Erectile Dysfunction

What Is Erectile Dysfunction?

It’s the persistent inability to achieve or maintain an erection firm enough to have sexual intercourse.¹ Erectile dysfunction (ED) can limit your intimacy, affect your self-esteem, and impact your relationship with your partner.² Fortunately, there are solutions.

What Causes ED?

There are many possible causes of ED; there are several physical and psychological reasons.  Some common causes are:1,3

  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular problems (high blood pressure, heart disease)
  • Prostate cancer treatment
  • Surgery (prostate, bladder, colon, rectal)
  • Medications (blood pressure, antidepressants)
  • Lifestyle choices (smoking, excessive alcohol, obesity, lack of exercise)
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Hormone problems

ED Statistics

  • Approximately 1 in 5 American men age 20 and older suffers from some degree of ED4
  • That adds up to as many as 30 million men affected in the U.S. alone1, 5
  • More than 300,000 men have returned to an active and satisfying sex life with a penile implant6

Symptoms of ED

ED can manifest in multiple ways. To understand the degree of your situation, take this symptom quiz and talk to your doctor about your answers. Signs of ED include:

  • A significant increase in the amount of time it takes to achieve an erection
  • Difficulty maintaining an erection long enough to have intercourse
  • Decreased frequency of spontaneous erections

What are the Treatment Options?

Finding a satisfying solution could be life-changing for you and your partner. There are several treatment options, with varying degrees of success and reliability.3 Because each option offers unique features, potential risks, and benefits, talk to your doctor about which one is best for you.

Oral Medications

The treatment option that most men try first are medications that may improve blood flow to the penis (e.g., Viagra™7, Cialis™8, or Levitra™9). However, about 30% of men with ED do not respond adequately to pills and require a different option.7-9

Vacuum Erection Devices

A plastic cylinder is placed over the penis, and a pump (manual or battery operated) creates a vacuum suction within it, drawing blood into the penis to create an erection. A stretchable tension band placed at the base of the penis helps maintain the erection.


A needle is used to inject medication directly into the penis. The medication allows blood to flow into the penis, creating an erection.

Intraurethral Suppositories

An applicator containing a small pellet is inserted into the urethra and the pellet is released. The pellet dissolves and increases blood flow to the penis, creating an erection.

Penile Implants

A medical device is implanted in the penis, contained entirely within the body. The patient activates the device to achieve an erection and can choose when to return to a flaccid state.

Learn More About ED

Check out our dedicated erectile dysfunction website for additional information, including frequently asked questions, video testimonials, and more.


Physician Finder

Finding a Urologist in your area who specializes in the treatment of ED is important.