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Impotence/Erectile Dysfunction (cont.)

What Is the Prognosis of Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is common, increases with age, and is associated with multiple common medical problems. A variety of successful therapies exist for men with erectile dysfunction. The success of the therapies can vary with the cause of the erectile dysfunction. A stepwise approach to the treatment of ED allows one to identify the therapy that is effective and the least invasive for the individual. Oral therapy remains the first line medical therapy for ED, however, is effective overall in 40%-80% of individuals. For those individuals who cannot take PDE5 inhibitors or fail from an efficacy or side effect standpoint, a number of alternatives exist. Intracavernous injection therapy is the most effective therapy for ED, however, the invasive nature can affect compliance. Penile prosthesis is a highly effective surgical procedure, but men undergoing placement of a penile prosthesis should be aware of the benefits and risks associated with placement of a penile prosthesis. Other surgical therapies, such as arterial surgery, are rarely needed.

Illustrations: Methods of Diagnosing the Cause of Erectile Dysfunction

Picture of penis anatomy.
Picture of penis anatomy.

Picture of erection-measuring snap gauge.
Picture of erection-measuring snap gauge. A number of devices have been developed to determine if an erection occurs during sleep. This snap gauge is fastened around the penis but opens when an erection occurs.

Picture of penile tumescence monitor
Picture of penile tumescence monitor. This penile tumescence monitor is placed at the base and near the corona of the penis. It is connected to a monitor that records a continuous graph depicting the force and duration of erections that occur during sleep. The monitor is strapped to the leg. The nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT) test is conducted on several nights to obtain an accurate indication of erections that normally occur during the alpha phase of sleep.

Picture of device used to measure penile nerve sensation
Picture of device used to measure penile nerve sensation. The presence of normal skin sensation adequate to produce an erection is measured with this device.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/11/2017
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