Many people, both men and women, will experience sexual dysfunction at some point during their lifetime. A variety of factors—such as aging, stress, health conditions, and relationship problems—can contribute to sexual dysfunction.
Dr. Perez seeks out the underlying cause of sexual dysfunction rather than simply treating the symptoms, taking care of his patients overall health and well-being.
What is vaginal dryness or atrophy?
As women age or due to disease, estrogen declines causing vaginal dryness and atrophy. This can result in painful intercourse (dyspareunia).
Creams, drugs, and hormone therapy are effective treatments, including:
- ESTRACE® vaginal cream
- PREMARIN® (conjugated estrogens) Vaginal Cream
- Osphena® non-estrogen oral pill
What is erectile dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to attain or maintain an erection that is firm enough for sex. Most men have problems with erections from time to time. If this happens more than half of the time, your are suffering from erectile dysfunction. The American Foundation for Urologic Disorders estimates that impotence affects at least 20 million men in the United States.
Dr. Perez refers to erectile dysfunction as “the Canary in the Cole Mine,” because it is often the first alert of life-threatening underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, sleep apnea, and cardiovascular disease. It is important to speak to your doctor about chronic ED as it can be a symptom of a serious condition.
Stress, fatigue, and relationship problems are all factors that can contribute to erectile dysfunction. The penis behaves like a large blood vessel, so anything that restricts blood flow can contribute to ED. Diabetes, hypertension, stress, relationship problems, depression, alcohol, and tobacco use can all cause erectile dysfunction.
What lifestyle choices can help prevent erectile dysfunction?
The following choices can help prevent erectile dysfunction:
- Limit or avoid alcohol
- Stop smoking
- Regular moderate exercise
- Reduce stress
- Adequate sleep
- Cope with anxiety or depression with the help of a medical professional
- Seek regular checkups and medical screening tests
What medications are available to treat erectile dysfunction?
Oral drugs such as Viagra or Levitra can be taken an hour before sexual intercourse. These drugs are designed to improve blood flow to the penis. Cialis needs to be taken two hours prior to sexual intercourse and can be taken with food.
If you've had a heart attack, stroke, or life-threatening heart arrhythmia during the last six months, medications such as Viagra, Levitra, or Cialis should not be taken. Discuss additional options with your doctor if you've been told that sexual activity could trigger a cardiac event. Further, do not take these drugs with nitrate medicines, such as heart drugs. This combination may cause dizziness, low blood pressure, circulation, and heart problems.
Injectable or insertable drugs including Alprostadil and phentolamine can be injected with a small needle into the side of the penis at the time of sexual activity in order to achieve a satisfactory erection 90 percent of the time. The most common side effects of alprostadil are a burning feeling in the penis. An erection that lasts for over four hours and needs medical attention.
What is a vacuum erection device?
The vacuum is regarded as the safest treatment for erectile dysfunction. With training and practice, men can achieve very high success rates. A vacuum tube is placed over the penis, which then pulls blood into the penis. A rubber ring is slipped over the penis to help maintain the erection. The ring is removed after intercourse.
The vacuum also increases overall blood flow to the penis, which can reduce recovery time and increase success if used before a penile implant surgery.
What surgical procedures are available for treatment of erectile dysfunction?
A very successful option for ED is a surgical penile implant. Several options are available but the most popular can be inflated and deflated by a pump implanted in the scrotum at the patient’s discretion. Selecting the best option to treat your erectile dysfunction requires a discussion between you and your urologist.