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Management of Erectile Dysfunction - Article
ABSTRACT: Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the most common sexual problem in men. The incidence increases with age and affects up to one third of men throughout their lives. It causes a substantial negative impact on intimate relationships, quality of life, and self-esteem. History and physical examination are sufficient to make a diagnosis of ED in most cases, because there is no preferred, first-line diagnostic test. Initial diagnostic workup should usually be limited to a fasting serum glucose level and lipid panel, thyroid-stimulating hormone test, and morning total testosterone level. First-line therapy for ED consists of lifestyle changes, modifying drug therapy that may cause ED, and pharmacotherapy with phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors. Obesity, sedentary lifestyle, and smoking greatly increase the risk of ED. Phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors are the most effective oral drugs for treatment of ED, including ED associated with diabetes mellitus, spinal cord injury, and antidepressants. Intraurethral and intracavernosal alprostadil, vacuum pump devices, and surgically implanted penile prostheses are alternative therapeutic options when phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors fail. Testosterone supplementation in men with hypogonadism improves ED and libido, but requires interval monitoring of hemoglobin, serum transaminase, and prostate-specific antigen levels because of an increased risk of prostate adenocarcinoma. Cognitive behavior therapy and therapy aimed at improving relationships may help to improve ED. Screening for cardiovascular risk factors should be considered in men with ED, because symptoms of ED present on average three years earlier than symptoms of coronary artery disease. Men with ED are at increased risk of coronary, cerebrovascular, and peripheral vascular diseases.