What is erectile dysfunction?
Erectile Dysfunction (ED), often referred to as impotence, is a common form of male sexual dysfunction in which a man is unable to achieve or maintain a satisfactory erection for sexual activity. Though it is not rare for a man to have some problems with erections from time to time, ED that is progressive and/or happens routinely with sexual activity is not normal, and should be evaluated and treated. The ED treatment Phoenix depends on looks at all causes of ED and creates effective treatment plans.
How Erections Work
First, a little basic physiology and anatomy. The penis is an organ with 2 erection chambers (corpora cavernosa), which are filled with spongy erectile tissue composed mostly of muscle. Basically, achieving an erection is a hydraulic event, which is regulated by the nervous and endocrine (hormones) systems.
An erection is initiated by one of two main mechanisms: direct stimulation of the genitalia or other certain areas of the body (i.e. lips thru a kiss) or through stimuli coming from the brain (fantasy, visual, auditory, smell, etc.).
Upon stimulation, chemicals are released in the brain that cause signals to pass down the spinal cord and outward through special nerves into the penis. These nerves release nitric oxide which causes the erectile tissue muscles to relax. This results in increased blood flow into and storage of blood within the erectile tissue leading to an increase in pressure and rigidity (firmness, hardness) and the development of an erection.
When a man has an orgasm, a different group of nerve signals reach the penis and cause the erectile tissue muscles to contract and the blood is released back into general circulation leading to a decrease in pressure and rigidity and loss of the erection.
Erectile Dysfunction Causes
- There is a myriad of factors, both physical and mental, that may cause and/or contribute to erectile dysfunction. In most cases of ED, there is usually more than one condition contributing to the cause of ED. The ED Treatment Scottsdale trusts looks at all causes when developing a treatment plan.
Vasculogenic Causes – Many health conditions damage our blood vessels which can reduce blood flow into the penis resulting in less rigidity or no erection. In fact, ED may be a major warning sign of cardiovascular disease, indicating plaques are building up in a man’s vascular system. The majority of ED, about 80%, is vasculogenic. Some common vasculogenic causes are:
- Atherosclerosis – narrowing of artery by plaque
- Arteriosclerosis – hardening of the arteries
- Heart Disease
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
Neurogenic Causes – Conditions that damage our nervous system, the brain, spinal cord, and nerves prevent the proper “signals” from reaching the penis and associated tissues and blood vessels resulting in less rigidity or no erection at all. Some common neurogenic causes are:
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Spinal cord and nerve injury
- Surgery and/or radiation to pelvic area (i.e. prostate cancer)
Hormonogenic – The process of achieve and maintaining an erection is regulated by both the nervous system and hormones. A hormone imbalance can cause and/or contribute ED. Some common Hormonogenic causes are:
- Low testosterone
- Hyperprolactinemia (high levels of the hormone Prolactin)
Psychogenic – Normal sex need the mind and body working together. Emotional and relationship problems can cause or worsen ED.
- Anxiety, especially performance anxiety, which often co-contributes along with other causes.
- Low Self-Esteem
- Relationship conflicts
- High and chronic levels of stress
- Injury to penis
- Peyronie’s Disease (abnormal curvature in the penis)
- Medications (based on literature, as many as 25% of cases)
- Lifestyle (i.e. nutrition, chronic alcohol use, physical inactivity, smoking)
Erectile Dysfunction Treatment Options
At T2 Health, we take a completely different approach to helping our patients suffering with erectile dysfunction. We help you uncover the real causes of your erectile dysfunction and provide personalized treatment based on your unique needs and goals to help you truly heal. We offer a variety of treatment options, including:
PulseWave – A non-surgical, non-invasive way to increase your sex-life. PulseWave is a new, exciting ED treatment that uses pulsed acoustic energy waves to increase blood flow to the penis resulting in stronger, firmer, and more sustainable erections. Learn more…
Penile PRP Injections – Aging is part of life, but suffering from it is a choice. Penile PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma) Injection Therapy is a safe natural, non-surgical approach to improving your sex-life. This revolutionary new PRP treatment has been proven to improve erectile quality and size, resulting in a firmer and larger erection, along with an enhanced sense of sexual sensation. Learn more…
Testosterone Therapy – Testosterone is needed to achieve and maintain erections. However, commonly, low testosterone is not the sole culprit in ED. Testosterone levels are tested and where clinically appropriate, testosterone therapy may be started. Learn more…
PDE5 Inhibitors (i.e. Cialis®, Viagra®) – Phosphodiesterase Type 5 Inhibitors (PDE5 inhibitors) are medications which increase blood flow to the penis. These medications require normal nerve function to the penis. If you are taking nitrates for your heart, you SHOULD NOT take any PDE inhibitors without first talking with your doctor.
TriMix Intracavernosal Injections – TriMix is an injection of mixture of three medications (Papaverine, Alprostadil, and Phentolamine). Each of these medications produce a vasodilating effect (widening of blood vessels) when injected into the penis. The injection is performed using a very small needle and inserted into the proper area along the shaft of the penis. The mixture of medications causes the corpus cavernosum to relax, dilate and become filled with blood, producing an erection. TriMix Intracavernosal injections can trigger an erection in less than 5 minutes!
Peptides – Peptide Therapy is the use of specific peptides for the treatment certain conditions. Peptides are amino-acids (building blocks of protein) linked together to form short chains. In our bodies, these peptides typically act as “signaling” molecules by binding to receptors on the cell surface. By attaching to the receptors, peptides will affect how the cell responds to certain stimuli. The peptide Bremelanotide PT 141 is now used to treat sexual dysfunction in men and women. Peptides require a prescription and are produced by compounding pharmacies.
Nutrition & Lifestyle Therapies
Lifestyle Counseling – Many of our lifestyle choices can affect our ability to achieve and maintain an erection. Healthy nutrition, physical active vs sedentary lifestyle, quality and restful sleep (hormone production is its highest when we sleep for many hormones), effective management of our stress, and healthy and loving relationships.
Nutrient IV’s & Injections – Nutrients delivered intravenously and intramuscularly that help support erectile function, optimal testosterone levels, and other bodily functions for increasing overall health and well-being. Learn more…
Professional-Grade Supplements – Natural substances, which may include vitamins, minerals, fish oils, botanical medicines, animal tissue (i.e. glandulars), and other therapeutic natural substances, which help support erectile function, optimal testosterone levels, and other bodily functions for increasing overall health and well-being. Learn more…
Vacuum Erection Devices – An external pump, manual or battery-operated, that creates a vacuum, drawing blood into the penis, causing it to swell and become erect. This can be used alone or in combination with other treatments.
Every Journey Starts With One Step
Take Your First Step Today
We invite you to schedule a free, no obligation “Discovery Meeting” to meet our doctors, or Personal Physicians as we like to say. In this meeting they will discuss your health goals, treatment options, and answer any of your questions.