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.

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Risk Factors for ED

vancouver bc ed doctor near meAging 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:

  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • 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

Ed treatment VancouverIn 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.

CirculationNervous SystemStructuralSome medications for:
AtherosclerosisParkinson’s DiseasePeyronie’s DiseaseHigh blood pressure
DiabetesPast issues w/ PriapismAnxiety
Multiple SclerosisInjury 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.

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Our team is available for an assessment of your unique situation. Please contact us today to see what treatment option might benefit you.


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Overview of treatment options for ED beyond oral medications

(Individual results may vary. Consult with your doctor to decide the option most suited for you.)

Penile Implants

In use since the 1970s, penile implants have helped hundreds of thousands of men return to an active sex life. A penile implant is a medical implant that is implanted into the penis during an outpatient procedure. The implant is entirely concealed within the body.

To operate, one squeezes and releases the pump, located in the scrotum, to achieve an erection. To return the penis to a natural flaccid state, the deflate button located on the pump bulb is depressed.

Patient Satisfaction and Outcomes

  • 184 of 200 men (92%) said sexual activity with the implant was “excellent” or “satisfactory”
  • 115 of 120 partners (96%) said sexual activity with the implant was “excellent” or “satisfactory”
  • 196 of 200 patients (98%) reported erections to be “excellent” or “satisfactory”
  • 97% of patients would recommend a penile implant to a friend

Possible Side Effects

  • Latent, natural erections no longer possible
  • Infection (<1% risk) requires removal of device
  • Mechanical failure
  • Pain (typical with healing process)

Product Characteristics

  • Permanent ED Treatment
  • Concealed within the body
  • Maintain erection as long as desired
  • Spontaneous sex when the mood strikes
  • Doesn’t interfere with orgasm or ejaculation

Typical Duration of Use

  • 98% of penile implants are in use after 1.5 to 5 years
  • At 7 years, 94% are still un use and free from revision

Vacuum Erection Devices (VEDS)

In use since the 1980s, a vacuum erection device consists of a hollow plastic tube, a vacuum pump and a tension ring. With the tube placed over the penis, the pump creates a vacuum that pulls blood into the penis.

Once an erection is achieved, an elastic tension ring is placed at the base of the penis to help maintain the erection.

Patient Satisfaction and Outcomes

  • VED patient satisfaction rates range from 60-80%
  • VED success rates range from 80-92% after radical prostatectomy

Possible Side Effects

  • Penile bruising/burst blood vessels
  • Penile pain/discomfort
  • Penile numbness
  • Delayed ejaculation or failure to ejaculate
  • Cool or different colored erection

Product Characteristics

  • Non-invasive
  • Drug free
  • Cost effective

Typical Duration of Use

  • Despite initial high success rates, in a study of 85 patients, 73 of 85 (86%) decided to move onto other sexual aids


In use since the 1980s, injection therapy uses a needle to inject medication directly into the base or side of the penis.

These medications improve blood flow into the penis to cause an erection.

Patient Satisfaction and Outcomes

  • ~60% of patients were satisfied and continued use
  • Satisfaction for men and partners at 4 years was 91.4%
  • Clinical studies report ~60-86% success rates

Possible Side Effects

  • Penile pain
  • Prolonged erection
  • Penile fibrosis
  • Injection site hematoma
  • Penile curvature
  • Palpable plaque

Product Characteristics

  • Injected with a needle into the corpus cavernosum
  • Onset of erection:5-20min
  • Refrigeration required

Typical Duration of Use

  • Despite success rates, in a study of 294 men, only 59 (20%) continued the therapy
  • 107 (45.5%) men discontinued at 6 months, and 151 (64.2%) men discontinued at 12 months
  • Another study found 40% drop out rate at 12 months, and 70% at 43 months for post prostatectomy patients

Intraurethral Suppositories

In use since the 1990s, intraurethral suppository treatment for ED uses an applicator containing a small pellet that is inserted into the urethra.

Once the pellet is released, it dissolves to increase blood flow to the penis to form an erection.

Patient Satisfaction and Outcomes

  • Clinical study satisfaction rates are limited, but one study found 64 of 192 men (33% were satisfied)
  • In clinical literature, success rates are reportes at 40-65%

Possible Side Effects

  • Penile pain
  • Urethral pain or burning
  • Urethral bleeding/spotting
  • Dizziness
  • Hypotension

Product Characteristics

  • No needles
  • Onset of erection:5-10min
  • Refrigeration required

Typical Duration of Use

  • In one study of 54 patients, over half discontinued use after 8 months
  • Another clinical study reported 40-50% of men don’t continue using this therapy after 6-8 months


We are following strict protocols to ensure staff and patient safety.  Please read our COVID-19 information page for details.

We also continue to offer telehealth appointments for the following:

  • Complimentary initial visits for erectile dysfunction, peyronie's disease and penile enlargement.
  • Sex Therapy

Please contact us at 604.717.6200 or info@pollockclinics.com to book. We are open 7 am - 5 pm Monday to Friday

Take care and stay safe!