Erectile Dysfunction: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

What is erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction, or ED, is the consistent inability to sustain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse.

In other words, erectile dysfunction is when someone cannot “get up” or hold an erection firm or long enough.

It can be:

A total inability to have an erection
The ability to have an erection, but only some of the time

Erections occur when sexual stimulation and excitement cause the brain, nerves, heart, blood vessels and hormones to work together to produce a rapid increase in the amount of blood flowing to the erectile tissue of the penis. The blood becomes trapped and held in the two spongy chambers (called the corpus cavernosa) in the shaft of the penis. As the chambers fill with blood they expand and the penis becomes firm and elongated.

Erectile dysfunction is common in men as they age, but also affects men at all stages of life.

Looking for an erectile dysfunction treatment clinic in Sydney? Get in touch with us to find out how we can help.

Erectile Dysfunction Causes

Erectile dysfunction: what is it and what causes it?

Erectile dysfunction causes could be physical or psychological.

Psychogenic factors may include depression, anxiety, stress and relationship problems.

There are several conditions and causes that lead to physical erectile dysfunction, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, Parkinson’s disease, certain medications, tobacco use, sleep disorders or alcoholism.

In most cases however, erectile dysfunction is a symptom with a physical cause.

Over 80% of men suffering from erectile dysfunction can trace its origin back to a physical problem or disorder. Physical causes of erectile dysfunction include:

Diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or heart disease.
Operations such as prostate removal that cause local trauma to the erectile mechanism
Substance use such as use of tobacco, alcohol, drugs or some medications
Hormonal disorders such as low testosterone
Peyronie’s disease
Surgeries or injuries that effect the pelvic area (such as prostatectomy) or the brain and spinal cord

It is a common misconception that erectile dysfunction is primarily caused by psychological issues but this isn’t always true. Thoughts and emotions always play a role in getting an erection, but erectile dysfunction can be primarily caused by something physical. In some cases, it may be the first sign of an underlying medical problem. As such, while treatment for erectile dysfunction may involve sexual counselling, medical and surgical interventions are also available and effective.

Erectile Dysfunction Treatments

Erectile dysfunction treatments are determined by the cause and whether it is caused by psychogenic or physical factors.

There are several options for treating erectile dysfunction caused by physical factors. These include.

  • Medications such as Viagra or Cialis.
  • Penile injection therapy
  • Penile prosthetic surgery

If non-surgical management is not effective for you, surgical management by implantation of a penile prosthesis can be considered. The implant is a three-piece, fluid-filled inflatable prosthesis that consists of two inflatable cylinders placed in the penis, a pump implanted in the scrotum and a fluid-filled reservoir placed in the lower abdomen.

You can read more about Penile prosthetic surgery here.

Watch Dr. Katelaris’ video on erectile dysfunction treatments here.

Looking for an erectile dysfunction treatment clinic in Sydney? Dr. Katelaris is specialist in the area of erectile dysfunction. Get in touch with us to find out how we can help.

In most cases, erectile dysfunction is a symptom with a physical cause. Over 80% of men suffering from erectile dysfunction can trace its origin back to a physical problem or disorder. 

 There are a number of factors that can cause weak erection. To name a few: Diabetes, heart conditions, being overweight, having previous treatments for other conditions, certain medications, mental health conditions, injuries, tobacco use, drug use, and alcohol use.

Whilst erectile dysfunction itself is a physical condition, psychological issues such as stress, anxiety and relationship problems are both causes of, as well as effects of erectile dysfunction.

Typically, recovery time for the Penile Prosthetic Implant is around 6 weeks, afterward sexual activity can proceed safely.

Yes, erectile dysfunction therapy is available for when the ED is caused by psychogenic causes, such as loss of partner or relationship problems. It is best to discuss your options with a urologist.