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Erectile Dysfunction: Frequently Asked Questions About Erectile Dysfunction

1. What Is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction, commonly referred to as ED, is the inability to achieve and sustain an erection suitable for sexual intercourse.

2. Is Erectile Dysfunction a Normal Part of Aging?

No. ED doesn't have to be a part of getting older. While it is true that older men may need more stimulation (such as stroking and touching) to achieve an erection, they should still be able to get an erection and enjoy sex.

3. Can Erectile Dysfunction Be Prevented?

By reducing your risk factors for heart disease, such as getting to or maintaining a desirable weight, eating a healthy diet, quitting smoking, drinking less or no alcohol, keeping your cholesterol and blood pressure in check, and getting more physical activity, you will also be reducing your risk factors for ED .

4. How Is Erectile Dysfunction Treated?

There are many different ways ED can be treated, including: oral medications, sex therapy, penile injections, and surgery. Each type of treatment has its own advantages and disadvantages. Talk to your doctor to determine the best treatment for you.

5. How Successful Are Medications Such as Viagra at Treating ED in Diabetics?

Medications such as sildenafil citrate (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn), or avanafil (Stendra) are often successful therapy for erectile dysfunction in men, with a minimum of side effects.

6. Does Insurance Cover ED Treatment?

Insurance coverage of ED depends upon the type of treatment prescribed. If there is a documented medical condition that is shown to be causing ED, insurance will usually cover at least some of it. Sex therapy and medications that have not yet been approved by the FDA, however, are generally not covered. Ask your insurance provider if the treatment you are considering will be covered.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on July 12, 2014
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