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Erectile Dysfunction: Glossary of Terms

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Testosterone: The male hormone that is essential for sperm production and the development of male characteristics, including muscle mass and strength, fat distribution, bone mass, sex drive, and facial hair.

Testosterone replacement therapy: Treatment in which the blood testosterone level is returned to the normal range based on the man's age. This is done by administering testosterone either by implantation under the skin, skin gels, skin patches or by injection. Testosterone is not given orally to men.

Transurethral therapy: Treatment for erectile dysfunction performed through or by way of the urethra.

Tranquilizer: A medication that relieves anxiety.

Tunica albuginea: The thick, tough, flexible membrane surrounding the corpora cavernosa and testicles.

Ultrasound: A test in which a special device takes a "picture" of the body's tissues using high-frequency sound waves.

Urethra: The tube that carries urine from the bladder to outside of the body.

Urinalysis: An analysis of the urine.

Urologist: A doctor who is specially trained to treat problems of the male and female urinary system, and the male sex organs.

Vacuum constriction device: A device in which pumped air out of a cylinder creates a vacuum, drawing blood into the shaft of the penis and causing it to swell and become erect.

Vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn): A medication used to treat erectile dysfunction that works by increasing the flow of blood into the penis.

Vas deferens: The long, muscular tube that travels from the epididymis into the pelvic cavity, to just behind the urinary bladder ending in the seminal vesicles, which in turn empty into the urethra through the prostate. The vas deferens transports mature sperm to the urethra in preparation for ejaculation. This is what is cut when a man has a vasectomy as a birth control method.

Vascular disease: A disease of the blood vessels.

Vascular reconstructive surgery: Surgery performed in an attempt to improve the flow of blood.

Vasoactive injection: A test in which an erection is produced by injecting special solutions that cause the blood vessels to dilate.

Venous leak: When the veins in the penis cannot prevent blood from leaving the penis during erection, preventing the erection from being maintained.

Venous ligation: A procedure in which veins are obstructed (tied or clipped) or removed, enabling an adequate amount of blood to enter the penis for erection.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Kimball Johnson, MD on August 13, 2012

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