Overview

Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED), also known as impotence, is a common condition affecting an estimated 20 to 30 million men in the United States and over 150 million men worldwide. ED is defined as a man's inability to achieve and maintain an erection that is sufficient for satisfactory sexual intercourse. The ability to have an erection requires the normal, integrative functions of the nerves, blood vessels, muscles and brain.

ED may result from a variety of factors or a combination of factors. These may include psychological, neurological, hormonal and vascular disorders. Certain drugs and chronic diseases, as well as the natural aging process, also may contribute to ED. For more information, please see Erectile Dysfunction Causes.

Our Approach to Erectile Dysfunction

UCSF is a national leader in treating urological disorders, including male sexual dysfunction, urinary incontinence, pelvic pain, urinary stone disease, male infertility and prostate disease. We offer the latest therapeutic techniques, and our team is committed to providing innovative, highly skilled care with compassion.

Treatment for ED depends on its cause, as well as on the patient's age, health and preferences. In some cases, lifestyle changes such as losing weight and exercising regularly will improve symptoms. Counseling may help patients whose ED has resulted from anxiety or depression. And we often recommend that patients take an oral medication, such as Viagra, Levitra or Cialis.

Depending on how well patients respond to their initial plan, we may try other approaches. Patients with blood vessel blockage or leakage may require microvascular surgery. For patients who don’t respond to any of these treatments, penile prosthesis is an excellent alternative.

Awards & recognition

  • usnews-neurology

    Best hospital in Northern California

  • usnews-urology

    Best in the West for urology

  • n4-2x

    Ranked No. 3 in the nation for urology

  • n1-2x

    in NIH funding for urology research

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.

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