How to Treat Erectile Dysfunction Without Medication

Oral medications are among the most common treatments for erectile dysfunction (ED), yet these medications offer no guarantees. For example, recent research indicates 69% of men who used oral medications for ED continued to experience ED symptoms after treatment. Other research shows 48% of men experienced one or more side effects after using sildenafil (Viagra) to treat ED.

Ultimately, various treatments enable men to address ED without medication. These treatments include:

Diet and Lifestyle Changes

There is a strong correlation between mental and physical health and sexual function. As such, men sometimes treat ED with a series of diet and lifestyle changes, such as:

  • Losing Weight: Excess weight puts additional pressure on the cardiovascular system. It can also disrupt the flow of blood to the penis, making it difficult for men to get or maintain erections.
  • Maintaining a Balanced Diet: Eating fruits, vegetables, grains, and other healthy foods as part of a balanced diet lowers the risk of vascular problems due to high cholesterol, high blood sugar, and being overweight, all of which have been linked to ED.
  • Avoiding Alcohol and Nicotine: Men who consume alcohol or nicotine are more susceptible than others to ED. Therefore, avoiding alcohol and nicotine often helps men stop or prevent ED.
  • Minimizing Stress: Limiting stress helps men boost their testosterone levels, and as a result, overcome or avoid ED.
  • Exercising Regularly: Exercise helps men simultaneously reduce stress and increase their testosterone levels. Also, an exercise regimen can be used in conjunction with a healthy diet to prevent ED.
  • Getting Sufficient Rest: A lack of restful sleep can interfere with a man’s sexual performance. In fact, studies show men who suffer from sleep apnea improved their erectile function after they started using a CPAP breathing machine at night.

Diet and lifestyle changes may be ideal to treat ED if the blood vessels in the penis start to deteriorate. In this scenario, one or more of the aforementioned diet and lifestyle changes may help improve blood flow to the penis.


Emotional and psychological factors sometimes cause ED. Fortunately, counseling may help men alleviate stress, anxiety, and other emotional or psychological issues that contribute to ED.

Additionally, strife and dissatisfaction in an intimate relationship can negatively impact a man’s libido and his ability to get aroused, leading to ED. In this situation, relationship counseling may prove to be beneficial for a man and his partner. It enables a man to communicate with his partner to identify the root cause of his ED. Plus, relationship counseling may help a man overcome ED caused by stress.

Penis Pumps

A “penis pump” or Vacuum Erectile Device is a device that allows a man to get and maintain an erection. It usually consists of an acrylic cylinder with a pump that attaches directly to the end of the penis. The pump also includes a constriction ring on the other end of the cylinder that is applied directly to the body.

With a penis pump, a man uses the device’s cylinder and pump to help the penis become erect. Next, the constriction ring helps a man maintain an erection during sexual intercourse.

A penis pump is sometimes recommended for men who are dealing with ED caused by diabetes, prostate or colon cancer surgery, poor blood flow to the penis, or emotional or psychological issues. It is not intended for use by men who are dealing with a congenital blood disorder or any condition that exposes them to priapism (a prolonged erection that may last several hours).

Shockwave Therapy

Low intensity shockwave therapy (LISWT), aka PulseWave or Gainswave, is a revolutionary, non-invasive ED treatment requiring no medication. It helps men treat erections that are too soft or too brief for penetration, as well as improve the quality of their erections.

Shockwave therapy for ED uses pulsating sound waves to treat ED. These sound waves improve blood flow to the penis, along with remove micro-plaque, boost the growth of new blood vessels, and repair damaged blood vessels.

erectile dysfunction treatment options

An illustration of how low-intensity shockwave treatment works for erectile dysfunction

PulseWave may be used on its own to treat ED, or it may be used in combination with other ED treatments. Shockwave therapy has been clinically proven to rehabilitate penile tissue without any unwanted side effects, and most LISWT patients report enhancement and restoration of erectile function following treatment.

Research shows 70% of men who experienced ED reported a positive effect with shockwave therapy after only six treatment sessions (twice per week). Among these men, 92% recorded a positive response to LISWT for one year after their initial treatment. Furthermore, 55% maintained a positive response to LISWT for two years after their initial treatment.

Book an ED Treatment Consultation at Comprehensive Urology

ED is one of the most common sex problems that men report to their doctors. Research indicates up to 30 million American men deal with erectile dysfunction, and more than half of these men experience ED at some point in their lives. However, only 33% of men seek treatment for ED – despite the fact that many safe, effective ED treatments are available.

At Comprehensive Urology in Los Angeles, our team of courteous, knowledgeable urologists takes the guesswork out of ED treatment. We meet with patients, analyze their symptoms, and offer personalized diagnoses and treatments. Our team also works with patients throughout ED treatments, ensuring these individuals can address their symptoms both now and in the future. To find out more about how our team can help you treat ED, please contact us today at (310) 499-2756 to schedule a consultation with one of our urologists.


The post How to Treat Erectile Dysfunction Without Medication appeared first on Comprehensive Urology.


How to Support Someone with Prostate Cancer

September marks Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, a campaign designed to educate people about prostate cancer. At Comprehensive Urology, we strive to educate patients and their loved ones about prostate cancer. As part of our commitment to Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, we want to teach people how they can support family members, friends, and colleagues dealing with this diagnosis.

Let’s take a look at four ways to support someone with prostate cancer.

  1. Learn About Prostate Cancer

Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to prostate cancer. Thus, the more a person learns about prostate cancer, the more he or she can support a prostate cancer patient.

An online search often provides a great starting point to locate prostate cancer resources from globally recognized medical experts and organizations. These resources are generally available free of charge and provide in-depth insights into all aspects of prostate cancer.

There is no shortage of free online prostate cancer resources. Some of the best online prostate cancer resources include:

  • CancerCare: Provides prostate cancer treatment information, along with free, professional support services for prostate cancer patients and their loved ones.
  • American Cancer Society (ACS): Provides a prostate cancer overview, insights into prostate cancer treatment options and their possible side effects, and information about what to expect after prostate cancer treatment.
  • National Cancer Institute: Provides prostate cancer research and statistics, as well as insights into common issues and concerns that arise after a person receives a prostate cancer diagnosis.
  • Our website: Provides a lot of information relating to treatment, especially new innovative options like HIFU (high intensity focused ultrasound).

Prostate cancer is complex. As such, it usually helps to have a basic understanding before you review any of the aforementioned online resources. To better understand prostate cancer, let’s examine some top-level information regarding the condition, its severity, and its prevalence.

Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men, according to ACS. Approximately one in nine men will receive a prostate cancer diagnosis in his lifetime, ACS notes. Yet some men ignore prostate cancer and the dangers associated with it. Meanwhile, failure to diagnose and treat prostate cancer in its early stages may cause painful urination, blood in the urine or semen, lower back pain, and other health problems.

Prostate cancer begins as adenocarcinoma, a type of cancer that develops in the body’s mucus-secreting glands. It is a slow, progressive disease and may be more difficult to detect than other forms of cancer. However, in some instances, prostate cancer grows and spreads quickly throughout the body.

There are four risk factors associated with prostate cancer:

  • Age: Prostate cancer may occur at any age, but it is rare in men under the age of 40. According to ACS, the average age of men at the time of a prostate cancer diagnosis is about 66.
  • Genes: Men with a family history of prostate cancer tend to be more prone to prostate cancer than others.
  • Ethnicity: Research indicates African-American men are more susceptible to prostate cancer than all other ethnic groups.
  • Diet: Exposure to various agricultural pesticides in foods may increase the risk of prostate cancer. Additionally, studies have shown diets rich in animal fats and red meat may increase the risk of prostate cancer.

Perhaps most important, prostate cancer is treatable. Approximately 2.9 million prostate cancer patients are still alive today, ACS states. With proper prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment — and plenty of support from loved ones — men can address their prostate cancer symptoms.

  1. Become a Good Sounding Board

For the patient, a prostate cancer diagnosis may incite anger, sadness, anxiety, depression, and other emotions. As a loved one who cares about a prostate cancer patient, it is crucial to do everything possible to provide this individual with a good sounding board. That way, a prostate cancer patient can express any concerns, fears, or questions to a trusted confidant throughout a prostate cancer treatment.

Becoming a good sounding board is unlikely to happen overnight, and an individual must work diligently to empathize with a prostate cancer patient to ensure he or she can provide emotional support. Fortunately, there are several things an individual can do to become a good sounding board, including:

  • Listen and respond. Listen to what your loved one has to say. By doing so, an individual can learn about a prostate cancer patient’s emotions and respond accordingly.
  • Avoid platitudes. Saying things like “I know you will do great!” to a prostate cancer patient may seem helpful, but these platitudes offer no guarantees. Avoid platitudes, and instead, help your loved one analyze all aspects of his emotions.
  • Identify emotional subtext. Keep an eye out for signs of doubt, anger, and other emotions and ask questions to help a prostate cancer patient understand and deal with his emotions.

It often helps to know a family member, friend, or colleague is available to chat at any time, too. Therefore, an individual should remain accessible to a prostate cancer patient via phone call, email, and text. This enables a prostate cancer patient to take solace in the fact that he can reach out to a loved one for support in times of need.

  1. Be an Active Participant in Your Loved One’s Prostate Cancer Treatment

There are many ways an individual can take an active role in a prostate cancer treatment. These include:

  • Provide Help Around the House: Help a prostate cancer patient maintain a neat, tidy house and perform assorted day-to-day errands to help this individual focus on what is most important — treating his prostate cancer.
  • Offer a Ride to the Doctor: Going to a doctor alone may be stressful. By providing a ride to the doctor, an individual may help a prostate cancer patient alleviate some of the stress commonly associated with doctor’s visits.
  • Find Support Groups: US Too, Male Care, Imerman Angels, and other prostate cancer support groups are available nationwide. These groups enable prostate cancer patients and survivors to connect with and support one another throughout treatment and recovery.
prostate cancer support group

Offer support by joining a prostate cancer support group with your loved one

An individual does not have to be a urologist to help a prostate cancer patient achieve the best possible treatment results. If an individual takes an active role in a prostate cancer treatment, he or she can help a patient combat prostate cancer both now and in the future.

  1. Take Care of Yourself

Don’t forget to take care of yourself — without exception. Otherwise, you may struggle to provide your loved one with your full attention.

There are a lot of things you can do to simultaneously support a prostate cancer patient and take care of yourself. These include:

  • Get Plenty of Rest: The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) recommends an adult get between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. With a good night’s sleep, a person can stay focused, optimize his or her day-to-day productivity and efficiency, and provide a prostate cancer patient with comprehensive support.
  • Take Time to Process Your Emotions: Seeing a loved one go through a prostate cancer treatment may be traumatic, and an individual should dedicate time to process his or her emotions. It may also be beneficial for an individual to discuss his or her emotions with a loved one.
  • Enjoy Some “Me” Time: Let’s face it — everyone needs a break sometimes. For an individual who feels stressed or worried about a loved one dealing with prostate cancer, spend some time enjoying a fun activity. This activity may help an individual feel refreshed, revitalized, and ready to help a prostate cancer patient in any way possible.

Prostate cancer is a major challenge for patients and their loved ones. Thankfully, Comprehensive Urology serves as a prostate cancer resource. Our team includes urological experts who can respond to prostate cancer concerns and questions, as well as provide personalized prostate cancer treatment recommendations. To find out more, please contact us today at (310) 499-2756 to schedule a consultation with one of our friendly, knowledgeable urologists.

The post How to Support Someone with Prostate Cancer appeared first on Comprehensive Urology.

Why Athletic Women Might Consider Vaginal Rejuvenation

Women sometimes undergo vaginal rejuvenation treatments to improve the genitals’ appearance. Vaginal rejuvenation treatments also help women correct genital defects and restore the genitals’ function. They may be ideal for yogis, joggers, and other athletes as well.

Vaginal Rejuvenation Treatments: Here’s What You Need to Know

Over time, a woman’s vagina will stretch and lose muscle tone. This generally occurs due to the natural aging process or childbirth, and it may result in vaginal dryness and discomfort, reduced sexual satisfaction, and other problems.

Vaginal rejuvenation treatments deliver both cosmetic and functional benefits. They may be used to improve the symmetry and proportion of the vagina. Or, vaginal rejuvenation treatments may address vaginal laxity to enhance sexual function or repair genital defects.

There is no one-size-fits-all vaginal rejuvenation treatment for all women, at all times. Both surgical and non-surgical vaginal rejuvenation treatments are available. As such, it is important for women to evaluate their options to select the right vaginal rejuvenation treatment based on their individual needs.

Benefits of Vaginal Rejuvenation for Athletic Women

Yoga, running, and other exercises may cause vaginal chafing and irritation. Fortunately, vaginal rejuvenation treatments are available to help athletic women address these problems.

There are many reasons why athletic women choose vaginal rejuvenation procedures. These reasons include:

  • Increased Vaginal Tightness: Excessive exercise or stretching may cause muscles around the vagina and surrounding tissue to become loose, leading to vaginal discomfort, incontinence, and reduced pleasure during sexual intercourse. Vaginal rejuvenation treatments enable women to tighten the labia majora and vaginal area.
  • Proven Incontinence Treatment: Female incontinence is commonly associated with aging, injury, or muscle weakness, yet it can be a problem for women of all ages and fitness levels. In fact, women who work as Pilates teachers, yoga instructors, and fitness trainers sometimes experience pelvic floor muscle weakness that results in urinary incontinence. Thanks to vaginal rejuvenation treatments, athletic women can enhance muscle coordination around the bladder, thereby reducing the risk of urinary incontinence.
  • Enhanced Vaginal Appearance: Vaginal skin may sag over the years, which can impact the vagina’s overall appearance. As the vaginal skin sags, athletic women may start to feel uncomfortable in yoga leggings, workout pants, and other form-fitting exercise apparel. With vaginal rejuvenation treatments, women can correct sagging skin in the inner and outer labia and improve the vagina’s appearance. Plus, vaginal rejuvenation treatments may make it easier than ever before for women to wear form-fitting clothing comfortably and confidently.
  • Reduced Vaginal Dryness: Strenuous exercise programs like high-interval intensity workouts may cause vaginal dryness, as well as vaginal burning, itching, and discomfort. Meanwhile, vaginal rejuvenation treatments help women improve blood circulation in the vaginal area. By doing so, the treatments enable women to promote natural lubrication in the vagina and restore healthy vaginal moisture.
why female runners might consider vaginal rejuvenation

Female runners sometimes consider vaginal rejuvenation

When it comes to vaginal rejuvenation treatments for athletic women, ThermiVa is one of the top options. ThermiVa is a non-hormonal, non-invasive vaginal rejuvenation procedure, and it delivers both cosmetic and functional benefits for athletic women.

Why Do Athletic Women Choose ThermiVa for Vaginal Rejuvenation?

ThermiVa helps athletic women treat excessive stretching of the vaginal muscles that otherwise diminishes pleasure during sexual intercourse. It also provides instant vaginal rejuvenation results.

A typical ThermiVa treatment is performed as an outpatient procedure and requires less than an hour to complete. During a ThermiVa procedure, a urologist uses an “S” shaped handpiece that has a width of about 0.5″. The handpiece has an active tip, a small metal square that gently emits radiofrequency (RF) energy to the vaginal tissue. It is used across the internal and external vaginal anatomy, and the hand piece’s RF energy stimulates the growth and development of collagen and elastic fibers in the vagina. This helps tighten the vaginal skin and muscle tissue, enhance vaginal nerve function, and increase the blood supply in the vaginal canal and labia.

There is no downtime associated with ThermiVa. After a ThermiVa treatment, athletic women can do yoga, jog, and resume other everyday activities. Athletic women can even engage in sexual activity following a ThermiVa procedure.

To date, more than 85,000 ThermiVa treatments have been administered worldwide. Research has shown ThermiVa is a safe, effective vaginal rejuvenation treatment that causes no discomfort or pain. Additionally, ThermiVa may be used to treat a variety of vaginal issues, including:

  • Vaginal Tightness: Tightens the entire vagina, including the vaginal opening.
  • Incontinence: Can be used in conjunction with pelvic floor exercises to limit the risk of urinary leakage.
  • Vaginal Sagging: Reduces the appearance of a “camel toe” and helps women wear tight-fitting apparel comfortably.
  • Vaginal Dryness: Treats vaginal moisture both inside and outside the vagina and softens the vulva-vaginal skin, leading to less pain and increased pleasure during sexual intercourse.

To achieve the optimal ThermiVa results, athletic women may require a series of treatment sessions over the course of several months. Upon successful completion of ThermiVa sessions, athletic women may experience vaginal rejuvenation results that last up to two years.

For athletic women who are considering vaginal rejuvenation treatments, meeting with a urologist is ideal. Prior to a ThermiVa treatment, a urologist examines a patient and determines if she is a viable candidate for the procedure. Then, the urologist provides the patient with a custom vaginal rejuvenation treatment recommendation.

If a urologist recommends ThermiVa for vaginal rejuvenation, he or she will teach a patient about the procedure and respond to any concerns or questions. On the other hand, if a patient does not qualify for ThermiVa, a urologist will offer vaginal rejuvenation treatment alternatives.

Schedule a Vaginal Rejuvenation Treatment Consultation at Comprehensive Urology in Los Angeles

At Comprehensive Urology, we are proud to offer ThermiVa and other vaginal rejuvenation treatments for athletic and non-athletic women alike. Our expert urologists are happy to meet with patients, learn about their vaginal rejuvenation goals, and offer personalized treatment recommendations. To find out more about ThermiVa and other vaginal rejuvenation treatments, please contact us today at (310) 499-2756 to schedule a consultation with one of our urologists.


The post Why Athletic Women Might Consider Vaginal Rejuvenation appeared first on Comprehensive Urology.

Debunking Vagina Tightening Myths

One of the most common vagina tightening myths is that there are all kinds of “overnight” or “quick-fix” treatments that will deliver results. For women who want to restore or improve vaginal tightness, there is no shortage of overnight treatments across the internet, and these include:

  • Pills: Often include phytoestrogen, a natural estrogen that comes from plants. Vaginal tightening pills are designed to heal, rejuvenate, and replenish all of a woman’s sexual organs. They can be taken orally and may help women tighten and tone the vaginal muscles and maintain the vagina’s mucosal layer. Yet vaginal tightening pills offer no guarantees. In some instances, these pills have little to no effect on vaginal tightness.
  • Creams and Gels: Usually consist of ingredients that have been shown to restore or improve skin elasticity. Creams and gels frequently act as natural lubricants that help women alleviate vaginal pain and soreness. Additionally, they may help women stimulate sexual responses and reduce the risk of fungal and bacterial infections. But not all creams and gels are created equal, and some of these products contain glycerin that has been linked to yeast and bacterial infections.
  • Squats: Require a woman to stand with her feet outside of hip width, place her toes at about a 30° angle, and bend at the hips. During a squat, a woman should keep the spine straight and lift her chest as well. Squats may be used to help women regain lost vaginal tightness, and they must be performed carefully. Otherwise, a woman who performs squats incorrectly risks aches or injuries.
  • Aloe: Offers a natural herb that women can apply to the vagina lips daily. The gel from an aloe vera leaf can be administered to the vagina lips five to six times a day or prior to sexual intercourse to help relieve vaginal discomfort and dryness. On the other hand, aloe vera sometimes disrupts a woman’s vaginal pH balance, leading to infections, bad odor, itching, burning, irritation, and discomfort.
  • Lemon: Provides a rich source of vitamin C and other nutrients that help cleanse the vagina. Lemon has antioxidant properties that make it a popular choice for hygiene products. Conversely, lemon contains citric acid that may interfere with a woman’s vaginal pH balance.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Has been used in some treatments to clean and tighten the vagina. Although women have incorporated apple cider vinegar into various douching techniques, recent research indicates apple cider vinegar puts the vagina in danger. Apple cider vinegar has been shown to disrupt the “good” bacteria in the vagina, resulting in infections and irritation.

None of the aforementioned overnight treatments are proven to help women consistently address vaginal looseness. Fortunately, ThermiVa is a vaginal tightening treatment unlike any other that provides quick results. It offers fast, safe, and effective non-surgical vaginal rejuvenation.

ThermiVa: Here’s What You Need to Know

A ThermiVa procedure involves the use of radiofrequency (RF) energy to stimulate natural collagen production and tissue rejuvenation in the vagina. This energy tightens the vagina, as well as enhances vaginal lubrication and may improve vaginal sensation.

Typically, a ThermiVa procedure requires about 30 minutes to complete. During the procedure, a urologist applies RF energy to the vagina via an S-shaped handheld device; this device has a small metal square on the bottom of the electrode to safely and gently heat the vaginal tissue.

A ThermiVa procedure can be used to treat both internal and external female anatomical features, including the inner and outer labia and vaginal canal. The procedure results in zero downtime, and patients generally experience no pain or discomfort during or after treatment. Plus, patients do not need to be hospitalized following a ThermiVa procedure.

Women who experience one or more of the following issues may qualify for ThermiVa:

  • Vaginal dryness, chafing, or itching
  • Ongoing vaginal or urinary tract infections
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Little to no friction or sensation during sexual intercourse

There are many reasons why women choose ThermiVa over other overnight vaginal tightening treatments as well. These reasons include:

  • Improved Cosmetic Appearance: Addresses sagging skin, resulting in a more youthful-looking vaginal appearance.
  • Reduced Dryness: Stimulates blood circulation to promote normal vaginal function and natural lubrication of the vagina.
  • Reduced Urinary Leakage: Tightens and strengths tissues under the bladder, reducing the risk of mild stress or urge incontinence.
  • No Surgery Required: Does not require any anesthesia or incisions.
  • Long-Term Results: Delivers vaginal rejuvenation that lasts between nine months and two years.

Most patients experience improved vaginal tightness following their initial ThermiVa treatment. That being said, patients usually need a minimum of three ThermiVa treatments over the course of three to four months to achieve the best-possible vaginal rejuvenation results.

Learn About ThermiVa Treatments from Dr. Palmer of Comprehensive Urology in Los Angeles

Dr. Cristina Palmer of Comprehensive Urology of Los Angeles is happy to teach patients about ThermiVa and other vaginal rejuvenation treatments. She devotes time and resources to learn about a patient and her vaginal issues. Then, Dr. Palmer can provide each patient with a personalized vaginal rejuvenation treatment recommendation.

To date, Dr. Palmer has treated patients dealing with urinary tract infections, urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, urinary fistulas, interstitial cystitis, and other urological conditions. In addition to ThermiVa, Dr. Palmer administers many urological treatments, such as:

  • Lifestyle Modification: Sometimes, certain foods and ingredients may trigger urological problems. Dr. Palmer can help patients identify foods or ingredients that lead to urological issues and implement appropriate lifestyle changes.
  • Neuromodulation: Electric nerve stimulation may help patients alleviate bladder pain, along with pain in the lower back and pelvis. Dr. Palmer offers neuromodulation treatments to help patients stimulate nerves and minimize pelvic pain and tension.
  • Surgery: Pelvic and urethral surgical procedures are available to treat urinary incontinence and other urological problems. Dr. Palmer can help patients determine if surgery is the best option to treat a urological issue and craft a custom treatment based on a patient’s surgery goals.

For patients who want to learn about ThermiVa or other vaginal tightening treatments, Dr. Palmer is ready to help. She understands the challenges associated with vaginal looseness and will work with a patient to help her quickly and safely tighten the vagina.

Set Up a Vaginal Rejuvenation Consultation at Comprehensive Urology in Beverly Hills

Whereas some overnight vaginal tightening “treatments” promise fast, efficient results, few options actually help women achieve their vaginal rejuvenation goals. At Comprehensive Urology in Los Angeles, our team of urological experts understands there is no one-size-fits-all treatment for vaginal tightening. We meet with patients to learn about their vaginal issues and help them plan accordingly. Also, we can offer a custom treatment recommendation designed to help a patient address vaginal looseness both now and in the future.

To find out more about ThermiVa and other vaginal tightening treatments, please contact us today at (310) 499-2756 to schedule a consultation with one of our friendly, knowledgeable urologists.

The post Debunking Vagina Tightening Myths appeared first on Comprehensive Urology.

The Prevalence of Erectile Dysfunction and How It’s Treated | Infographic

Erectile dysfunction (ED), also known as impotence, refers to the inability to achieve or maintain an erection.

Prevalence of ED

Erectile dysfunction is the most common sex problem reported by men to their doctor.

  • Affects as many as 30 million American men
  • More than half (52%) of all American men experience ED at some point in their life
  • Not just a disease of old men, ED affects 40% of men older than 40 and as much as 70% of men older than 70
  • 25% of men presenting for first-time treatment of ED are younger than 40, with almost 50% regarded as severe cases.

prevalence of erectile dysfunction and treatment options infographic

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Certain health conditions can increase your risk of developing ED.

  • ~ 90% of all men with ED have at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease (i.e., diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or active smoking)
  • 35% to 75% of men with diabetes will experience some degree of ED
  • Up to 68% of men with high blood pressure have some form of ED, with 45% reporting severe cases
  • 50% to 60% of cases of ED in men older than 60 are due to hardening of the arteries, which is the primary cause of heart disease
  • Risk of ED is increased by 60% if you smoke more than 1 pack daily
  • More than 200 prescription medications have ED as a potential side effect.

Treatment of ED

The mainstays for the treatment of ED are oral medications, including PDE5 inhibitors such sildenafil (Viagra®), vardenafil (Levitra®), tadalafil (Cialis®), and avanafil (Stendra®).

  • Only 33% of men seek treatment for ED
  • 66% of men who have taken Viagra report successful intercourse
  • 48% of men experience one or more side effects (e.g., stuffy nose, headache, or visual changes) after using Viagra
  • 69% of men reported that their ED persisted despite oral medications.

In the event that oral medications don’t successfully treat ED, there are other treatments, including penile injections or suppositories, vacuum erection devices, or surgery to place penile implants.

  • 80% of men with ED, regardless of their age or the cause of their ED, achieve erections with penile injections
  • 50% to 80% of men report being satisfied with the results of vacuum erection devices
  • 90% to 95% of penile implants produce erections suitable for sex
  • 80% to 90% of men report being satisfied with the results of penile implants.

An Innovation in ED Treatment

Another emerging treatment for ED with no side-effects is non-invasive, non-surgical, low-intensity shockwave therapy (LISWT).

  • 60% of men experiencing ED reported a positive effect with LISWT after only 12 sessions (twice per week)
  • 92% of responders maintained their positive responses to LISWTfor a total of 1 year after initial treatment
  • 55% of responders maintained their positive responses to LISWT for a total of 2 years after initial treatment




The post The Prevalence of Erectile Dysfunction and How It’s Treated | Infographic appeared first on Comprehensive Urology.

How to Improve Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is not a topic that most men want to freely discuss. ED does not mean that you are infertile, but it can have unintended consequences, especially if it becomes a regular occurrence. The condition can get so bad that you may avoid or become highly anxious at the thought of sexual relations with your partner. At this point, many men contemplate how to improve erectile dysfunction. There are multiple options for ED treatment, and many men are overwhelmed and do not know where to start on their journey to meaningful ED recovery.

Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

For the majority of men suffering from erectile dysfunction, a visit to their physician for an open discussion about their condition is the logical first step to begin ED treatment. As a general rule, the causes of erectile dysfunction in all men fall into one of two clear-cut categories—psychological or physical. Your physician can offer a wealth of information about ED to help you achieve control of this condition, which is more common than most people think or would like to admit. In addition to a thorough physical examination, your physician will ask you a series of probing questions in an effort to pinpoint whether the cause for your ED is physical or psychological.


The great majority of cases of erectile dysfunction have their roots in physical causes. Established risk factors for the development of erectile dysfunction may include the following:

  • Chronic medical conditions: For many older men, and some younger men, chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and high cholesterol are common contributing factors to erectile dysfunction. All of these chronic medical conditions can decrease blood flow to the penis, which is the root cause of ED.
  • Certain prescription medications: More than 200 prescription medications list erectile dysfunction as a potential side effect and, therefore, may cause the condition. The list includes antidepressant medications, medications to treat high blood pressure, allergy medications and pain medications.
  • Tobacco use: Smoking causes damage to arteries and veins, restricting the blood flow to the penis. Over time, smoking can also lead to chronic diseases, such as hypertension and heart disease, that are significant causes of ED. As a matter of fact, smoking more than 20 cigarettes per day (one pack) will significantly increase your risk of developing ED.
  • Drug and alcohol use: Recreational drugs, such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and amphetamines, are well-known contributors to erectile dysfunction. Chronic alcohol abuse and binge drinking are well-established causes of erectile dysfunction, but even low doses of alcohol have the potential to induce ED.
  • Certain medical treatments: Surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy for cancer, such as prostate, colon, or bladder, have the potential of ED as a side effect. These procedures can damage the nerves and blood vessels responsible for an erection.


Overall, psychological conditions are a less predominant cause of erectile dysfunction compared to physical conditions. The mind and body work together to produce an erection and that interaction can be affected by certain situations or conditions, which may include:

  • Pressure to perform during sex: This is better known as “performance anxiety” and is among the most common psychological causes of erectile dysfunction. It can spiral out of control and make ED chronic, which can lead to relationship conflicts.
  • Depression: Fatigue, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, and trouble sleeping are well known symptoms of depression. A less talked about but common symptom of this mental disorder is ED.
  • Stress: Whether at work or at home, stress can be a significant contributor to erectile dysfunction. In addition, it can have a detrimental effect on hormones critical to the erectile process.
  • Reliance on ED treatment: In today’s society, the recreational use of ED treatment medication has become popular. Over time, men may develop a psychological reliance on these medications and feel an erection is not obtainable without them.

ED Treatment

ED treatment is recommended sooner than later because of the physical and psychological tolls the condition may take. As a result, ED treatment may consist of changes in lifestyle, prescription medications, external aids, and/or a new, innovative treatment known as low-intensity shockwave therapy.

Lifestyle measures

ED treatment should be comprehensive and starts with lifestyle measures that you can implement on your own, which may include the following:

  • Regular exercise: Many men find that their ED improves when they exercise regularly. You should be sure to consult your physician before the commencement of a regular exercise regimen to ensure that the type of exercise you choose is suitable.
  • Lose weight: Obesity or being overweight can damage the arteries and veins that are crucial for blood flow into the penis for an erection. Losing weight may also help ED by lowering inflammation, increasing testosterone, relieving depression, and boosting self-confidence.
  • Quit smoking: Many men who quit smoking often report improvement in erectile dysfunction. Smoking cessation aids include nicotine patches, gums, sprays, and lozenges as well as prescription medications.
  • Eat a healthy diet: Increasing your dietary intake of fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish, and whole grains not only has the potential to lead to improvement in ED but also may combat the development of chronic diseases that often lead to erectile dysfunction.
  • Control your blood sugar: It is no secret that diabetes is a major contributor to ED. Managing diabetes well with diet, exercise, and medications has the potential to reverse damage to blood vessels and nerves, thereby improving erectile dysfunction.
  • Treat high blood pressure: High blood pressure (hypertension), is a common cause of erectile dysfunction, as it can interfere with blood flow to the penis. Exercise, a low sodium diet, and prescription medications can not only manage hypertension but also lead to improvement in ED.
  • Treat depression: This is a catch 22 as depression may lead to ED and erectile dysfunction may lead to depression. Nevertheless, adequate treatment of your depression has the potential to improve ED.
  • Remain sexually active: Regular sexual intercourse may be protective against erectile dysfunction. Having sex less than once a week may increase your chances of developing ED.

Prescription medications

If lifestyle changes do not cause adequate improvement in ED, physicians may recommend prescription medications. The cornerstones of ED treatment are oral medications, such as sildenafil (Viagra®), vardenafil (Levitra®), tadalafil (Cialis®), and avanafil (Stendra®). They belong to a class of medications referred to as phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors, which work by increasing the diameter of blood vessels, and therefore blood flow, to the penis. As with any prescription medication, there is the potential for side effects with PDE5 inhibitors, which may include nasal congestion, headaches, or visual changes.

External aids

Because ED treatment with oral medications is not always successful, the next level of ED treatment that may be considered is an external aid. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved external aids for ED treatment include penile injections or suppositories, vacuum constriction devices, or penile surgery for the placement of semirigid or inflatable implants. Currently, alprostadil is the only medication approved for penile self-injections or suppositories. Keep in mind that if your ED treatment provides an erection lasting longer than 4 hours, emergency medical evaluation may be required. You may be experiencing priapism, which is a painful prolonged erection that can lead to permanent penile damage and untreatable erectile dysfunction. All of these external aid approaches to ED treatment have fair to excellent results.

Low-intensity shockwave therapy (PulseWave)

Low-intensity shockwave (LISWT) therapy represents state-of-the-art non-invasive ED treatment. LISWT can be used in all men who suffer from ED or those who do not but simply wish to improve the quality of their erections, increase sexual sensitivity, and possibly promote longer duration of sexual activity. This new technology utilizes sound wave energy to promote repair of damaged blood vessels and stimulate the growth of new blood vessels, thereby increasing blood flow to the penis. The result is an ED treatment providing more rigid and easier to maintain erections. Most men (70-80%) report improvement in erectile dysfunction after only 6 in-office treatment sessions with LISWT, and the majority of these men had maintenance of their positive effects for at least a year, maybe 2.

Because of its potential for devastating physical and emotional effects, the importance of treating erectile dysfunction as soon as possible should be emphasized. If you are seeking ED treatment, do not hesitate to contact Comprehensive Urology today for an initial consultation. The board-certified physicians at Comprehensive Urology are specialists in the treatment of erectile dysfunction and will formulate a personalized treatment plan, providing you with the best possible outcomes for ED treatment.


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Can Erectile Dysfunction Happen at a Young Age?

While erectile dysfunction (ED) is widely thought to be an issue of older men, ED can also affect younger men, with some even developing the condition while in college. In a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, 25% of men presenting for first-time treatment of erectile dysfunction were younger than the age of 40. Even more interesting was the fact that almost half (48.8%) of these young men with ED had severe cases of the condition. This study suggests that ED in young men is more commonplace than previously thought. In this current “hookup culture,” younger women report that erectile dysfunction among their male partners happens more often than you think or more than those young men would like to readily admit. As a result, the stigma associated with erectile dysfunction may explain why ED in young men is not being treated very often.

ED in Young Men Is More Common Than You Think

Overall, only 33% of all men experiencing ED, regardless of age, are seeking treatment. Another confounding factor is the attitude of health care professionals toward young men with erectile dysfunction. Many physicians erroneously assume that ED in young men is either temporary or psychological in nature, which may inevitably lead to bias and prevents young males from obtaining the care they need and are entitled to for their very real problem.

What Causes ED in Young Males?

ED in young men is typically not a life-threatening condition, although some men feel it’s the end of the world. In general, the causes of ED in young men, like older men, fall into one of two broad categories—psychological or physical. In rare instances, erectile dysfunction may be a combination of the two. One of the first considerations for young men is whether the ED is occasional or chronic. Occasional ED is somewhat normal and can usually be attributed to psychological factors. In fact, anxiety is the most common cause of erectile dysfunction in young men. When erectile dysfunction is chronic, there is a very high probability that its origins are biological, in other words physical.

Psychological Causes of ED

Psychological factors may be responsible for ED in young men. These factors may include:

  • Fear of sexual failure, also known as performance anxiety
  • Depression
  • Stress/ anxiety
  • Guilt
  • Low self-esteem
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

It is also worth noting that many medications used for the treatment of high blood pressure or depression and other psychological disorders may themselves cause erectile dysfunction. For example, many of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which are the primary treatments for depression and anxiety, can not only cause ED but also ejaculatory dysfunction in males. Examples of commonly used SSRIs include fluoxetine (Prozac®), paroxetine (Paxil®), sertraline (Zoloft®), citalopram (Celexa®), and escitalopram (Lexapro®).

Physical Causes of ED


The experiences of younger men are very different compared to those of older men, and ED is no different. Young men are more likely to abuse alcohol and illicit drugs than older men, making these substances more likely to be contributing factors for erectile dysfunction. For example, daily marijuana smokers are three times more likely to develop ED compared to those who don’t use it at all. Also, young men with ED are more likely to be smokers. In fact, your risk of developing erectile dysfunction is increased by 60% if you smoke more than one pack daily. Electronic, or E-, cigarettes are becoming wildly popular, especially among young males, but they contain nicotine and other harmful chemicals and may have the same ED-causing effect as regular cigarettes. Furthermore, ED in young men is much more likely to be the result of physical trauma rather than a medical diagnosis. For example, a sports injury or a sexual injury.

Chronic Diseases

Occasionally, ED in young men can be a symptom of something more sinister. For many older men, and some younger men, chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and kidney disease are often contributing factors to erectile dysfunction. For instance, 35% to 75% of men with diabetes will experience some degree of ED, and a great majority of men with high blood pressure (68%) are plagued by erectile dysfunction. Some young men can attribute their ED to hormone imbalance, specifically underproduction of the male hormone testosterone (hypogonadism). Additionally, many of the medications used to treat the aforementioned chronic diseases may themselves cause ED. Upwards of 200 prescription medications list erectile dysfunction as a potential side effect, including antidepressant or antianxiety medications, blood pressure medications, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Treatment for ED in Young Males

Although your chances of experiencing erectile dysfunction increase with age, it does not have to be a certainty of aging, especially in men experiencing it at a young age. Treatment for ED in young males can help restore self-confidence and even sometimes repair intimate relationships. For the majority of young men with ED, lifestyle changes may be enough to eliminate ED and bring back sexual confidence. Measures such as eating a heart-healthy diet, regular exercise, quitting smoking, moderate to no alcohol intake, eliminating stress, and abstinence from illicit drugs are recommended.

Prescription Medication

If lifestyle changes are not sufficient to improve or eliminate ED, health care professionals may recommend prescription medications. The historical anchors for the treatment of ED are oral medications, including sildenafil (Viagra®), vardenafil (Levitra®), tadalafil (Cialis®), and avanafil (Stendra®). These medications, like all treatments for ED, stimulate blood flow to the penis, helping a man achieve and maintain an erection. Oral erectile dysfunction medications can be effective, as 66% of men who have taken Viagra reported successful sexual intercourse. As with any prescription medication, there are potential for side effects. Almost half (48%) of men who have taken Viagra for erectile dysfunction reported one or more side effects (e.g., stuffy nose, headache, or visual changes). Nonetheless, treatment with oral ED medications is not always successful, and 69% of men reported that their ED persisted despite oral medications.

External Aids

If oral medications don’t successfully treat ED in young men, there are other treatment options, including penile injections or suppositories. It goes without saying that these treatments would be reserved for young men with severe erectile dysfunction. A great majority of men with ED (80%), regardless of their age or the cause of ED, report achieving adequate erections with penile injections. Only the medication alprostadil is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for self-injection for ED therapy. Alprostadil is also approved in suppository form but is less effective than self-injection, as only 30% to 40% of men with ED report achieving adequate erections with this form. It should be noted that if your erection lasts longer than 4 hours on these or other ED treatments (i.e., oral medications), you should seek emergency medical evaluation. You may be experiencing priapism, which is a very painful prolonged erection and can lead to irreparable penile damage and untreatable erectile dysfunction.

Other treatments for severe ED in young men are vacuum erectile devices and surgery for the placement of penile implants. They have a fair to excellent response rate, as 50% to 80% of men reported being pleased with the results of vacuum erectile devices. Additionally, 90% to 95% of penile implants produce erections adequate for sexual intercourse. Admittedly, these treatments may be extreme, cumbersome, and even embarrassing for men, especially young men.

A New ED Treatment Option: Low-Intensity Shockwave Therapy (PulseWave)

As a result, there has been growing interest in non-invasive and non-surgical treatments for ED in young men. An emerging innovative treatment for ED that fits this bill is low-intensity shockwave therapy (LISWT). This technology utilizes gentle low-frequency sound waves to increase blood flow to the penis by repairing aged blood vessels and stimulating the formation of new blood vessels. As a result, LISWT addresses the root cause of erectile dysfunction, resulting in firmer, more maintainable erections. Data show that this ED treatment is effective. After only 12 in-office treatment sessions with LISWT, 60% of men with ED reported a positive effect. Additionally, 92% of men who responded positively maintained that response for at least 1 year.

Erectile dysfunction can take a physical as well as a psychological toll, which is why it’s so important to treat it as soon as possible. If you are seeking erectile dysfunction treatment, do not hesitate to contact Comprehensive Urology today for an initial consultation. The board-certified physicians at Comprehensive Urology are specialists in the treatment of ED and will provide personalized treatment with the utmost discretion.

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