Erectile Dysfunction: An Early Sign of More Serious Health Problems
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is more common than most may think, with more than half of men over 40 experiencing some degree of ED.1 ED can signal that a man has diseases in blood vessels elsewhere such as the heart or the brain.
• For some men, ED may be the first symptom of diabetes, even if they have not yet been diagnosed, particularly in men younger than 45.2
• Men with diabetes are three times more likely to experience ED than men without diabetes and it affects them 10 to 15 years earlier in life.1,3
• ED precedes coronary artery disease (CAD) in almost 70 percent of cases. In fact, ED usually comes three or more years before a heart attack, making it a common first sign for men that they have heart disease.4
For ED, there are several treatment options, with varying degrees of success and reliability,5 including medications and surgical procedures. Because each option offers unique features, potential risks and benefits, men should talk to their doctor about which treatment option best meets their individual needs and the problems they are experiencing.
Most men try medications like Viagra™, Cialis™ or Levitra™6-8 for their erectile dysfunction. However, up to 50 percent of men with ED do not respond adequately to pills and require a different option.6-8 Men with diabetes and heart disease are more likely to pursue ED treatment beyond medications.
• In a recent study, nearly 20,000 men with ED and diabetes were 1.5 to 2 times more likely to move on to other treatments, such as pumps and penile implants than men without diabetes.9
• Men taking nitrates for heart disease are generally not candidates for oral ED medications and those taking alpha-blocking agents for blood pressure may need to be closely monitored by their doctor.6
A needle is used to inject medication directly into the penis. The medication allows blood to flow into the penis, creating an erection.
Vacuum Erection Devices
A plastic cylinder is placed over the penis, and a pump (manual or battery operated) creates a vacuum suction within it, drawing blood into the penis to create an erection. A stretchable tension band placed at the base of the penis helps maintain the erection.
An applicator containing a small pellet is inserted into the urethra and the pellet is released. The pellet dissolves and increases blood flow to the penis, creating an erection.
A medical device is implanted in the penis, contained entirely within the body. The patient activates the device to achieve an erection and can choose when to return to a flaccid state.