WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Impotence is a repeated problem with getting or keeping an erection of the penis. Impotence is also called erectile dysfunction, or ED. An erection is when the penis gets hard, stiff, and raised so that sexual intercourse (sex) is possible. Impotence is most often caused by physical problems, but emotional problems may also cause it or make it worse. Impotence is a very common problem. It may be a long-term problem, or only occur once in a while. Impotence may be helped by controlling other medical conditions, taking certain medicines, or having surgery. Counseling (talk therapy) and using special devices may also be treatment options.
- Keep a written list of the medicines you take, the dose, and when and why you take them. Bring the list of your medicines or the pill bottles when you see your caregivers. Learn why you take each medicine. Do not take any medicines, over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, herbs, or food supplements without first talking to caregivers.
- Always take your medicine as directed by caregivers. Call your caregiver if you think your medicines are not helping, or if you feel you are having side effects. Do not quit taking your medicines until you discuss it with your caregiver.
- Some drugs and nutritional supplements used to treat sexual problems may be dangerous when used with nitrate-containing medicines. Medicines that have nitrate may include certain heart medicines (such as nitroglycerin, or "nitro") and blood pressure medicines. Even some street drugs may contain nitrate. Before taking medicines to treat impotence, ask your caregiver if any of your other medicines contain nitrate. Never allow anyone else to take your medications.
Follow-up visit information:
Keep all appointments. Write down questions you have about impotence and how it is treated. This way you will remember to ask these questions during your next visit.
How can I decrease my chances of having impotence problems?
Living a more healthy lifestyle may decrease your chances of having impotence in the future.
- Control risk factors. High blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes, and being overweight increases your risk of hardening of the arteries. Ask caregivers for help controlling these conditions. You may be told to eat foods that are low in fat or cholesterol.
- Do not smoke or drink alcohol. Smoking causes blood vessel damage that may lead to impotence and other health problems. Drinking alcohol can cause you to have problems getting or keeping an erection. Drinking alcohol while taking certain medicines use to treat ED can cause your blood pressure to go too low.
- Reduce stress. Since it is hard to avoid stress, learn to control it. Learn new ways to relax, such as deep breathing, meditation, relaxing muscles, music, or biofeedback. Talk to someone about things that upset you.
For more information:
- American Urological Association
1000 Corporate Boulevard
Linthicum , MD 21090
Phone: 1- 410 - 689-3700
Phone: 1- 866 - 746-4282
Web Address: http://www.auanet.org
CONTACT A CAREGIVER IF:
- You have questions or concerns about impotence or your medicine and treatments.
- You cannot see or hear as well, or at all, after using medicine to treat ED. You may also have ringing in your ears or dizziness.
SEEK CARE IMMEDIATELY IF:
- You have chest pain at any time, especially after taking a medicine to treat ED, or during or after having sex.
- You have chest pain, dizziness, or nausea during sex.
- You have a painful erection.
- After using medicine to treat ED, your erection does not go away after four hours.
- You pass urine that is a pink or red color.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.