Erectile Dysfunction, also referred to as ED or impotence, occurs when a male is unable to get or keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. ED can be a sign of a physical or psychological condition, or a combination of both.
An erection occurs through changes in blood pressure. Arteries bring more blood to the penis when arousal happens. Specifically, penile blood pressure increases and this causes the penile tissue, which is spongy, to expand. To maintain the erection, the veins that drain the blood are compressed so that they can’t drain. The veins are between the skin and spongiform material. Blood flow is not completely stopped but slowed down significantly which allows for prolonged erection.
Below, we will explore some of the main causes of erectile dysfunction and the appropriate solutions. If you or someone you know is dealing with ED, know that you are not alone! Over 3 million cases of ED are reported each year in the United States alone.
What Are 5 Primary Causes of ED?
A number conditions can cause ED, but these varying causes can be further grouped into the following five main causes:
- Psychogenic – This is when ED is present due to psychological and mental health factors such depression, high-stress, and anxiety.
- Medication – A common side effect of certain medications, like antidepressants, is to dull sexual libido and desire. Additionally, beta blockers for some heart conditions are intended to reduce blood pressure which can result in poor blood flow to the penile glands.
- Neurogenic – Resulting from damage to the nervous system, ED can occur over time as nerves of the penis become less sensitive due to age. Additionally, damage to nerve endings can be the result of certain frictions.
- Arterial – When there is insufficient blood flow caused by arterial plaque buildup, blood cannot properly flow into the penis.
- Venous – Also known as leaky vein. If the spongiform tissue doesn’t expand enough to compress the vein or if the vein walls collapse, the drainage rate of blood is faster than the flow rate in. An erection may be achieved but cannot be maintained.
Additional penile issues beyond ED
Another issue a lot of men face is Peyronie’s disease. Men with Peyronie’s disease cannot achieve a full, straight erection – the penis always has a curve or bend to it. The bend can be bad that it can make sex difficult or even impossible. The formation of scar tissue at a point in time causes the curve or bend. The scar is simply not as elastic as the rest of the penile tissue, so it doesn’t expand or contract as quickly as the rest and causes a bend. Over time, a slight curve can become a deep bend without treatment.
Sometimes the cause is known and easily identifiable. Too much pressure in a penis pump, sports injuries, or a possible injury accident can all be causes of Peyronie’s Disease. Sometimes repetitive trauma from certain intercourse positions or masturbation can cause damage and a build up of scar tissue over time. No matter the cause of the scar, the issue to be treated is the scar tissue.
Regenerative treatments for ED and Peyronie’s Disease
Treatments for ED will depend entirely on the diagnosis and root cause. Many common ED prescriptions, like Viagra and Cialis, don’t work for all patients because these drugs increase the blood pressure and therefore increase the flow of blood to the penis. That helps some ED issues. But if the veins drain too
quickly, they’re not ultimately going to be effective. No matter how much blood goes in, if the blood does not stay there, the blood flow reduces too quickly for an erection to be sustained.
When it comes to psychogenic and medication-induced ED, the impotence must be addressed through the other measures first. If that doesn’t help, then further diagnosis and treatment may be required. In some cases, an ultrasound to trace and measure blood flow may be necessary.
Treating with regenerative Platement Rich Plasma (PRP) injection can help restore the damaged tissue and nerve endings to restore both size and function. When dealing with neurogenic and venous caused impotence, PRP, exosomes and stem cell treatments are recommended. For arterial dysfunction, exosomes and stem cell treatments are best.
Regarding the injection site, while the same treatment may commonly apply for varying causes, the location of the injection may differ to correspond with the root cause of the impotence. Arterial and venous-caused ED are treated at the same injection site. Neurogenic related impotence is treated with a different injection site depending on the problem.
Shockwave therapy can be an additional treatment for arterial related ED. Shockwave therapy delivers painless ultrasonic waves that help break up any plax in the arteries to improve blood flow and their full capacity. Lastly, optimizing nutrition and vitamins gives the tissue the chance it needs to succeed. Full guidance is provided before starting any of the aforementioned treatments.
When it comes to Peyronie’s disease, the treatment is to inject PRP or exosomes, sometimes combined with shockwave therapy to break up the scar tissue. These treatments help the body regenerate the right tissue. The breakdown of the scar tissue combined with regenerative therapies may cause normalized erection functions of the penis.
The primary thing to know for any male experiencing erectile dysfunction is to understand that “You don’t have to live with it.” ED doesn’t have to be part of the aging process or “just part of life.” In most cases, it can be helped. There are medical reasons for erectile dysfunction to occur and it is best to seek help early. We want to help get you back to living your life to the fullest. We at the National Stem Cell Clinic are here to help you. Contact us in Miami or Houston today.