1. What is Erectile Dysfunction or ED?

Erectile dysfunction (impotence) is inability to get an erection or problem keeping an erection firm enough for sex and/or a reduced sexual desire that, when on an ongoing basis, it usually affects your self-confidence and causes stress, and relationship problems, frequently creating an issue for you or your partner.

2. How does an erection occurs?

An erection is an emotional event that begins in the brain. Physical and/or mental stimulation cause nerves in the brain to send chemical messages to nerves in the penis telling the penile blood vessels to relax so that blood can flow freely into the penis. Once in the penis, high pressure traps the blood within both corpora cavernosa. This causes the penis to expand and sustain an erection. Erection is reversed when the inflow of blood is stopped and opening outflow channels open, allowing the penis to become soft

3. ED is frequently related to Diabetes?


Erectile dysfunction is significantly common in men who have diabetes and is most often caused by poor long-term blood sugar control, which damages nerves and blood vessels. Erectile dysfunction can be linked to other conditions common in men with diabetes, such as high blood pressure and coronary artery disease. ED is three times more common in patients with diabetes mellitus. ED in diabetes is associated with vascular and neural factors. Hyperglycemia (increased glucose in blood) is believed to give rise to these microvascular changes. ED in diabetes is strongly correlated with glucose control, duration of disease and diabetic complications. The incidence increases with increasing age, duration of diabetes and deteriorating metabolic control, and is higher in individuals with type 2 diabetes than those with type 1. ED in men with diabetes often affects their quality of life and, as patients are often reluctant to come forward with their symptoms losing a great opportunity to correct their ED.

4. Some other causes of ED


Male sexual arousal is an intricate process that involves the brain, hormones, emotions, nerves, sexual arousal, muscles and blood vessels. Erectile dysfunction can result from a problem with any of these. In most cases, erectile dysfunction is caused by something physical. Specific causes other than diabetes are:

  • Metabolic syndrome (a condition involving increased blood pressure, high insulin levels, body fat around the waist and high cholesterol
  • Obesity, inflammation,
  • Low testosterone
  • Tobacco; Alcoholism and other drug abuse
  • Heart disease, High blood pressure, neurological disease
  • Peyronie's disease (development of scar tissue inside the penis)
  • Parkinson's disease, Multiple sclerosis disease
  • Surgeries or injuries that affect the pelvic area or spinal cord
  • Medications such as antidepressants, antihistamines and medications to treat high blood pressure, pain or prostate cancer.
  • Emotional or psychological causes can interfere with sexual feelings and cause or worsen erectile dysfunction.
  • Depression, anxiety or other mental health conditions
  • Problems due to money, stress, fatigue, relationships, work, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia

5. How is Erectile Dysfunction diagnosed?


A medical history and a physical exam are all that's needed before a doctor is ready to recommend a treatment. Common tests for possible underlying problems may include:

  • Blood tests to check for signs of heart disease, diabetes, low testosterone, hormone levels and other health problems.
  • Simple urine tests to look for signs of diabetes and other underlying health conditions.
  • Ultrasound to check blood flow to your penis. It involves using a wand-like device (transducer) held over the blood vessels that supply the penis. This test is sometimes done in combination with an injection of medications into the penis to determine if blood flow increases normally.
  • Overnight erection test that involves wrapping special tape around your penis before you go to bed. If the tape is separated in the morning, your penis was erect at some time during the night without you being able to feel it. This indicates the cause of your erectile dysfunction is most likely psychological and not physical.

6. What are the different approaches for treatment of ED?

Treatment is often more successful when a man involves his partner. Getting the right treatment for any health problems that could be causing or worsening your erectile dysfunction should be your first step. For years the treatment has been either medical/drugs or surgical. Today the regenerative medicine offers you a new approach: Stem cells from your own fat or bone marrow, Platelet rich plasma (PRP) from your own blood can be used to repair the problem rather than putting a band aid on the problem with drugs like Viagra, Cialis.