Erectile Dysfunction, sometimes referred to as ED, is a common type of male sexual dysfunction. The term ED describes difficulty attaining or sustaining an erection. This condition can happen to any man from time to time. It becomes more common as a man gets older. However, it's not a natural part of aging. It is estimated that between 15 to 30 million American men experience ED, although not all men are equally affected by the condition.

Erectile Dysfunction can result from medical, physical or psychological factors. ED risk factors include:

  • Age over 50
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Smoking
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Depression

Men who experience repeated Erectile Dysfunction should speak to a physician. Some men may have difficulty speaking with a doctor about sexual activities. Ohio State urologists offer private discussions and care in comfortable surroundings.

Symptoms include the repeated inability to attain or sustain an erection. ED sometimes results in a lack of interest in sexual activity, also known as low libido.


To diagnose this disorder, your Ohio State urologist will ask you questions about your medical and sexual history and conduct a physical examination. Based upon your individual condition, additional tests may be considered, such as blood tests, neurological testing or a psychological evaluation.


After a diagnosis has been made, you and your Ohio State urologist can determine a personalized treatment plan.

Lifestyle Changes – Quitting smoking, better nutrition and controlling blood pressure and cholesterol through diet, exercise and medication are behavior changes that can increase overall health and lessen risk factors for ED.

Medications – Several medications are available to support erection. Most work by relaxing blood vessels for increased blood flow. Your Ohio State urologist will work with you to select the medication that provides you with the best results.

Surgery/Other Options – Additional treatments include:

  • A surgically implanted penile prosthesis to support erection
  • Use of a vacuum erection device to pull blood into the penis
  • Penile injection therapy to deliver drugs that expand blood vessels and increase blood flow
  • Revascularization or ligation to correct blood flow to the penis
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