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Erectile Dysfunction: Glossary of Terms

Alprostadil: A type of drug called a vasodilator. These drugs can increase blood flow by expanding blood vessels.

Antiarrhythmics: Medications used to treat abnormal rhythms of the heart.

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Antibiotics: Any of a class of medicines that kill infection-causing bacteria.

Antidepressants: Medications used to treat depression and other related conditions.

Antihistamines: Medications used to treat allergic reactions or allergies.

Antihypertensives: Medications used to treat high blood pressure.

Anti-inflammatory drugs: Drugs that reduce inflammation (swelling) by modifying the body's immune response.

Anxiety: A feeling of apprehension, often characterized by feelings of stress.

Arteriography: A test given to patients who are candidates for vascular reconstructive surgery. A dye is injected into the artery believed to be damaged so that the artery can be viewed by X-ray.

Atherosclerosis: Also called hardening of the arteries, it is a process in which the walls of the arteries become thickened and hardened, usually due to a buildup of fat deposits.

Avanafil (Stendra): A medication used to treat erectile dysfunction that works by increasing the flow of blood into the penis.

Bladder: The sac that holds urine.

Bloody ejaculation: See Hematospermia.

Cancer: A disease that occurs when abnormal cells in a part of the body divide and grow uncontrolled.

Cavernosography: A test used in conjunction with the dynamic infusion cavernosometry (see below) that involves a dye being injected into the penis. The penis is then X-rayed and doctors are able to visualize a venous leak (see below).

Chemotherapy: In cancer treatment, chemotherapy refers to the use of drugs whose main effect is either to kill or slow the growth of rapidly multiplying cells. Chemotherapy usually includes a combination of drugs.

Cialis: A medication used to treat erectile dysfunction that works by increasing the flow of blood into the penis.

Clinical trial: An organized research program conducted with patients to evaluate a new medical treatment, drug or device.

Complete blood count (CBC): A group of blood tests including hemoglobin concentration, red blood cell count and white blood cell count.

Corpora cavernosa: Two chambers in the penis that run the length of the organ and are filled with spongy tissue. These chambers fill with blood to cause an erection.

Delayed ejaculation: A delayed ability to ejaculate either during intercourse or with manual stimulation.

Depression: A disorder characterized by feelings of extreme sadness, guilt, helplessness and hopelessness, and thoughts of death.

Diagnosis: The process by which a doctor determines what disease a patient has by studying the patient's symptoms and medical history, and analyzing any tests performed (blood tests, urine tests, brain scans, etc.)

Diuretic: Drugs that promote the formation of urine by the kidney.

Duplex ultrasound of the penis: A penile test performed by bouncing sound waves off tissue to determine penile blood flow.

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