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Call us at 401-793-4636 (4MEN) for more information about our services, or to make an appointment, or refer a patient.
The Men's Health Center
Erectile dysfunction is defined as the inability to attain and or maintain an erection adequate for sexual intercourse.
Erectile dysfunction can be multi-factorial. Examples of physical causes include vascular disease, metabolic syndrome, prostate cancer surgery, low testosterone levels, and alcohol and/or tobacco use. Psychological performance anxiety can also contribute to ED.
Nearly 50 percent of men ranging in age from 40 to 70 years of age are affected by ED. Men report guilt, shame and frustrations related to inability to perform. Due to repeated failed attempts, performance anxiety may present with subsequent attempts.
The presence of the condition is a precursor to the nation’s leading cause of death in men, cardiovascular disease. Since ED usually presents 3 to 5 years prior to cardiovascular disease, recognizing risk factors is crucial in addressing potential heart disease in men with ED.
A thorough history and physical will be performed in addition to laboratory testing. Non-invasive vascular scans may be necessary to assess cardiovascular risk. Erectile dysfunction can be treated with oral medications, self injections or transurethral medications. Vacuum pumps, tension rings or implantable prostheses are other options available. Treatment involves addressing the cause of an individual’s ED. Referrals to other disciplines including psychological services, physical therapy or weight loss management may be included in the plan of care.
Stem cell therapy is one of the newer treatments for ED, however the therapies remain experimental. The hopes would be to rebuild blood vessels and regenerate nitric oxide receptors and nerves. Additionally, lifestyle studies related to ED continue to emerge, emphasizing the importance of diet, exercise, and quality sleep.
Efficacy of therapy can vary from person to person. Results are greatest when patients are committed to lifestyle changes in conjunction with pharmacological therapies. Oral therapies may be effective in up to 70% of individuals. Efficacy may also improve when the couple is involved in treatment.
The Men’s Health Center incorporates a thorough cardio-metabolic workup in conjunction with the treatments offered for hypogonadism, erectile dysfunction, ejaculatory disorders, diminished libido, prostate cancer and Peyronie’s Disease. The center is staffed by internists specializing in andrology, urologists, and a psychologist specializing in sexual dysfunction.
Support groups are available for prostate cancer survivors who are affected by ED. Forums include questions about oral and injectable meds, urinary incontinence and coping after a diagnosis. Some groups meet face to face while others are entirely online. Online forums may be more appropriate for some individuals given the nature of the conversations.