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.
A recent study shows that over 40% of Canadian men over 40 experience some symptoms of erectile dysfunction.
Pollock Clinics offers rapid access to the latest ED treatments at our two private clinic locations in Vancouver and New Westminster BC.
No doctor’s referral is needed and you can request an appointment online directly.
Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction
The common signs of erectile dysfunction are related to the inability to achieve erection:
- Erections are less hard
- Erections may take longer and require more stimulation
- Erection cannot be maintained during sexual intercourse
- Erection cannot be achieved at all.
For some men with ED, penetration may not be possible. For others, penetration can be initiated but not maintained until orgasm is reached.
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 an important psychological impact.
What is 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 a treatable medical condition that is not related to masculinity or sexual prowess. Men who have ED symptoms should consult with a doctor.
The doctor will review your symptoms and do an examination of the penis, prostrate, testicles and rectum. The following tests may also be performed in some cases:
- Testosterone levels: blood test taken in early morning to look for testosterone deficiency.
- Thyroid function: Blood test to determine thyroid hormone levels
- Blood sugar levels: Glucose test to determine whether diabetes is present
The doctor may test for other conditions or indicators of poor circulation such as high cholesterol. Extreme curvature of the penis may make achieving erection for penetration difficult or impossible.
Causes of Impotence
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 many 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 can cause impotence. The chart here lays out potential biological reasons for a man’s erectile dysfuntion.
|Circulation||Nervous System||Structural||Some medications for:|
|Atherosclerosis||Parkinson’s Disease||Peyronie’s Disease||High blood pressure|
|Multiple Sclerosis||Past issues w/ Priapism|
|Injury or Trauma|
Risk Factors for ED
Erectile dysfunction is a common condition among older men. Aging is a key component in developing ED.
- 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
Lifestyle choices and health conditions can also contribute to impotence:
- 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.
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 Shock Wave Therapy (EDSWT): The application of low-intensity shockwaves (similar to sound waves) to reopen veins and re-establish proper blood flow to the penis. EDSWT is a common solution because it is non-invasive, requires no drugs, and can offer a long-term benefit of up to a year. This same method has been successfully tested and regularly used in other areas of medicine including Cardiology, Orthopedics, Aesthetic Medicine, and Sports Medicine. The aim of EDSWT is to trigger regeneration of blood vessel in the penile shaft to support stronger, longer, and more satisfying erections.
- PRP Therapy (the P-Shot): Using the patient’s blood, platelet rich plasma is separated and injected into the penis, revitalizing muscles and tissues and improving circulatory function. Priapus Shot injections are safe and approved by Health Canada. Plasma-rich-platelet therapy (PRP) has also been a successful treatment modality in orthopedics, plastic surgery, and sports medicine.
- Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT): TRT is a hormone replacement therapy that can counter the effects of low testosterone production. TRT can help men with low testosterone regain sexual function (including quality of erections), support overall health and energy levels, as well as mood and mental function. At Pollock Clinics our goal is to carefully select patients with erectile dysfunction who may also have signs and symptoms of hypogonadism through detailed history taking, focused physical examination, and proper biochemical laboratory findings to determine the appropriateness of TRT.
- Medication: The most common drug treatment is PDES inhibitors that increase blood flow to the penis. Men with certain health conditions cannot take PDES inhibitors
- Topical Medications: These medications stimulate blood flow.
- Penile Vacuum Device: This device fits over the penis and is pumped to achieve an erection. An elastic ring around the base of the shaft holds the blood in the penis, maintaining erection.
- Penile Implants: Protheses implanted in the penis, either as bendable rods or inflatable cylinders that are pumped up to achieve erection
Contact Us for a Consultation
Our team is available for an assessment of your unique situation. Please contact us today to what treatment option might benefit you.
At Pollock Clinics, our patients will be thoroughly assessed and a treatment plan which may include one or more treatment modalities will be offered.
Call Us to Book!