​Erectile Dysfunction​​


Erectile dysfunction is the inability in men to obtain or maintain adequate erection for successful intercourse.

The causes of erectile dysfunction include neurological disorders, vascular diseases involving obstruction of blood vessels especially in the penile region, hormonal disorders, trauma and psychological states such as increased mental stress.

Heavy usage of caffeine, obesity, diabetes, pelvic surgery and some high blood pressure medications may increase your risk of having erectile dysfunction. Its prevalence increases with age.

Erectile dysfunction is most evident when you persistently face difficulties in having and maintaining an erection, with or without reduced desire for sex.​

If you experience any of the symptoms above, you should see your doctor or consult the urologists from the K​idney and Bladder​ service line at Aga Khan University Hospital. The symptoms for erectile dysfunction may herald a more serious underlying disorder. Hence, an accurate diagnosis is important for an effective treatment. ​

 Your time with your doctor maybe limited, so make sure to prepare for your visit beforehand. Here​ are some tips to help get you started. ​

The doctor may begin by assessing your medical history, performing a physical exam and running blood and urine tests. These help rule out factors such as diabetes, low testosterone, heart diseases and high cholesterol as the source of the symptoms.

A more detailed diagnosis workup might follow in the form of imaging such as Penile Doppler Ultrasound in certain cases. These tests help determine the form of blood vessels leading to the penile region as well as the flow of blood in these arteries. It should be noted that sometimes, these tests will involve injecting substances in your penis to produce an erection and observe the blood vessels in this condition.

Erection tests might also be performed to determine if the dysfunction is due to physical or psychological reasons.

Lastly, since the disease has a strong psychological connection, you might be asked to visit a psychiatrist for determining stress and depression related issues behind the disease.

Lifestyle changes help most of the patients with erectile dysfunction. Balanced diet, daily exercise and weight reduction are helpful in improving this condition.

Medications aiming to relax arteries along with lifestyle changes provide a sufficient enough treatment. These medicines help release chemicals which increase blood flow in penis. They essentially act to artificially amplify sexual stimulation thus easing the way for an erection. Use of these medications without expert consultation might lead to certain side effects including, headaches, upset stomach, nasal congestion and heart complications. You should particularly avoid the use of these medications if you are experiencing severe blood pressure fluctuations or suffering from a liver disease. Inform your doctor if you have a heart condition and using any medications. He will decide whether use of these medications is safe for you.

If these medications are not sufficient, other options might be advised. These include injections, physical therapy, testosterone replacement, implants and surgery.

The use of injections involves self-injecting medication into the side of your penis. Use of these self-injecting medicines is easily learned by patient or partner once demonstrated in clinic. The result is an artificial erection that lasts for around an hour.
Another delivery method involves placing an erection-inducing drug into a drug delivery device (suppository) which is then inserted into the urethra where it dissolves into the blood stream. This treatment also results in an hour-long erection.

Prolonged and painful erection is an occasional side effect of such medications. Prolonged and painful erection is an emergency that needs immediate medical attention .You will be observed in clinic or day care after teaching you use of these injections for the first time to confirm the required dose and to observe for spontaneous resolution of erection.
Testosterone replacement is usually needed in men suffering from low levels of hormonal testosterone. As the name suggests, this therapy involves the replacement of testosterone via methods including injection, patch, gel and gum.
Penile implants consist of surgically implanting inflatable rods on either side of the penis. When an erection is required, the rods can be inflated and kept so for as long as needed. These rods are made so that they are both flexible and robust, thus properly simulating the solidity and flexibility of the erected penis.
In case the dysfunction is due to obstructed blood-vessels, a surgery might be required.

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers various support services to help with managing or recovering from the disease or condition. These include but are not limited to nutrition, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, specialized clinics and some patient support groups. Your doctor or nurse will advise you accordingly.

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers financial assistance to those who are in need and fulfil the eligibility criteria. For further information, you can contact the Patient Welfare Department. You can find the contact number of the Patient Welfare Department in the 'Important Numbers' section on the website homepage.

The financial counselling staff is available during office hours, at the main PBSD (Patient Business Services Department), to answer your financial queries on treatments' costs and authorize admissions on partial deposit as per hospital policies allow. The financial counsellor in the emergency room is open 24/7. You can find the contact number of the Patient Business Services in the 'Important Numbers' section on the website homepage.

Your doctor and or nurse will give you specific instructions about the prescribed medication. Please ensure that you take or use the prescribed medicine as advised. It can be dangerous to your health if you self-prescribe. Please inform the doctor or nurse beforehand if you have experienced any adverse reactions to any medications in the past. If you experience any symptoms of drug poisoning, overdose or severe reaction please contact the Pharmacy Service at The Aga Khan University Hospital immediately. You can find the contact number of the Pharmacy Services in the 'Important Numbers' section on the website homepage.



​​The information provided on our website is for educational purposes and not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or other healthcare professional provider.