Erectile Dysfunction Glossary

Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
Erectile dysfunction (ED), or impotence, is the consistent or recurrent inability of a man to attain and/or maintain a penile erection for sexual performance. ED is not uncommon, and over 50% of men between 40-70 experience it at some point in their lives. ED can also be a symptom of an underlying health problem.

Erectile Dysfunction (ED) Symptoms
Erectile dysfunction symptoms might include persistent:

  • Trouble getting an erection
  • Trouble keeping an erection
  • Reduced sexual desire

Erectile Dysfunction (ED) Causes
Sexual arousal is complex and trouble getting or keeping an erection can be related to problems stemming from psychological and emotional issues, stress, or physical causes. The issue can also stem from a combination of causes. Read more at the Mayo Clinic:

Erectile Dysfunction (ED) Risk Factors
Certain risk factors make it more likely that a man will experience Erectile Dysfunction (ED), these include: medical conditions such as heart conditions and diabetes, smoking, being overweight, prostate surgery, radiation treatment for cancer, certain medications, and psychological conditions such as depression or anxiety.

Erectile Dysfunction (ED) Treatments
There are different ways of treating Erectile Dysfunction (ED), depending on the underlying cause(s). These include: oral medications, injections, implants, surgery, and psychological counseling.

Cancer & Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is common in men who have undergone radiation treatments or surgery  for prostate, bladder, or colorectal cancers. However, penile rehabilitation is possible with the right treatments.

Diabetes & Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is common in men with Diabetes. It stems from damage to nerves and blood vessels caused by long-term problems controlling blood sugar. ED can also be caused by problems common in men with diabetes, such as high blood pressure and coronary artery disease. Read more at the Mayo Clinic:

Oral Therapy for Erectile dysfunction (ED)
The FDA has approved four oral medications to treat ED. This class of drug is called phosphodiesterase inhibitors (PDE5) and include sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), vardenafil (Levitra), and Avanafil (Stendra). PDE5’s may take from 30 minutes to two hours to begin working and sexual stimulation is needed. However, these medications may react with other medications and supplements, therefore it is important your doctor know what you are taking. Read More at the NIH:

Intraurethral Medication for ED
Intraurethral suppositories, known as MUSE, is an alternative to oral medications for ED. The suppository is administered directly into the penile urethra and is then absorbed directly into the penis. After using MUSE an erection can occur within ten minutes.

Vacuum Erection Device for ED
Vacuum erection devices work by placing a cylinder over the penis and applying negative (vacuum) pressure. After the penis becomes engorged with blood, an erection is formed. A band is then placed at the base of the penis and the cylinder is removed to have intercourse.

Intracavernosal Injections for ED
Some medications can be injected directly into the penis to form an erection. These medications commonly include alprostadil, papaverine, and phentolamine.

Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP) for ED
Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy involves recruiting a man's own platelets to improve penile health. Platelets found in blood contain proteins called growth factors which stimulate healing by recruiting stem cells and other agents to a particular area of the body. When platelets are concentrated in this manner it’s referred to as platelet rich plasma, or PRP. The PRP is injected into the penis to produce erections.

Stem Cell Treatment for ED
Stem cells can be taken from adipose (fat) tissue and bone marrow and combined with PRP to promote healing and improve penile health. Read More at the NIH:

Wave Therapy for ED
Focused RegenWAVE therapy has been shown in many patients to assist the penis by increasing blood vessel formation (angiogenesis) and increasing nitric oxide locally in the penis, thus resulting in improved erectile function.

Priapus Shot (P-Shot) for ED
The Priapus Shot (P-Shot) is the injection of Platelet Rich Plasma directly into the penis. See Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP) for ED.

Surgical Treatments for ED
Surgical intervention as a treatment for Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is reserved for those who other therapies have not helped. There a different surgical options including penile implants, penile arterial revascularization, and venous ligation surgery. Read more at the Urology Care Foundation website:

Penile Implant (Prosthesis) for ED
Penile implants (penile prostheses) are devices that are surgically placed inside the penis. They produce a stiff penis that lets you have normal sex. There are two types of penile implants. Read more at the Urology Care Foundation website:

Bendable Penile Implant for ED
The bendable penile implant is the simplest implant,  it consists of 2 easy-to-bend rods that are usually made from silicone. These silicone rods give the man's penis the firmness needed to have sex. The implant can be bent downward for peeing or upward for sex.

Inflatable Penile Implant for ED
Inflatable penile implants are fluid-filled cylinders that are surgically placed lengthwise in the penis. Tubing connects these rods to a pump that is placed inside the scrotum. A pump is used to pushed fluid into the cylinders, this makes the penis hard. 

Venous Ligation Surgery for ED
Venous ligation surgery binds leaky vessels in the penis. This ensures that enough blood is trapped in the penis' tissues to create a firm and lasting erection. This surgery is still considered experimental in some corners. Certain risk factors may prevent a man from being a candidate for this surgery.

Penile Arterial Revascularization for ED
Penile arterial revascularization surgery fixes problems with blocked or injured blood vessels in the penis. This surgery is meant exclusively for men under the age of 45 who have had injuries to the pelvis or penis and have no other risk factors. Read more at the NIH:

Lifestyle Changes for ED
In certain situations lifestyle changes may be enough to fix Erectile Dysfunction (ED). However, even if a man has underlying issues it is still recommended that he quit smoking, lose excess weight, begin a physical exercise routine (if physically capable), get treatment for any drug or alcohol problems, and reduce outside stress factors. 

Alternative Medicine for ED
Alternative treatments such as taking herbal supplements, may be unsafe or ineffective. It is best to speak with a doctor about Erectile Dysfunction (ED) problems before beginning any treatment plan. 

Psychological Counseling for ED
Erectile Dysfunction (ED) can be caused by stress, anxiety, and depression. If these are the causes you should visit a counselor or psychologist, with your partner if possible. Read more at the NIH:

Erectile Dysfunction (ED) Prevention
Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is a complex issue, however there are steps men can take to prevent the issue in some cases. These step include: managing chronic health conditions, quitting smoking or never starting, limiting alcohol intake, exercising and maintaining a healthy body weight, and getting help for psychological problems.