Erectile dysfunction doesn’t have to keep you from becoming a father
Our San Antonio fertility specialist Erika Munch MD sees male infertility patients at Texas Fertility Center (TFC) who have many causes of their infertility. Erectile dysfunction (ED) is just one of these causes. This diagnosis can be distressing for a man, due to the embarrassment and its effect on fertility. However, this condition is treatable and men with ED can overcome male infertility and successfully father children.
What is erectile dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction means that a man is unable to get and keep an erection that is firm enough to have sexual intercourse. Most men occasionally have trouble achieving or maintaining an erection. However, ED only becomes a problem if it is an ongoing issue.
Erectile dysfunction can be embarrassing for many men, and it can lead to stress, low self-confidence and relationship issues. It can also cause male infertility or even be a sign of another underlying health condition. As a result, it’s important to seek treatment for ED. If you’re embarrassed, know that many men have this issue and it will be nothing new to your doctor.
What causes ED?
Sexual arousal in men involves a number of factors, including the brain, blood vessels, hormones, muscles and nerves. Emotions and stress can also influence the level of arousal. As a result, erectile dysfunction can have physical and psychological causes.
The physical causes of this condition include:
- Low testosterone
- The natural aging process
- Being overweight or obese
- Health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, metabolic syndrome, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease
- Tobacco or marijuana use, substance abuse or excessive alcohol consumption
- Past injuries or surgeries affecting the pelvic region or spinal cord
The psychological causes of this condition include:
- Mental health issues like anxiety and depression
- Relationship problems
- Uncontrolled stress
Before you can receive treatment for this condition, you’ll need to have a doctor diagnose it. Most of the time, a doctor can make a diagnosis with just a medical history and a physical exam of the penis and testicles. If your doctor suspects that you have an underlying condition, he or she may also order bloodwork, a urine test or an ultrasound to get more information.
What is the treatment for ED?
Your treatment options depend on the cause and severity of erectile dysfunction. Some of the most common options are oral medications, testosterone replacement, treatment for an underlying condition and psychological counseling. Studies have also found that regular exercise can help with ED.
If treatment improves your ability to achieve and maintain an erection, you have a better chance of helping your partner conceive with sexual intercourse. However, some patients still need fertility treatments to have a baby. This is either because the ED treatment was ineffective or there is another cause of infertility. Regardless of the reason, our San Antonio fertility specialist offers male infertility treatments to help. These treatments include:
- Intrauterine insemination (IUI)
- In vitro fertilization (IVF)
- Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)
Dr. Munch will work with you to help determine which treatment is right for you. If you’re ready to get started on the path to fatherhood, contact us to schedule an appointment with our San Antonio fertility specialist.