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Erectile Dysfunction (ED) 

Many people have trouble getting or maintaining an erection at some point. Erectile dysfunction (ED), sometimes called impotence or erectile disorder, is common. If you want help treating your erectile dysfunction, have a partner with ED, are curious about ED medications like the little blue pill (Viagra) and more, we’re here to help. 

If you're an existing patient of ours, you can book your appointment through MyChart.

What is erectile dysfunction (ED)? 

Erectile dysfunction — also called ED — is when your penis can't get firm enough to have sex or you can't stay firm enough to finish having sex. 

Erectile dysfunction can be an embarrassing thing to talk about, but it doesn’t need to be. More than half of people with penises experience some form of ED at some point in their lives, and people living with diabetes are three times more likely to have ED. ED can lead to performance anxiety, a negative impact on self-esteem and personal relationships, and even clinical depression. 

The good news is ED is often treatable. 

What are some of the symptoms of erectile dysfunction? 

The main symptom of erectile dysfunction is the inability to get or keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. If you or your partner have ED, you might notice these symptoms.  

  • Being able to get an erection sometimes, but not every time you want to have sex 

  • Being able to get an erection but not having it last long enough for sex 

  • Being unable to get an erection at any time 

  • Soft erections 

  • Anxiety about erections 

What causes erectile dysfunction?

In addition to getting older, erectile dysfunction can be caused at any age by: 

  • Stress, anxiety, and depression 

  • Obesity 

  • Various medicines 

  • Relationship issues 

  • Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), which also causes heart disease and stroke 

  • Chronic liver or kidney disease 

  • Diabetes (high blood sugar)  

  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)  

  • Low testosterone  

  • Using alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs 

What are the treatments for erectile dysfunction?  

The good news is there are options for treatment for ED. With many options, you can start seeing results quickly.  

If your provider thinks you have erectile dysfunction and you’re eligible for treatment, treatment options could include:  

Pills from a doctor or nurse — like Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis — may help you get and stay hard

A vacuum pump device that you put your penis in to help it get and stay hard (which should not be used if you don't have ED) 

Talking to a mental health specialist 

Medicines injected into your penis or put into your urethra 


The Little Blue Pill

Medication for Erectile Dysfunction 

There are several medication options for ED, including Viagra – also known as the little blue pill.  

Taken one hour before sex, Viagra works in response to sexual stimulation by helping to increase the blood flow to the penis. By helping the muscles in the penis relax, Viagra allows greater blood flow to the penis, increasing the chances for an erection with sexual stimulation.  

Contact one of our erectile dysfunction experts today to learn more about the little blue pill and other medications you can take for ED. 

Is there anything I can do to help my or my partner’s erectile dysfunction? 

The best thing you can do for erectile dysfunction is to see a health care provider that can help you pinpoint any underlying causes. 

Keeping your body healthy can also help prevent erectile dysfunction, such as: 

  • Staying at a weight that's healthy for you 

  • Avoiding smoking 

  • Limiting the amount of alcohol you drink 

  • Taking care of any medical problems you might have 

How can I handle ED emotionally? 

Erectile dysfunction can be stressful and embarrassing, but it doesn’t have to be. Talking to your partner or a friend can help ease your anxiety about it.   

If erectile dysfunction becomes an ongoing and unrelieved problem — and you’re upset about it — you can speak with one of our mental health counselors for support. 


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