Infertility Fast Facts
Couples approximately in the United States, or 10 percent of all couples of childbearing age, have difficulty conceiving.
Erectile Dysfunction, ED a common cause of Male Infertility, can be caused by both physical and emotional issues.
Erectile dysfunction is the inability to get or keep an erection that is firm enough to have sexual intercourse. You should follow up with your physician if you are having an ongoing problem with erectile dysfunction. Many medical conditions can contribute to erectile dysfunction, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, surgery that affects your genital organs or bladder, blood vessel diseases, hormonal imbalances, nerve diseases or nerve injury and depression.
High blood pressure can contribute to erectile dysfunction.
Several other factors can put a man at a higher risk of having erectile dysfunction, including:
Erectile dysfunction can cause stress, anxiety, depression, relationship issues, a sense of dissatisfaction with one’s sex life and infertility. Often, the inability to conceive will prompt many men to follow up with a urologist or reproductive endocrinologist to see what treatments and recommendations are available to help with erectile dysfunction.
When you meet with the urologist, he will review your medical history as well as perform a physical examination. The physician may recommend that you have several tests done to determine if an underlying cause exists for the erectile dysfunction. Blood tests, urinalysis and ultrasound can help determine any problems could be contributing to the erectile dysfunction.
Many treatments are available for erectile dysfunction
Many treatments are available for erectile dysfunction, and your physician will determine the best option based upon your evaluation and medical history.
Oral medications may offer successful therapy for erectile dysfunction by optimizing the effects of nitric oxide, which increases blood flow in the penis and allows for an erection when sexually aroused. After beginning the oral medications, you may not see instant improvement. Patients may need to work with their doctors to find the right dosage.
If oral medications don’t address the problem, other medication options may help treat erectile dysfunction. With alprostadil self-injection, you inject the medication at the base of the penis to create an erection, which usually occurs five to twenty minutes following the injection and lasts for approximately an hour. Alprostadil penile suppositories, where a suppository is inserted into the penis to create an erection, are another treatment option. Testosterone replacement may also help with erectile dysfunction.
If your physician does not believe that medication will work, your doctor may recommend a penis pump, which creates a vacuum effect and pulls blood into the penis. Once you achieve an erection, a tension ring is placed around the base of the penis to keep it firm. The erection should last long enough for the couple to have intercourse, and the tension ring is removed.
To help decrease the severity of the erectile dysfunction or stop it all together, men can manage any underlying conditions that are known to contribute to erectile dysfunction such as heart disease and diabetes. It is also important to discontinue smoking and get treatment if you abuse drugs and/or alcohol. Try to maintain a normal BMI and lose weight if needed because extra pounds can directly impact erectile dysfunction and actually make it worse. Regular exercise is a great way to maintain a healthy weight and decrease stress. All these steps will help increase blood flow and decrease or eliminate erectile dysfunction.
You and your partner may want to visit a counselor to help cope with the situation and ultimately decrease any stress, anxiety, depression or frustration. Keep the lines of communication open with your partner so that you will understand each other’s thoughts and feelings.