Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is a medical condition where a man is consistently unable to achieve and maintain an erection that allows for satisfactory sexual function.
ED is also referred to as impotence.
Erectile dysfunction is very common.
A recent study shows that nearly 50% of Canadian men over 40 years of age experience some symptoms of this condition.
Pollock Clinics offers rapid access to the latest innovative ED treatments at our clinics serving greater Vancouver and all of BC.
No doctor’s referral is needed and you can request an appointment online directly.
What is Erectile Dysfunction or Impotence?
When a man becomes aroused, the brain releases a neurochemical to increase the size of blood vessels carrying blood to the penis and reduce the size of the vessels that carry it out.
Twin compartments that run the length of the penis, called corpora cavernosa, become flush with blood that is trapped in the shaft. This causes the penis to stiffen and become erect.
If blood flow to the penis is inhibited or the blood vessels are clogged or constricted, erection cannot be achieved or maintained.
This is one of the primary causes of erectile dysfunction.
ED is potentially a treatable medical condition and is not related to masculinity or sexual prowess.
Men who have ED symptoms should consult with a doctor.
Risk Factors for ED
Aging is a key contributor in the development of erectile dysfunction.
- Men’s testosterone levels naturally decline at a rate of 1% a year, starting in a man’s thirties.
- High cholesterol and the buildup of arterial plaque over time causes blood vessels to narrow, lessening the capability of your circulatory system.
- Risk of heart disease and diabetes also increase with age which can cause or worsen erectile dysfunction.
Lifestyle choices and health conditions which can also contribute to impotence include:
- Sedentary life style
- Chronic alcohol/substance abuse
Men with healthier lifestyles – no tobacco, less sitting, more exercise – typically have a lower risk of impotence than other men in the same age group.
Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction
Symptoms of ED can include:
- Erections are less firm
- Erections are not satisfactory for penetration
- Erections cannot be maintained during sexual intercourse or until orgasm is reached
- Erections cannot be achieved at all
- Prolonged time to get an erection after ejaculation
Men with ED can lose confidence in their sexual ability and their overall sense of self-worth can be negatively affected.
Erectile dysfunction can have a devasting psychological impact for individuals and couples.
Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
In the majority of cases, erectile dysfunction occurs when blood flow to the penis is inhibited. Healthy arousal engorges the penis with blood causing it to stiffen and become erect. Without an influx of blood that is held in the penis until after ejaculation, erection will not occur.
The reasons for erectile dysfunction can be broken out into two groups: Psychological and Biological
Psychological Causes of ED
Men who suffer from clinical depression or chronic stress, or who are experiencing challenges in their relationship with their partner, may become impotent. Some of the medications that treat depression can also contribute to the problem. The inability to perform sexually can cause further anxiety and depression, creating a downward spiral.
Biological Causes of ED
Health conditions that affect circulation, structural anomalies in the penis, certain neurological conditions, hormonal deficiencies, in addition to medication side effects, can all contribute to erectile dysfunction. The chart here lays out potential biological reasons for a man’s erectile dysfunction.
|Circulation||Nervous System||Structural||Some medications for:|
|Atherosclerosis||Parkinson’s Disease||Peyronie’s Disease||High blood pressure|
|Diabetes||Past issues w/ Priapism||Anxiety|
|Multiple Sclerosis||Injury or Trauma|
Treatments for Erectile Dysfunction
ED is a treatable condition and most men are able to return to healthy sexual function. Treatment options include:
- Erectile Dysfunction Shockwave Therapy (EDSWT): ED Shockwave therapy is an innovative medical treatment that uses low intensity accoustic sound waves in an attempt to address the vascular cause of erectile dysfunction, and not just its symptoms. For over 50 years shockwave therapy has been used to treat everything from kidney stones, to joint pain, and now erectile dysfunction. It is a safe and natural procedure which does not involve the use of pharmaceuticals, mechanical pumps, injections or surgical implants.
- PRP Therapy (Plasma Rich Platelet Injections): PRP therapy is a penile injection intended to improve sexual performance in men through a proposed mechanism that some people believe will promote the regeneration of nerves and blood vessels, thus potentially increasing the amount of blood flow to the penis. In particular, this procedure is designed with the goal to help those who feel their performance has declined due to issues such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, or nerve damage, or other issues related to aging. While the PRP Shot, is a new, regenerative treatment option for erectile dysfunction, Platelet-Rich Plasma therapy (PRP) has for many years been a successful treatment modality in orthopedics, plastic surgery, and sports medicine.
- Sex Therapy: Sex Therapy can help a person or couple overcome a variety of sexual difficulties and challenges. Sex therapy is often helpful in the treatment of erectile dysfunction, even when physical factors are the principal cause. Sexual difficulties, no matter what the cause, can strain your relationship. Frequently, a man with erectile problems experiences performance anxiety, which makes him reluctant to initiate sexual contact. His partner may perceive this as rejection, which could trigger feelings of frustration and resentment. Sex therapy, with our experienced, certified sex therapist, can help a couple overcome these feelings and re-establish intimacy.