Most men want to have an active sexual life. Unfortunately, as men age, erectile dysfunction (ED) can become a common occurrence.

When men have difficulty achieving an erection, they can become anxious about their sexual performance and may avoid sexual activity. Often times, they just aren’t aware of treatment options available. I tell my patients that they will be able to achieve an erection with treatment that may include oral medications like Viagra, Levitra, Stendra, Cialis, and Staxyn, or Trimix, another medication that is injected into the erectile bodies of the penis. Other treatment options include a vacuum erection device and an inflatable penile prosthesis.

The penile prosthesis has been available for 40 years and patient and partner satisfaction is over 95%. The prosthesis is inserted through a small incision in the scrotum. The procedure is done in the operating room at the hospital and typically takes less than one hour. Fortunately, it is covered by most insurance companies, including Medicare.

Although erectile dysfunction suggests a total inability to achieve an erection, it also includes issues with achieving or maintaining a firm erection, or the tendency to only have brief erections. While erectile dysfunction and decreased libido are more common with age, they are treatable conditions and not something older men should just accept.

Testosterone deficiency can often be a contributing factor to ED. Hypogonadism, or “Low T” as it is called, is a syndrome associated with low testosterone levels that are measured as part of a blood test and is more common in men as they age. If a man has low testosterone, and sexual, psychological and physical symptoms, he may have “Low T.” Sexual side effects include low libido, erectile dysfunction, difficulty achieving an orgasm, and decreased spontaneous erections. Non-sexual/psychological symptoms include diminished energy, fatigue, depressed mood, impaired cognition, and reduced motivation. Physical signs include osteoporosis, decreased muscle mass, increased body fat, anemia, and insulin resistance.

There are several ways to provide testosterone supplementation, including gels, shots, and an implant. The Testopel implant is placed by a simple office procedure through a 4mm incision in the hip area. It provides for 3-4 months of steady testosterone replacement.

Many men suffer from sexual health problems and can benefit from treatment. Don’t wait to seek treatment – especially when symptoms are involved. There are solutions to these problems and a discussion with your urologist can determine the best treatment option for you.

Dr. Walsh is a specialist in urology, treating a variety of conditions ranging from cancer of the genitourinary tract (kidney, prostate, bladder) to benign conditions including kidney stone, BPH, incontinence, bladder prolapse, and hematuria. He specializes in minimally invasive and robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery using the latest techniques to help his patients. For more information call (760) 346.7191 or visit

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