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Mayo Clinic Erectile Dysfunction

Mayo Clinic Erectile Dysfunction

Departments and specialties

Mayo Clinic has one of the largest and most experienced practices in the United States, with campuses in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota. Staff skilled in dozens of specialties work together to ensure quality care and successful recovery.

Departments that treat this condition

  • Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Endocrinology
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Psychology
  • Urology

Areas that research this condition

  • Neurology Research
  • Psychiatry and Psychology Research
  • Urology Research

Diagnosis & tests

Doctors can rule out various systemic causes of ED with a physical exam. Breast enlargement in men, for instance, can indicate hormonal issues, while decreased pulses in the wrists or ankles can suggest blood flow problems, according to the NIH.

Beyond that, several tests can lead to an ED diagnosis. According to the Mayo Clinic, these include:

  • Blood tests to check cholesterol, testosterone and glucose levels
  • Urinalysis to look for signs of diabetes
  • Ultrasound to check blood flow to the penis
  • Overnight erection test to monitor erections during sleep. Physical causes of ED can be ruled out if the patient has an involuntary erection while sleeping (a normal occurrence), breaking a special tape wrapped around his penis.

Symptoms

Erectile dysfunction symptoms might include persistent:

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

When to see a doctor

A family doctor is a good place to start when you have erectile problems. See your doctor if:

  • You have concerns about your erections or you're experiencing other sexual problems such as premature or delayed ejaculation
  • You have diabetes, heart disease or another known health condition that might be linked to erectile dysfunction
  • You have other symptoms along with erectile dysfunction

Mayo Clinic : What causes erectile dysfunction and should it be checked?

Finding the specific cause of erectile dysfunction isn’t always simple. A number of underlying medical conditions can trigger erectile dysfunction, and other factors such as stress, depression or anxiety can make it worse. But it’s important to have erectile dysfunction evaluated. It could be an early warning sign of other potential health problems. And erectile dysfunction is unlikely to resolve without some treatment or lifestyle changes. Your husband definitely should see his health care provider about erectile dysfunction.

Erectile dysfunction is the inability to get or keep an erection firm enough for sex. It’s a common problem. Studies of men 40 to 70 have found that about 52 percent have some degree of erectile dysfunction.

Having erection trouble from time to time isn’t necessarily a cause for concern. If erectile dysfunction is an ongoing issue, however, it can cause stress, affect self-confidence and contribute to relationship problems. Perhaps most important, though, problems getting or keeping an erection can be a sign of an underlying health condition that needs treatment, such as vascular disease, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

The reason for the connection between erectile dysfunction and conditions such as heart disease often stems from problems with the inner lining of blood vessels, called the endothelium, and smooth muscle. Endothelial dysfunction causes inadequate blood supply to the heart and impaired blood flow to the penis. It also contributes to the development of plaque buildup in the arteries, which is a risk factor for heart disease called atherosclerosis.

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