Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is defined as the inability to achieve or maintain erection sufficient for sexual intercourse. It is one of the most common male sexual problems. The prevalence of ED increases with age and is higher among men who smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol excessively, take certain medications, or have diabetes mellitus. In addition, there are many risk factors associated with ED including obesity, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, coronary artery disease, depression, anxiety, stress, chronic fatigue syndrome, sleep apnea, hypogonadism, and pelvic surgery.
The causes of ED include vascular diseases such as atherosclerosis, venous leakage, and arterial insufficiency; hormonal disorders such as hypogonadism; neurologic disorders such as spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, dementia, and brain tumors; psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety, and stress; medication side effects such as antihypertensive drugs, antidepressants, antipsychotics, anticonvulsants, steroids, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, and alpha agonists; and physical conditions such as Peyronie's disease, radiation therapy, and penile prosthesis implantation.
There are two types of treatments available for ED: medical and surgical. Medical treatments include oral pharmacologic agents, intracavernosal injections, vacuum devices, penile implants, and external pumps. Surgical treatments include penile revascularization procedures such as angioplasty and bypass grafting, penile prostheses, and penoscrotal reconstruction.