Erectile dysfunction (ED), the inability to achieve or maintain an erection suitable for sexual intercourse, can be a source of embarrassment, but it’s not uncommon. ED affects about 30 million American men.
It’s also rarely a standalone condition, usually occurring as a symptom of other health problems. The one good thing? There’s help!
At Viva Health, board-certified OB/GYN Dr. Aleksander J. Bodnar and his staff are committed to helping their patients overcome ED and return to normal, healthy sex lives.
That’s why they offer a range of effective treatments at their Clifton and Linden, New Jersey, locations. If you or your partner is struggling with ED, keep reading to learn about your options.
What causes an erection?
The key to a successful erection is increased blood flow to the penis, which can be stimulated by sexual thoughts and/or physical contact with the penile tissue.
During arousal, a man’s penis muscles relax, which allows for an influx of blood through the penile arteries into two chambers, located on either side of the penis. The blood stiffens the tissue and leads to an erection.
After intercourse and ejaculation, the penile muscles contract. This forces the excess blood out through the veins.
What causes ED?
Male sexual arousal is a full-body process, involving a coordinated effort between the brain, nerves, muscles, hormones, and blood vessels. If any part of the network doesn’t function properly, it may result in ED.
Sexual dysfunction may appear as you age, as your testosterone levels decline (low T) over time. It also may be caused by medication side effects or decreased libido and/or sexual sensation stemming from an underlying medical condition, such as heart disease or diabetes.
In addition, both physical and psychological stress, as well as mental health issues, can cause or worsen ED.
Help for erectile dysfunction
At Viva Health, we offer a number of treatments that can help ED.
Our first line of treatment for ED is often medication, which may include Viagra® (sildenafil), Levitra® (vardenafil), and Cialis® (tadalafil). These phosphodiesterase (PDE5) inhibitors block the action of a chemical that prevents adequate blood flow to the penis.
Hormone replacement therapy
If your ED is caused by low T, testosterone replacement therapy can be effective. At Viva Health, we use bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). The hormone source is plant-based but chemically identical to what your body produces, so it’s usually well-tolerated.
BHRT is available in injectable, gel, implant, or pellet form, and it can boost libido as well as increase your ability to achieve and maintain an erection.
We can also inject medications, such as Edex® and Caverject®, directly into the penis. They widen and relax blood vessels, allowing for increased blood flow.
If your ED is due to an underlying medical condition, working with Dr. Bodnar to make lifestyle modifications is a great way to reclaim your sexual health — and boost your overall health.
Changes the doctor might recommend include limiting or eliminating alcohol and drug use, achieving a healthy weight, eating a nutritious diet, and getting regular exercise.
Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT)
ESWT has been used since 1980 to heal damaged or inflamed connective tissues and regrow bone following a fracture. Along those lines, it can be used as a treatment for ED.
Also known as acoustic wave therapy since it uses sound waves, ESWT reduces dependence on oral or injected medications. It’s particularly effective for men with mild to moderate ED who’ve had success with the PDE5 inhibitors.
Dr. Bodnar uses a wand-like device that delivers low-intensity sound waves into the deep penile tissues to:
- Clear away plaque buildup in blood vessels that prevents adequate blood flow
- Stimulates growth factors so your body can build new, healthy blood vessels
ESWT is completely noninvasive, requires no anesthesia or downtime, and has no side effects. It restores your sex life by facilitating stronger, firmer, and longer-lasting erections. With a success rate over 70%, it’s also compatible with other treatments.
Is ED ruining your sex life? You don’t have to live with it; Viva Health can help! Give us a call at either location to schedule an evaluation with Dr. Bodnar, or book your appointment online.