It is not unusual for men to suffer occasional problems getting an erection, but regular or ongoing issues can lead to significant stress and anxiety. Subsequently many men will find their relationships and self-confidence affected.
What is erectile dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction (ED), sometimes known as impotence, is the inability to get and maintain an erection that is sufficient for satisfactory sexual intercourse. ED usually becomes worse with age, however, men at any age can experience ED for a wide variety of complex reasons.
What are the symptoms of Ed?
- Erections that are too soft for penetration or make it difficult
- Erections that don’t last long enough
- An inability to get an erection
- Reduced sexual desire
What are the causes of ED?
Some of the known causes and risk factors or ED are:
- Age- although it can happen at any age
- Having high blood pressure
- Having poor cardiovascular health such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol
- Smoking, recreational drugs or drinking too much
- Being overweight
- Lack of physical exercise and general strength
- Having Diabetes Mellitus which can affect blood flow
ED can be an early sign of a more serious health condition and therefore we ask for patients to have a medical diagnosis or to undergo some simple tests before starting any treatment. Finding and treating the reason for ED is vital so ensuring a suitable medical diagnosis is important.
What are the physical causes of ED?
- Reduced blood flow to the penis and ability to hold the blood in the penis – due to inadequate blood vessel function. This is usually linked to heart disease, smoking, hardened arteries or high blood sugar. We generally term this vasculogenic erectile dysfunction.
- Nerve signal from the brain or spinal cord is disrupted.
- Cancer treatments near the pelvis.
- Drugs to treat other medical conditions
What are the mental cause of ED?
- General anxiety or stress
- Relationship issues
- Performance anxiety
How do erections work and why shockwave helps?
- When aroused the brain sends chemical messages to the blood vessels in the penis.
- The arteries relax and open up to let more blood flow in; at the same time, the veins close up.
- Once blood is in the penis, pressure traps it within the corpora cavernosa (erectile tissue forming the bulk of the penis), the penis expands and holds the erection.
- If the blood flow to the penis is affected then you may have difficulties in achieving a suitable erection.
- The waves generated by focused shockwave therapy improve blood flow to the penis by dissolving small plaque build-up, stimulating the growth of new blood vessels and activating growth factors.
What are the other treatment options for ED?
Some of the most effective treatment comes from lifestyle change, improving your physical health and pelvic floor rehabilitation exercises. At Edinburgh Shockwave we make sure you have suitable advice and support on these factors and can refer you to a specialist men’s health physiotherapist when appropriate.
Some patients benefit from pumps to promote blood flow but if the ED is vasculogenic in nature then treatment is usually through medication, often the little blue pill! But these are not always helpful as they need to be taken sometimes hours in advance of sexual intercourse.
Will shockwave help patients with erectile dysfunction?
Focused shockwave therapy such as that provided by Edinburgh Shockwave is a clinically proven, non-invasive therapy, specifically developed for men seeking erectile dysfunction treatment that helps improve erections and sexual performance.
The results are stronger, harder, longer-lasting erections and an overall rejuvenation of the penis soft tissues. Shockwave treats the cause of ED and not just the symptoms.
Shockwave therapy is effective and safe for patients with vasculogenic ED who cannot take oral medications, such as those with heart disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure. But can also be effective for those currently on medication or looking to enhance sexual performance more generally.
We work with specialist GP’s to ensure your condition is appropriate for treatment and although results are not guaranteed and may vary from individual to individual, we provide the highest standards of care.