Erectile dysfunction is treatable at any age, and awareness of this fact has been growing. More men have been seeking treatment and returning to normal sexual activity because of improved, successful treatments for erectile dysfunction.
Some treatment options include:
- Lifestyle changes (such as losing excess weight, quitting smoking, and exercising more)
- Medications (such as Viagra®, Levitra®, and Cialis®)
- Vacuum devices
- Implanted devices.
In rare cases, surgery involving veins or arteries may be considered for erectile dysfunction treatment. The amount of research being done on drugs for erectile dysfunction treatment is expanding rapidly. Patients should ask their doctor about the latest advances.
Erectile dysfunction, as mentioned, can be a total inability to achieve erection, an inconsistent ability to do so, or a tendency to sustain only brief erections. These variations make defining erectile dysfunction and estimating its incidence difficult.
It is estimated that ED affects between 15 million and 30 million American men, depending on the definition used. According to the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS), for every 1,000 men in the United States, 7.7 physician office visits were made for erectile dysfunction in 1985. By 1999, the rate of visits for erectile dysfunction had nearly tripled to 22.3.
The increase was gradual, probably because as treatments such as vacuum devices and injectable drugs became more widely available, discussing erectile dysfunction became more acceptable.
Perhaps the most publicized advance in erectile dysfunction treatment was the introduction of the oral drug sildenafil citrate (Viagra) in March 1998. NAMCS data on new drugs shows an estimated 2.6 million mentions of Viagra at physician office visits in 1999, and one-third of those mentions occurred during visits for a diagnosis other than erectile dysfunction.