It’s Time to Talk about the Causes and the Treatments
While Erectile Dysfunction, or “ED,” is one of the most commonly reported issues in men’s health, it is rarely talked about. In fact, there are probably few topics more sensitive for men to discuss. But with roughly thirty million men suffering from some form of ED in the United States alone, it’s a subject that not only warrants attention, but in-depth discussion.
Achieving an erection is a complex process, involving sensation, hormones, muscular control, circulation, and emotions. If any one of these processes is affected, for any reason, the result may be some level of reduced ability to maintain an erection. Erectile Dysfunction can encompass several different conditions of reproductive and sexual health; however, I define it as the inability of a man to achieve and maintain the desired strength and performance personally required for an adequate sexual response.
Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
The Massachusetts Male Aging Study reported that the likelihood of experiencing ED increases dramatically with age. According to the study, approximately 40% of men are affected as early as age 40, nearly doubling to 70% of men by the time they reach age 70. A health correlation was also uncovered, finding that sexual dysfunction is more apt to occur in men with poor physical and emotional health.
The causes of ED are as varied as the men suffering from it. Some of the more common causes include:
Hormonal issues, typically from low testosterone and low growth factor due to the aging process, is the most common cause of ED in otherwise healthy men. Additionally, any treatment that reduces hormones, similar to those used for prostate cancer, can also be a factor.
If low testosterone or other hormonal causes are ruled out, cardiovascular disease should be considered next. Blood is required to fill the penis to become erect. As such, anything that slows or inhibits blood flow, including conditions like Atherosclerosis, commonly seen in cardiovascular disease, will affect an erection.
In some instances, the body is unable to keep blood in the penis long enough to maintain a desired erection. Corporoveno-Occlusive Dysfunction (“CVOD”), frequently referred to as “venous leak,” can be identified in up to 85% of ED cases, regardless of age. CVOD is often the result of cardiovascular disease or medication usage; particularly, the same medications used to treat hypertension and cardiovascular disease.
Neurogenic causes are often detected in diseases and medical conditions that affect the nervous system. Diabetes and certain medications are commonly associated with these causes. Neurogenic factors generally affect sensation.
Medication usage is another cause of ED, as it can affect many of the components needed to achieve and maintain an erectile function. Some statistics suggest that more than 70% of men will stop taking medication suddenly and against physician orders if it affects their ability to perform sexually. This is an alarming statistic. Recognizing that certain medications have a lower risk profile for ED can often be enough for men to safely protect themselves and still maintain a quality sex life. For example, these cardiovascular medications have a lower risk for causing ED:
- ACE inhibitors
- Calcium channel blockers
Relationship and life-stressors are also of significant importance in discussing men’s sexual health. Considering men are typically an underserved community and were raised to ignore their emotions, this is a frequently overlooked cause of sexual dysfunction. However, it often results in some of the most dramatic ED factors.
Lastly, ED could be caused by certain surgical procedures. For example, a simple prostatectomy may affect men to varying degrees of ED, whereas a radical prostatectomy may affect up to 85% of men.
A Tailored Approach to Erectile Dysfunction
No two men are the same, and as such, no two treatments for ED should be the same. Whatever the particular cause, Northwest Regen offers a tailored approach specific to the needs of the patient. Typically, this will involve some form of hormone replacement therapy in conjunction with regenerative injection therapies.
Oftentimes, medications that promote better sexual health may also be utilized either daily or on an as-needed basis. The need for medication is generally reduced after four to eight months of committed hormone replacement therapy and some generalized lifestyle changes. However, when it is coupled with regenerative injection therapies, such as Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) or our Adipose Derived Biocellular Therapies, the need for medication is even more dramatically reduced.
For those men either suffering from ED or choosing a regenerative boost for improved potency in sexual well-being, Northwest Regen offers several treatments to specifically address the following:
- Increased duration, sustainability, and firmness during an erection
- Improved arousal, performance, stamina, and libido
- Greater pleasure, including sensation
- Improved climax and better ejaculation
- More youthful appearing skin of penis
- Diminished time between erections
- Improved circulation for men suffering cardiovascular changes
- Increase in size (length, girth) of penis
We formulate our PRP, orthobiologics, and/or other biocellular injectates specific to each procedure and to every individual need. Following treatment, most men have some mild soreness at the injection site. While results vary and may be felt immediately following the procedure or several weeks after, they tend to last approximately one year. In that time, our patients consistently report stronger, more reliable erections, along with improved sensation, climax, and even improvements in size.
To optimize outcomes further, we recommend using a Kaplan style penis pump in combination with our injection therapies on a specific schedule. Outcome studies show a roughly 10% increase in size, with our specific recommendations.
Help for ED is Available Now
As a highly sensitive topic, ED is as distressing mentally and emotionally as it is physically. Ultimately, men need someone to listen to them and to personalize care for their individual needs. At Northwest Regen, we are one of the leading experts in PRP, orthobiologic, and Adipose Derived Biocellular Therapies in the Portland community. Our goal is always to achieve the highest quality treatment, with the least amount of discomfort, and the best possible outcome.
Erectile dysfunction shouldn’t be an overlooked condition. It shouldn’t be ignored or brushed over by you or your physician. It is an important topic for all men, including the knowledge that it is often a treatable condition. Considering the sensitive nature of this procedure, I recommend seeing a doctor with extensive experience who understands the details of regenerative medicine. Having the ability to effortlessly perform a painless treatment is a significant part of our tailored approach.
Don’t suffer needlessly. Contact us to learn more today.
Dr. Ryan Wood is a licensed Naturopathic and Chiropractic physician focusing on regenerative medicine and regenerative injection therapies as well as general musculoskeletal and non-surgical orthopedic medicine.
With almost two decades of orthopedic practice across multiple disciplines, he has the necessary experience to ensure proper diagnoses and management of complex cases.