Erectile Dysfunction - Clearwater, FL

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5 Key Things You Need To  Know About Erectile Dysfunction:

  • Erectile dysfunction is a symptom of a larger problem, either physical or psychological, or a combination of the two. 
  • It can be upsetting and lead to a lack of confidence and self-esteem, as well as depression and relationship issues. 
  • There are various options, but the first step is to recognize the problem and discuss it with your doctor. 
  • You can reduce the associated risks of developing Erectile dysfunction yourself by limiting your alcohol intake, quitting smoking, and reducing your stress.
  • You don’t have to try to fix Erectile dysfunction on your own.  Call Alpha Med Group in Clearwater to get connected with a Men’s Health professional and let us advocate for your care- with us and beyond! Call  727-977-8200 to get started.

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The Real Cost Of Erectile Dysfunction for Men Of Any Age 

Your love life is an important part of your overall health and well-being. Overall, having a good relationship with your partner can improve your mental and physical health, as well as your overall happiness. However, sometimes things can go wrong in relationships, and sometimes it takes time to get back on track.

ED is more than just an inconvenience. It can have serious consequences for your health and well-being. ED can contribute to feelings of depression and anxiety. It can also lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness.

ED can be caused by a variety of factors. It can be a sign of underlying health problems like diabetes, heart disease, or high blood pressure. It can also be a side effect of certain medications. Whatever the cause, ED can have a significant impact on your life. ED can make it difficult to establish and maintain relationships. It can lead to feelings of shame and embarrassment. ED can even affect your self-esteem and confidence in social situations.

ED is not an inevitable part of aging. There are effective treatments available for ED. 

Research shows that ED is most often caused by underlying health conditions. This page will give you a comprehensive overview of what causes ED in men, and what treatment options are available for ED.

What is Erectile Dysfunction?

ED is a form of sexual dysfunction – it is the inability for a male to maintain an erection long enough for sexual intercourse. ED is very common. It affects about 30 million men in the United States, According to the Cleveland Clinic, with upwards of 52% of men experiencing impotence at some point. Certain medications and heart disease, as well as diabetes, can increase the risk of impotence. “ Erectile dysfunction or disorder (ED) is the inability to develop and maintain an erection for satisfactory sexual intercourse or activity.”

(Source: Cleveland Clinic )

Satisfactory sexual intercourse or activity is a tricky thing to describe because of the subjectivity of the topic.  What is satisfactory by your own standards may not be sufficient for your spouse, and your relationships may suffer along with your health.  Knowing the warning signs and being proactive about men’s health is a proven way to correct your course- and it may even save your life.

This page will present an overwhelming amount of information about Erectile dysfunction diagnosis and management options.  It is not meant to be read from start to finish- but rather it was created for a quick reference to help men find answers to questions and for you to participate as a leader in your own men’s health journey.

At Alpha Med Group, we have access to all of the tools, tests, and clinicians resources at our disposal- but we beg to question what is necessary or meaningful when helping you discover the right treatment path.  Our integrative method can save you time, money, and frustration when seeking a comprehensive answer about your Erectile Dysfunction of any kind.  We will work closely with you to reverse engineer the problem from day one.

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Step 1 is your call- do you want help fixing this from the men’s health pro’s? Or are you looking for more tests that raise more questions? Whatever your goals, we are here to support you as your local advocates. Even if we disagree- Satisfactory sexual intercourse or activity is yours to define.  

Talk is cheap-in our case it’s free.  Call now to talk about your Erectile dysfunction, to refer us to your abnormally difficult case, or to talk about the future of ED treatments in Tampa Bay. If we can’t figure it out, we’ll at least help lighten your burden and together we will find what you are looking for. 

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What is sexual dysfunction?

Sexual dysfunction is a problem that can happen during any phase of the sexual response cycle, preventing people from experiencing satisfaction from sexual activity. It is estimated that 43% of women and 31% of men report some degree of sexual dysfunction (Cleveland Clinic) It prevents people from experiencing satisfaction from sexual activity. There are several types of sexual dysfunctions: desire disorders, arousal disorders, orgasm disorders, and pain disorders. It has been estimated that the worldwide prevalence of ED will be 322 million cases by the year 2025 (NCBI) Men that arent able to maintain an erection, have early, or premature, ejaculation are considered to be experiencing sexual dysfunction. Medical professionals consider these disorders common though most of them present in patients after the age of 40 because of declining health associated with the ageing process.

Symptoms of ED?

Symptoms of ED are relatively common unless it happens for a long period of time and/or accompanies other symptoms of underlying physical and mental conditions.

What are the complications of Erectile Dysfunction?

There are many compounding complications of ED. Some people experience, an unfulfilled sex life a loss of intimacy between you and a partner, resulting in a strained relationship depression, anxiety and low self-esteem, and being unable to get a partner pregnant. It is important to seek medical attention if one of these complications become an issue long term.

Who Is At Risk Of Getting Erectile Dysfunction

A warning symptom of cardiac vascular disease is vascular E.D. Plaque can build up not only in your heart and arteries, but also in the vessels of the penis. Because the vessels in the penis are much smaller in diameter than those in the heart, E.D. frequently occurs before cardiovascular disease. 

 

ED Treatment options like GAINSWave have been scientifically proven to benefit men’s health by effectively removing plaque buildup in the blood vessels: addressing the main cause of ED in men. 

 

Are you at risk for getting ED? Here are some of the most common ED risk factors that you can avoid to enjoy better vitality from home, as listed by the World Journal Of Men’s Health. (Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4999494/ )

Common ED Risk Factors

Hover over each condition to read a brief description and see how you can avoid the most commonly related risks of Erectile Dysfunction and Impotence.

The Ultimate List of E.D. Risks

Hypertension

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Tobacco use

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Hyperlipidemia

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Depression

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Hypogonadism

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Diabetes Mellitus (DM)

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How An Erection Works- From An Engineering Perspective

Achieving an erection can be reverse engineered and segmented into structures and processes that add up to an erection. By working through the problem of Erectile dysfunction in this way, you can diagnose the cause or causes of your Erectile dysfunction and seek the best treatment focused on that root-cause analysis.

"Erectile function is regulated by multiple body systems, including neuronal, hormonal, mechanical, and psychological. Nitric oxide (NO) is released by both endothelium and neurons, and stimulates guanylate cyclase to form cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP).”

(Source: The World Journal of Men's Health) Tweet

The activation of protein kinases by cGMP relaxes vascular smooth muscle cells, which affects various downstream effectors. While the specific processes underlying the interaction of NO, cGMP, and corporal smooth muscle relaxation are unknown, it is known that a healthy vascular endothelium can regulate vascular smooth muscle constriction and relaxation to maintain excellent erectile function.

 

The mechanism that causes a penis to become, and stay, erect includes several key components. The cause of an erection is arousal, which stimulates the release of nitric oxide from nerve terminals and blood vessels. That increases the amount of blood that flows into the erectile tissue. As the erectile tissue fills with blood, the veins that drain the blood out of the penis collapse. That prevents blood from leaving the erectile tissue and keeps the penis erect (WebMD). It’s usually difficult for a man to get another erection right away. The length of the interval between erections varies, depending on a man’s age, his health, and whether he is sexually active on a regular basis. A young, sexually active man in good health may be able to get an erection after just a few minutes, whereas a man in his 50s or older may have to wait 24 hours. One reason may be that nerve function slows with age. 

What causes a weak erection?

There are many contributing factors that can cause ED. For most males, it is an obstruction of the blood vessels.  Anyone who is experiencing ED for long periods of time, one should seek medical advice as ED can be a symptom of a bigger problem and life-threatening disease.

Treatments For ED

Diseases – 

These are some of the most common diseases that can cause ED

Type 2 Diabetes – Men who have diabetes are two to three times more likely to develop ED than men who do not have diabetes (NIDDK)

Heart and Blood Vessel Disease – Several studies have shown that if a man has ED, he has a greater risk of having heart disease. Having ED is as much a risk factor for heart disease as a history of smoking or a family history of coronary artery disease (Cleveland Clinic)

Atherosclerosis – Erectile dysfunction is frequently a sign of atherosclerosis, a clogging or narrowing of the blood vessels that causes heart attacks. Erectile dysfunction usually comes 3 to 5 years before a heart attack (AHA Journals)

High Blood Pressure – high blood pressure damages the lining of the blood vessels and causes arteries to harden and narrow (atherosclerosis), limiting blood flow. This means that less blood flows to the penis (Mayo Clinic)

Chronic Kidney Disease – Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common condition among male chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients. Its prevalence is estimated to be approximately 80% among these patients. It has been well established that the production of nitric oxide from the cavernous nerve and vascular endothelium and the subsequent production of cyclic GMP are critically important in initiating and maintaining an erection (NCBI)

Multiple Sclerosis – 

A survey of MS patients (n=5868) found that 67.2% of participants endorsed sexual dysfunction symptoms that were present always or almost always in the previous six months (Cleveland Clinic)

Peyronie’s Disease – 

Is a noncancerous condition resulting from fibrous scar tissue that develops on the penis and causes curved, painful erections (Mayo Clinic)

Prostate Surgery – 

Men will experience ED after prostate surgery, but usually, it isn’t long term. In fact, within one year, about 40 to 50% of men will have returned to their pre-treatment function (Hopkins Medical).

Surgery for Bladder Cancer – 

Compromised sexual function is often a side effect for patients following radical surgical procedures for bladder or prostate cancer.

Low testosterone – 

Testosterone levels tend to decrease with age. They peak by early adulthood and then can drop by up to 1% per year beginning around age 40. Sometimes an abrupt fall occurs because of an injury or illness (such as an infection), chemotherapy or radiation treatment, or certain medications (Harvard Health).

The hormone testosterone plays a big part in men’s health, but perhaps its most meaningful role is to fuel sex drive. If testosterone levels drop too low, men can experience erectile dysfunction as well as lackluster libido.

Lifestyle choices

ED can be caused for a variety of lifestyle choices. Anyone who participates in heavy drinking/drugs, heaving smoking, overeating (that leads to obesity), lives a sedentary life should consider living a healthier lifestyle by exercising more and giving up unhealthy habits.

Mental Issues

Once a medical professional has determined there is no physical condition causing ED, it will be helpful to look at the level of anxiety and stress a person has in their life, to determine if ED is being caused by psychological reasons.

Age

ED is increasingly prevalent with age: approximately 40% of men are affected at age 40 and nearly 70% of men are affected at age 70. The prevalence of complete ED increased from 5% at age 40 to 15% at age 70.2 Age was the variable most strongly associated with ED (Cleveland Clinic).

What are some ED treatment options?

There are a variety of options available for people experiencing ED. It is important to note that not all treatments will be perfect for everyone. Talk to a medical professional to see what is best for your lifestyle and potential underlying conditions.

 

Prescription Pills

There are several prescription medications that can treat ED. Specifically, Viagra, avanafil (Stendra), tadalafil (Cialis) and vardenafil (Levitra). The cost to patients for ED drug therapy varies considerably, depending on the pharmacy price, co-pays, and your level of health plan coverage (if any).

 

Pumps

A penis pump consists of a plastic tube that fits over the penis, a hand or battery-powered pump attached to the tube, and a band that fits around the base of the penis once it is erect (constriction ring). Although short term (and only when used) the majority of men can get an erection sufficient for sex if they use a pump correctly.

 

Surgery

Penile implants are devices placed inside the penis to allow men with erectile dysfunction (ED) to get an erection. Penile implants are typically recommended after other treatments for ED fail (Mayo Clinic)

 

Shockwave

Low-intensity shockwave therapy (LISWT) treatment is now being offered for men with erectile dysfunction (ED) caused by inadequate blood flow to the penis, called vasculogenic ED. Because most ED patients experience some blockage of their blood vessel, Shockwave therapy can be very effective for most people.

 

ED Shockwave Procedure

During the procedure, a medical professional will move a wand-like device around different areas of your penis, which emit gentle pulses that trigger increased blood flow. The entire treatment lasts approximately 15 minutes and each patient will need to have Shockwave Therapy, once a week for six weeks Most patients experience little to no pain and don’t need to do anything before the procedure to prepare. Once the treatment is complete, the patient will be able to safely drive themselves home. Medical professionals suggest that if your patients feel any pain, take over-the-counter (OTC) medications, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain relief. Most people can return to normal activity the following day after shockwave therapy, but your urologist will discuss whether you should restrict your activity for longer to recover.

 

Benefits of Shockwave Therapy in Clearwater

ED can be treated using Shockwave Therapy. Because this therapy is non-invasive patients experience little to no pain and don’t experience side effects that usually are associated with prescription pills and surgery treatments. It is recommended that all Shockwave Therapy should be performed in a facility with a trained medical professional. This provides the highest amount of effectiveness and eliminates the risk that is normally associated with someone who uses an at-home device.

Is shockwave therapy effective?

Shockwave therapy significantly reduced the pain that accompanies tendinopathies and improves functionality and quality of life. It might be the first choice because of its effectiveness and safety.

 

Who is a good candidate for Shockwave Therapy in Clearwater?

Men with mild to moderate vasculogenic ED who have had some response to PDE5 inhibitors are ideal candidates for LISWT. Also, anyone who doesn’t respond well to other therapies like surgery and medications are perfect candidates for Shockwave Therapy.

 

Radial Wave Therapy vs. Shockwave Therapy

Radial Wave Therapy

There is no data to support claims that it can help with erectile dysfunction. It is not regulated by the FDA because it is a Class I medical device (the “energy” levels are lower than medical-grade devices). No medical license or professional training is required to administer this treatment, so it’s usually safe to use at home.

 

Shockwave Therapy

Data shows it can stimulate blood flow and potentially help grow new blood vessels. A licensed medical professional with professional training is required to administer this treatment. It is not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in treating erectile dysfunction but it is being researched by medical professionals.

 

Research

In a recent meta-analysis of 10 randomized controlled trials involving a total of nearly 900 men with vasculogenic ED, researchers reported that, compared with sham treatment, LISWT (Shockwave Therapy) resulted in significant improvements in measures of erectile function and penile blood flow (Nature 2019)

 

Restorative therapies are a promising technology that represents a new frontier of treatment geared towards reversing disease pathology rather than just treating symptoms (Science Direct, 2021)

 

This study showed that penile electromagnetic shockwave therapy may improve erectile function, to a modest extent, on certain patients that do not respond to PDE5I; making it an alternative for vascular ED patients that reject more invasive therapies (Science Direct, 2021)

LI-ESWT applied to the corpora cavernosa showed a statistically significant improvement in the quality of erections in ED patients with or without oral or intracavernous treatment, without side effects (Hindawi, 2017)

 

Statistics

Shockwave Therapy can cost for each treatment is between $400 and $500 out-of-pocket)

45% of 45-year-old men experience ED; 60% of 60-year-old men experience it.

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