Treating Erectile Dysfunction: Don't suffer in silence

Author: Lindsey Ulrich

"About 52% of men over the age of 40 have some element of erectile dysfunction." 

Of all the issues to bring up to your doctor, erectile dysfunction is probably one of the most difficult to discuss. But according to Urology Health Foundation, it affects as many as 30 million men.

Erectile dysfunction (ED) occurs when there is a consistent inability to get or maintain an erection. When ED occurs more often and becomes a bothersome problem, a urologist can help.

“About 52% of men over the age of 40 have some element of erectile dysfunction,” said Dr. William Britt Zimmerman, DO, FACOS urologist at MSU Urology and affiliate of McLaren Greater Lansing. “Poor physical and mental health can contribute to those who experience ED.”

ED is most commonly caused by problems with blood supply. Various diseases including high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart conditions such as atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) can affect blood flow. Lifestyle choices such as smoking, alcohol or recreational drug use can also attribute to ED.

“The best way to prevent symptoms related to ED is through diet and exercise and staying close to your ideal body weight,” said Dr. Zimmerman.

Although there are several factors associated with the risks and causes for men, erectile dysfunction is not permanent, and there are several treatment options available. Oral medications are most commonly used but other options including surgical treatments are available based on discussions and determination with your physician. 

“Men don’t often like to talk about their personal problems, but they don’t have to suffer,” said Dr. Zimmerman. “There are resources and treatment options available to you.”  

Contact Dr. Zimmerman at MSU Urology if you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment.