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.
The Canadian Study of Erectile Dysfunction identified 49.4% of men over 40 with ED (Canadian Urological Association erectile dysfunction guideline 2015).
Pollock Clinics offers rapid access to the latest innovative ED treatments at our clinic location in New Westminster – serving greater Vancouver and all of BC.
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.
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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
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 a devasting psychological impact.
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 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 medical side effects, can all contribute to erectile dysfunction. 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|
|Diabetes||Past issues w/ Priapism||Anxiety|
|Multiple Sclerosis||Injury or Trauma|
The doctor will review your symptoms and perform a thorough physical examination with a focus on cardiovascular, neurological, and genitourinary systems. 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.
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): EDSWT is a technology that uses the low-intensity shockwaves (similar to sound waves) with the aim to trigger regeneration of blood vessel in the penile shaft to support stronger, longer, and more satisfying erection. This same method has been successfully tested and regularly used in other areas of medicine including 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 (Plasma Rich Platelet Injections): Using the patient’s blood, platelet rich plasma is separated and injected into the penis with the aim of revitalizing muscles and tissues and improving circulatory function. PRP 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.
- Sex Therapy: Mental and emotional health can be key factors in sexual wellness. Stress, anxiety or depression can impact libido, and a man’s ability to engage with their partner. Sex Therapy can help a person or couple overcome sexual problems and improve sexual feelings and intimacy.
Contact Us for a Consultation
Our team is available for an assessment of your unique situation. Please contact us today to see 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.
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