What is erectile dysfunction?

People of all gender identities and sexual orientations can experience erectile dysfunction, which is the inability to maintain and sustain an erection. This may impede your ability to engage in the types of intimacy you (and/or your partner or partners) may wish to; it can also impact your ability to contribute to a successful pregnancy process.

What causes erectile dysfunction?

As with many aspects of our reproductive system, there are several factors that can cause erectile dysfunction. The most common cause is age, but here are some other possible causes:

  • Gender dysphoria

  • Hormone Replacement Therapy

  • Other hormone-based treatments

  • High blood pressure

  • Diabetes

  • Heart and vascular disease

  • Stress

  • Pelvic surgery

  • Injury and trauma

  • Side effects of medications (for example, Prozac and other SSRIs, Propecia, Estradiol)

What can you do for erectile dysfunction?

There are several different classes of drugs that are frequently used to treat impotence. The most common are a group of drugs called phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors (PDE5).

You’ll find them under the names of Viagra and Levitra. While PDE5 drugs will work for most people, individuals whose impotence is caused by neurological damage may find them ineffective.

Another drug called Alprostadil may also be prescribed to increase blood flow to the penis and cause an erection. The drug is taken either as a suppository or an injection.

If your impotence continues to be a factor in contributing to a pregnancy, Main Line Fertility can assist with helping to find other treatments that suit your specific situation.