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Erectile Dysfunction and Impotence

What Is Erectile Dysfunction and Impotence?

Dr. Jack Mydlo discusses erectile dysfunction
Dr. Jack Mydlo, a Temple urologist, provides an overview of erectile dysfunction and discusses treatment options.
Dr. Jack Mydlo, a Temple urologist, provides an overview of erectile dysfunction and discusses treatment options.

Erectile dysfunction, or impotence, is a condition in which a man cannot get an erection firm enough to have sex. Occasional erectile dysfunction is common and usually not a cause for concern. However, if you have ongoing issues getting and keeping an erection, it is important to talk to your doctor.

Erectile dysfunction can lead to stress, lower self-confidence or relationship issues. It can also be a sign of an underlying health condition.

Erectile dysfunction can be caused by both physical and mental issues. Physical issues may include clogged blood vessels, which affect blood flow throughout the body; diabetes; high cholesterol; and high blood pressure. Mental issues might include stress at work. Drug and alcohol abuse, obesity and certain medications can also contribute to impotence.


The symptoms of erectile dysfunction include:

  • Decreased sexual desire and arousal

  • Difficulty getting an erection

  • Difficulty keeping an erection

You should also talk to your doctor if you have erectile dysfunction accompanied by:

  • Delayed or premature ejaculation

  • Diabetes

  • Heart disease

Treatment Options

Erectile dysfunction treatment depends on what is causing your symptoms in the first place. Your doctor will ask you questions and may run a few tests to determine the underlying cause, whether it is physical or psychological, or a combination of both.

Treatments for erectile dysfunction include:

  • Oral medications – Pills taken by mouth

  • Alprostadil self-injection – Giving yourself an injection at the base of your penis

  • Alprostadil urethral suppository – Inserting a tiny suppository inside your penis

  • Testosterone replacement – Hormone therapy to address low testosterone

  • Vacuum pump therapy – An external pump used to enhance blood flow in the penis

  • Surgical devices – A semi-rigid penile prosthesis or the more natural inflatable penile prosthesis

Your doctor may use blood tests, ultrasound, a physical exam, urine tests or a psychological exam to help determine the cause of your erectile dysfunction.

Ready for an Appointment?

If you're experiencing signs or symptoms of erectile dysfunction & impotence, schedule an appointment or call 800-TEMPLE-MED (800-836-7536) today.

Learn more about our doctors and care team who diagnose and treat erectile dysfunction & impotence.