Erectile Dysfunction- try physical therapy first!
Erectile dysfunction is defined as the inability to get or maintain an erection that is firm enough for satisfying sexual activity. It can also refer to the inability to get or maintain an erection that is as rigid as it used to be (1). Erectile dysfunction is more common in older age groups, but can be diagnosed at any age. In younger individuals this can be a sign of a serious underlying condition including Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) and prostate cancer. Erectile Dysfunction is also a common side effect after prostatectomy.
How does physical therapy help?
If you tuned into our part one blog post, about prostatectomy and the pelvic floor, I mentioned that the prostate is an important structure that adds rigidity to the pelvic system. The removal of part or all of the prostate increases the risk of both erectile dysfunction and urine leakage due to the loss of this support structure. Some other common changes after prostatectomy include minimal or no ejaculate (because the prostate and seminal vesicles, which produce semen and ejaculatory fluid have been removed or damaged by radiation or chemo). This also means that fertility will be affected and you will no longer be able to conceive children naturally (2).
For anyone suffering from erectile dysfunction, whether after a prostatectomy or not, the research supports trying physical therapy first. A couple of benefits of physical therapy:
If you or someone you love is experiencing ED (related to a surgical procedure or not) give us a call today; our expertly trained, passionate physical therapists are available to answer your questions about your specific problem and to see if physical therapy is the right treatment for you. Or click the link below to request a free, no commitment 20 minute consultation to meet with Kristen, our male pelvic floor specialist.