Symptoms

What are the Symptoms of ED?

When you have ED, it is hard to get or keep an erection that is firm enough for sex. Most men have trouble with erections from time to time, but in some men it is a regular and more bothersome problem. ED can cause:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Performance anxiety
  • Depression
  • Stress

ED may affect the quality of a marriage or in...

What are the Symptoms of ED?

When you have ED, it is hard to get or keep an erection that is firm enough for sex. Most men have trouble with erections from time to time, but in some men it is a regular and more bothersome problem. ED can cause:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Performance anxiety
  • Depression
  • Stress

ED may affect the quality of a marriage or intimate relationships.

More

Symptoms  There are no products in this category.

Subcategories

  • Couses

    What Causes ED?

    ED can result from health or emotional problems or from both. Lower blood flow or harm to nerves in the penis can lead to erection problems.

    Physical Causes of ED

    Some things that can increase the chances of getting ED (known as risk factors) are:

    • Age over 50
    • High blood sugar (diabetes)
    • High blood pressure
    • High cholesterol
    • Smoking
    • Cardiovascular disease
    • Drug or alcohol abuse
    • Obesity
    • Lack of exercise

    Even though ED becomes more common as men age, growing old is not the cause of the problem. ED can be an early sign of a more serious health problem. Finding and treating the cause(s) of your ED can improve your overall health and well-being.

    ED may happen because:

    • Not enough blood flows into the penis
      Many health issues can reduce blood flow into the penis, such as heart disease, high blood sugar (diabetes), and smoking.
    • The penis cannot store blood during an erection
      A man with this problem cannot keep an erection because blood does not stay trapped in the penis. This condition can occur in men of any age.
    • Nerve signals from the brain or spinal cord do not reach the penis
      Certain diseases, injury or surgery in the pelvic area can harm nerves in the penis.

    Emotional Causes of ED

    Sex activity needs the mind and body to work together. Emotional or relationship problems can cause or worsen ED.

    Some emotional issues that can cause ED are:

    • Depression
    • Relationship conflicts
    • Stress at home or work
    • Worry about sexual performance
  • Diagnosis

    How is ED Diagnosed?

    Finding the cause of your ED will help your health care provider find the best treatment choices for you. Most health care providers will ask you about your general health and the history of your erection problem. Your health care provider may also give you a physical exam and order lab tests.

    Health and ED History

    Your doctor will ask you questions about your health and lifestyle. For example, certain medicines may be helping to cause your ED. Also, smoking or alcohol use can affect erections. Being open with your health providers will allow them to find the best treatment choices for you. It's important to discuss different things that you can do to improve your condition and your health.

    What Questions Might My Health Care Provider Ask?

    Questions About Health Problems

    Some questions you may be asked are:

    • What health problems do you have?
    • What medicines do you take?
    • Do you smoke, drink, or use other drugs? If so, how much?
    • Do you have any prior history of surgery or radiation therapy, especially in the pelvic area?
    • Do you have urinary problems?

    Questions About ED

    Asking questions about your history of ED can help your health care provider find out whether your problems are with desire for sex, erection, ejaculation, or orgasm (climax). Some of these questions will be personal and may seem embarrassing. Honest answers will help find the cause and best treatment for your ED.

    Some questions about your ED that you may be asked are:

    • How long have you had these symptoms? Did they start slowly or all at once?
    • Do you wake up in the morning with an erection? Do you wake up during the night with an erection?
    • If you do have erections, how firm are they? Is penetration difficult?
    • Do your erections change at different times such as when entering a partner, during stimulation by mouth or with masturbation?
    • Do you have problems with sex drive, arousal, ejaculation, or orgasm (climax)?
    • How is this problem affecting your enjoyment of sex?
    • What effect is this problem having on your relationship (if you are in one)?

    Questions About Stress and Emotional Health

    Your health care provider may ask you questions about feelings such as depression or worry. He or she may also ask about problems in your relationship with a partner. Some health care providers may ask if it is okay to talk to your sex partner, also.

    Some questions you may be asked about your emotional health are:

    • How is your relationship with your partner? Has anything changed lately?
    • How satisfied are you with your sex life? Has anything changed lately?
    • Are you under a lot of stress most of the time? Or has anything especially upsetting happened to you?
    • Do you have any mental illnesses or depression? Are you taking any meds for depression or anxiety?

    Physical Exam

    A physical exam checks overall health. This may involve checking your blood pressure, penis and testicles. You may need to have a rectal exam to check your prostate. These tests are not painful and may give useful information about the cause of your ED. Most patients do not need a lot of testing before starting treatment.

    Lab Tests

    To test for diseases that cause ED, your health care provider may order blood tests and collect a urine sample.

    Other Tests

    Erectile Function Tests

    Your health care provider will test to see how the blood vessels, nerves, muscles and other tissues of your penis and pelvic area are working. Normal nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT), or healthy automatic erections during sleep, shows that your nerves and blood supply are working properly.

    Imaging

    A duplex ultrasound shows what's happening inside your body by bouncing sound waves off an organ to form pictures on a monitor. It checks for blood flow, vein leaks, scars on erectile tissue and some signs of clogged arteries. If you take this test, you may be given an injection into your penis to cause an erection. The technician can then see how the blood flow and pressure changes in your penis, as well as how it expands. These images are compared to images of the limp penis.