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Erectile Dysfunction
(UR004)

Introduction


Erectile dysfunction (ED) is defined as the persistent inability to attain or maintain penile erection sufficiently for sexual intercourse. ED is characterized by the inability to attain and maintain an erection sufficiently to achieve penetration and to complete sexual intercourse. The severity of ED is often described as mild, moderate, or complete, although these terms have not been precisely defined.

Adequate function of four organ systems must be present for a man to experience a normal erection. There are the vascular, neurologic, psychologic and endocrine systems.

An estimated 10-30 million American men have some degree of erectile dysfunction. Although the incidence of ED increases steadily with age, it is not an inevitable consequence of aging.

The extent of evaluation and treatment is dependent on the man's goals for sexual function and personal preferences. Medications and nonsurgical treatments include endocrine therapy intracavernous self-injections of vasoactive drugs, vacuum therapy, intraurethral therapy topical treatments and oral therapy. Surgical options are also available.

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