Find out what you need to know about erectile dysfunction and infertility
The combination of erectile dysfunction and infertility brings many patients to Nashville Fertility Center (NFC). Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to reach or maintain an erection, which makes penetration during sexual intercourse difficult. Because many issues can cause this problem, our Tennessee fertility clinic often works with other providers to diagnose and treat infertility caused by ED. With our support, many men bypass this barrier and go on to become fathers.
What are the causes of erectile dysfunction?
When supporting men with erectile dysfunction and infertility, the experts at our Tennessee fertility clinic first explain the complex process of achieving an erection.
- To have and maintain an erection, the penis must fill with blood.
- Nerve signals stimulate this process, telling the blood vessels in the penis to expand so that blood can move in.
- The contraction of other blood vessels then traps blood in the penis.
However, many factors can hinder the process of having an erection.
- A venous leak occurs when blood vessels are unable to hold enough blood in the penis. With this condition, the man is either unable to obtain an erection or he can only have one that lasts for a very short period of time. This can be a result of injury or illness.
- Neurovascular function can cause erectile dysfunction. This issue causes the nerve signals not to prompt the blood vessels in the penis to fill with blood. It can occur due to nerve dysfunction, medications and some medical conditions like diabetes, hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis) and spinal cord injury.
- Psychological factors, such as untreated stress, depression and anxiety, can also cause erectile dysfunction.
Our fertility doctors will work with each patient to discover what’s causing the erectile dysfunction.
How do doctors diagnose and treat erectile dysfunction and infertility?
Diagnosing erectile dysfunction often requires a careful evaluation of a man’s medical history, a physical exam and bloodwork. A doctor will then review the test results to determine why the man is experiencing erectile dysfunction.
From there, the doctor will explore potential treatments with the patient and his partner. These treatments can range from lifestyle changes to medications.
- Weight loss
- Healthy eating and regular exercise
- Smoking cessation
- Reduced alcohol consumption
- Mental health support
- Medications that increase blood flow to the penis
- Penile prosthetics
The compassionate team at our Tennessee fertility clinic is here to help hopeful fathers overcome this barrier to fatherhood. With our support, you can take the next step toward fulfilling your dream of taking home a healthy baby. Contact us for information about our fertility services.