Erectile dysfunction (ED) occurs when a man either can’t achieve an erection or can’t maintain one long enough to engage in sexual intercourse. While this can be a source of embarrassment, it’s not uncommon; one study found that about 52% of men experience some form of ED.
At Viva Health, with offices conveniently located in Clifton and Linden, New Jersey, board-certified OB/GYN Dr. Aleksander J. Bodnar and his staff understand how self-conscious erectile dysfunction can make you feel about your performance in the bedroom.
That’s why they offer a range of effective treatments to give men back their sexual health, including the revolutionary extracorporeal shockwave therapy. Here’s what you need to know about ED and how we can help.
How does an erection occur?
An erection depends on increased blood flow to the penis. The flow can be stimulated either by sexual thoughts or physical contact with the penile tissue.
When a man becomes aroused, his penis muscles relax, allowing for an influx of blood through the penile arteries. The blood fills two chambers, located on either side of the penis, stiffening the tissue and leading to an erection.
The erection ends when the penile muscles contract, forcing the excess blood out through the veins.
What causes ED?
Male sexual arousal isn’t a simple process. It includes a coordinated effort involving the brain, nerves, muscles, hormones, and blood vessels in the penis. If any part of the interconnected chain doesn’t work properly, ED can be the result.
Physical and psychological stress and mental health issues also can cause or worsen ED.
The main culprits of sexual dysfunction include aging, medication side effects, and decreased libido and/or sexual sensation arising from an underlying medical condition, such as heart disease, diabetes, or declining testosterone levels (low T). Lifestyle factors may also contribute.
What are some common ED treatments?
Common treatments for ED include.
Often the first line of treatment for ED, commonly prescribed medications include Viagra® (sildenafil), Levitra® (vardenafil), and Cialis® (tadalafil). These PDE5 inhibitors block the action of phosphodiesterase, a chemical that interferes with erections by preventing adequate blood flow.
Hormone replacement therapy
If low T is contributing to your ED, testosterone replacement can be an effective treatment. At Viva Health, we use bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT); though plant-based, the hormone source is chemically identical to what your body produces, so it’s well-tolerated.
BHRT — available in injectable, gel, implant, or pellet form — can boost libido as well as increase your ability to achieve and maintain an erection.
Some medications, such as Edex® and Caverject®, are injected directly into the penis. All widen and relax blood vessels, boosting blood flow.
If your ED is caused by an underlying condition such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease, working with Dr. Bodnar to make lifestyle modifications is one of the best ways you can reclaim your sexual health — and boost your overall health.
Changes may include limiting or eliminating alcohol and drug use, maintaining a healthy weight, eating a nutritious diet, and exercising regularly.
So, how can extracorporeal shockwave therapy help your ED?
Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) has been in use since 1980 as a means of healing damaged or inflamed connective tissues, as well as regrowing bone following a fracture, through the application of sound waves. But now it’s found a use as a treatment for ED.
The treatment, also known as acoustic wave therapy, can reduce your dependence on oral or injected medications. It’s particularly effective for men with mild to moderate ED who’ve had success taking PDE5 inhibitors.
Dr. Bodnar uses a wand-like device that delivers low-intensity sound waves into the deep tissues of the penis.
The waves serve two purposes: One, to clear away plaque buildup in the blood vessels that prevents adequate blood flow. Two, to stimulate growth factors so your body can build new, healthy blood vessels, improving the quality of erections.
The treatment is completely noninvasive; requires no anaesthesia, medication, or downtime; and has no side effects. ESWT enables spontaneous erections, restoring your sex life by facilitating stronger, firmer, and longer-lasting erections.
ESWT, with a success rate over 70%, is also compatible with other treatments.
If you’re struggling with erectile dysfunction, Viva Health can help. Give us a call at either of our locations to schedule a consultation with Dr. Bodnar, or book online with us today.