How To Diagnose And Treat Erectile Dysfunction

How To Diagnose And Treat Erectile Dysfunction

Up to 5% of men across the globe have complete erectile dysfunction. If you think you might have ED, it’s simple to get tested and there are a number of ways of tackling. Below we run through how to diagnose ED (from a physical to a blood test) and medications for treating it (from viagra to tadalafil).

How to diagnose erectile dysfunction

While some may be reluctant to speak to somebody in person about erectile dysfunction, the first step in diagnosing ED is to be assessed by a medical professional You can either visit a sexual health clinic or see a doctor for your physical examination, as both are able to carry out the tests required to establish if you have erectile dysfunction.

Whether you speak to a GP or a sexual health representative, there are a number of steps the medical professional can take to diagnose erectile dysfunction.

Physical examination to test for erectile dysfunction

This will involve an examination of your testicles and penis. The GP or sexual health professional will check the nerves in your sexual organs for sensation – they will also look at your urinary, and vascular systems.

Psychological examination to test for ED

Physiological factors, such as depression, stress, and anxiety, have been shown to cause erectile dysfunction. Your examiner may carry out an examination to establish if any of these psychological factors are leading you to experience ED – they will do so by asking you a series of questions, concerning your own mental health and that of your family members.

Blood test to see if you have erectile dysfunction

Your blood pressure will be taken, as many studies have noted a link between high blood pressure and ED. However, you may also be required to have a blood test. The reason for this is that it allows doctors and health specialists to check for signs of low testosterone levels, diabetes, heart disease, and any other health problems that may be causing your ED.

Urine test to establish if you have ED

Urine tests are carried for the same reason as blood tests – to establish if you have any underlying medical conditions that are causing you to experience erectile dysfunction.

Ultrasound testing for erectile dysfunction

An ultrasound test uses sound waves to review the blood vessels in your penis. This is done so that doctors can see if you are unable to sustain an erection due to issues with the flow of blood to your penis.

Blood flow stimulation testing for ED

Alongside having an ultrasound, you may be given a blood flow stimulation test to diagnose if you have ED. This carried out by injecting medication into your penis to create an erection.

How to treat erectile dysfunction

Once you have been assessed by a GP or sexual health professional, there are a number of different ways that your erectile dysfunction. The treatments for ED range from oral medications (such as tadalafil) through to surgery, and the best course of action will depend on the severity of your condition. As medication is the most popular way of treating erectile dysfunction, below we have looked at the most common medications for ED.

Oral medications to treat ED

There are four main medications you can take for ED, with each working by enhancing the effects of nitric oxide in your body. This tackles ED by relaxing the muscles in your penis, increasing the flow of blood to it and making it easier for you to achieve and maintain an erection.

The four primary medications for treating erectile dysfunction are

  • Avanafil (Stendra)
  • Sildenafil (Viagra)
  • Tadalafil (Adcirca, Cialis)
  • Vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn)

Viagra is the most well-known medication taken for ED and lasts for up to 5 hours. If you want a longer lasting treatment for erectile dysfunction, tadalafil is a popular choice.

Tadalafil is a generic version of Cialis (one of the most common ED medications) and is effective for up to 36 hours. UK reviews for tadalafil are extremely positive – tadalafil UK currently has a score of 4.9/5 on world-renowned reviews site Trustpilot.

Once you have had a consultation from a GP or registered sexual health professional, you can buy tadalafil tablets (available in 10mg and 20mg tablets) in the UK from registered online pharmacists.

Erectile dysfunction is a problem millions of men in the world suffer from it. If you think you might be experiencing ED, the first step is to get in touch with your GP or a sexual health professional and get tested. And if you do have ED, there are many ways of treating it (in addition to the medications mentioned in this article, the NHS lists some of the other ED treatments), so you won’t have to suffer anymore.

Can Pelvic Floor Exercises Help With Bladder Weakness?

Bladder weakness can be an embarrassing condition to live with. Suffering from the condition requires you to prepare in advance, and can make day-to-day life difficult. However, it is possible to reduce the symptoms of bladder weakness by doing regular pelvic floor exercises. Here we look at what causes bladder weakness is, what pelvic floor exercises are, and how they can help with bladder weakness.

What is bladder weakness?

Bladder weakness, also known as urinary incontinence, is when the sufferer is unable to control their bladder. Sufferers can accidentally urinate at any time, although the reasons for doing so can depend on extraneous factors.

There are several different types of bladder weakness. The most common include:

  • Total incontinence: this is when your bladder is unable to hold any urine at all. As a result, the sufferer will either urinate frequently or continuously.
  • Stress incontinence: this occurs when the bladder is under stress from the body, for example during heavy fits of laughter or coughing.
  • Overflow incontinence: also known as chronic urinary retention, this occurs when the sufferer is unable to completely empty their bladder. This results in regular leaks.
  • Urge incontinence: when the sufferer feels the need to urinate, they involuntarily leak, either immediately or shortly afterwards.

Some people may experience both urge incontinence and stress incontinence at the same time.

What causes bladder weakness?

The causes of bladder weakness vary depending on the type of incontinence. For example:

Total incontinence

Total incontinence can be caused by a number of things, such as:

  • A trauma to the spinal cord, which affects the signals between the bladder and the brain.
  • An existing issue with the bladder from birth.
  • A small hole appearing between the bladder and an area close by, for example the vagina. This is known as a bladder fistula.

Stress incontinence

Stress incontinence can be caused by a number of things, including:

  • Injury or damage occurring during birth, especially during vaginal birth as opposed to C-section.
  • Existing brain conditions that impact the spinal cord and brain, for example multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease.
  • Higher pressure on the stomach, particularly as a result of obesity or pregnancy.
  • Some connective tissue disorders or medications

Overflow incontinence

The causes of overflow incontinence vary, but can largely be categorized into two groups: an obstructed bladder or detrusor muscles that do not fully contract, which affects how you urinate.

An obstructed bladder can be caused by:

  • Constipation.
  • Stones in the bladder.
  • A prostate gland that is enlarged (in men only).

The detrusor muscles can be affected by:

  • Certain medicines
  • Nerve damage

Urge incontinence

Urge incontinence is caused by damaged or weakened detrusor muscles, or detrusor muscles that contract too often. While the causes of this are not clear, possible theories include:

  • Insufficient consumption of fluids. This makes the stored urine stronger, which in turn affects the bladder.
  • Excessive consumption of caffeine or alcohol.
  • Constipation.
  • Brain conditions
  • Issues with the lower urinary tract, for examples bladder tumors or urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Medications that can cause bladder weakness

Some medications can cause bladder weakness by affecting the usual process of holding urine and passing it, or by upping the amount of pee you create. These medicines include:

  • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
  • A select few antidepressants
  • Medicines that make you urinate more, known as diuretics
  • ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors
  • Some sedatives

What are pelvic floor exercises?

Pelvic floor exercises, also known as Kegel exercises, involve clenching the muscles around the pelvic floor. These are the muscles that support the bladder, bowel, and womb.

Whenever you are urinating and you hold it in, you are using your pelvic floor muscles. It is not advised that you do this regularly while urinating however, as this can damage your bladder.

By regularly doing Kegel exercises, you can strengthen your bladder and better control your bladder. This will also prevent or reduce accidental urination.

How do I do pelvic floor exercises?

It can be difficult to locate your pelvic floor muscles. But with a little practice, you can find them and start benefiting from pelvic floor exercises.

  1. Start by sitting on a chair with your knees at right angles and slightly apart.
  2. Now, try to squeeze your muscles in the same way you would if you were trying to stop yourself urinating mid-stream.
  3. Once you have found your pelvic floor muscles, squeeze them 10-15 times for a few seconds at a time.
  4. Do not hold your breath or clench your stomach, thigh, or butt muscles while doing so.
  5. As you progress, increase the number of times you squeeze your pelvic floor muscles, although do not do so excessively.
  6. You will start to feel the benefits in a few months or so. However, carry on doing these exercises to ensure your pelvic floor muscles stay strong.

 

Urinary incontinence can be an unpleasant and embarrassing condition to live with. However, there are things you can do to treat it. By doing regular pelvic floor exercises, you can strengthen your bladder and reduce accidental leakage, helping you lead a normal, happy life without worrying about urinary incontinence.