from erectile dysfunction and it can be very complicated to identify them by yourself. A physician will review your medical records, perform a physical examination (ex. blood pressure, inspection of the genital organs, heart rate, blood sugar, blood cholesterol, etc.), carry out a neurological exam and review your intake of substances that may cause erection problems (ex. tobacco, drugs, medication, steroids, alcohol, etc.).
Adopting a healthy lifestyle, such as eating well, being physically activity frequently, avoiding or quitting smoking and reducing alcohol consumption can also help you to be healthy and keep you from developing diseases that can cause erectile problems. If your physical health is not an issue, consulting a psychologist or sex therapist might be just what you need. In any case, your doctor will guide you to the treatment that is most appropriate for your situation.
Patients with erectile dysfunction rely on medical treatments to maintain their sexual function. There are several treatments available. Here are some of the main ones: PDE-5 oral therapy (ex. Viagra, Cialis, Levitra or Staxyn), intra-urethral suppositories (ex. Muse) or intra-cavernous vasodilator injections (ex: Caverjet or Trimix with papaverine). These treatments are generally effective, reasonably safe and may cause rare side effects or adverse reactions. However, they do not affect the source of the erection mechanism. These treatments are usually taken on request before the sexual act, and their effect is essentially limited in time. Although the daily administration of Cialis 5 mg instead of treatment on demand allows for a more spontaneous sex life, it does not change the cause of the erection process related to the erectile dysfunction.
There is now another solution ... shock-wave therapy of the corpora cavernosa
Shock-wave therapy for erectile dysfunction is an adaptation of a technology that has existed for many years in various medical fields. In urology, high-intensity devices are used for the fragmentation of kidney stones. In orthopedics, devices with lower intensity are used for fragmentation of calcifications in certain tendons.
Shock waves are acoustic waves or energetic vibrations that penetrate the tissues of the corpora cavernosa of the penis. They induce micro traumas to the tissue which facilitates repair and the formation of new blood vessels. This enhances vascularization which in turn improves erection.
The medical objective of this treatment for men suffering from erectile dysfunction is to provide a healing and lasting effect, in order to help them enjoy spontaneous sexual activity in normal intimacy once more.
Shock-wave therapy involves applying, through several treatments, a catheter which emits low-intensity shock waves to at least 5 or 6 parts of the corpora cavernosa of the penis. The treatment is painless, short and without analgesia. The treatment is done in the clinic, without any preparation. There are few side effects and the most common of them is the presence of cutaneous bruising (skin bruising).
The treatment is performed by a physiotherapist who specializes in perineal rehabilitation. During the first appointment an assessment is conducted, the procedure is explained, the first shock-wave treatment is performed and the patient is provided with at-home care instructions. So the appointment takes about an hour. Then, a first series of 5 shock-wave sessions is done once a week. These 5 sessions are each 30 minutes long. Subsequently, a second evaluation is performed by the physiotherapist to evaluate the effectiveness of first 6 treatments. If required, a second series of 6 treatments may be then administered. Keep in mind that it takes a minimum of 3 sessions to see some improvements in your erectile function.
Shock wave therapy is a treatment recommended for all patients with vascular-related erectile problem. In other words, for men whose corpus cavernosa is not vascularized enough to allow sufficient blood flow for a good erection. This state-of-the-art treatment is therefore recommended for people suffering from heart disease, those with small clogged arteries, diabetics and smokers.
This treatment is also recommended with or without daily Cialis 5 mg to promote the recovery and rehabilitation of penile erections in patients who have recently undergone radical prostatectomy or radiation treatment for prostate cancer.
If you think you have erectile dysfunction, consult our urologist. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Carlos Marois Private Urologist at one of our two branches in Verdun or in Greenfield Park.