Erectile Dysfunction Treatment In Auckland & NZ
Erection Problems – Erectile Dysfunction NZ
Difficulties down under? It’s estimated that 1 in 3 Kiwi blokes above the age of 40 have problems getting and keeping an erection.1 Whether from stress, older age, cancer treatment or some other reason, Erectile Dysfunction can often cause an enormous amount of stress and anxiety.
At the Cooper Clinic, we offer a discreet and professional Erectile Dysfunction clinic run by experienced clinicians. We provide comprehensive assessment, offering medical and non-medical therapies that cater to your circumstances.
Discreet & Professional Service
Follow Up Consultation
Call us on 0800 884 408 or request for a callback here. Our nurses will then ask you a few questions relating to your condition and will then book you in with the appropriate clinician. We may request a deposit or insurance preapproval prior to your appointment.
On the day of your appointment, please arrive 10 minutes early to check in and fill in a relevant questionnaire. You will then be seen by our friendly and experienced clinicians. Our venues have ample car parking facilities and comfortable, modern consulting rooms.
You may be requested to do additional blood tests or investigations as ordered by the clinician, in conjunction with a treatment plan agreed between yourself and the clinician. Payment is expected on the day of the appointment.
What causes an erection?
An erection happens when the muscles in your penis relax and more blood is allowed to flow. This causes the sponge-like tissue around your penis to harden. This process is normally triggered by sexual thoughts or direct contact with your penis. Hormones and other substances also affect how sexual signals are sent through your body, and how the blood vessels in your penis respond to these signals.
What are the signs of Erectile Dysfunction?
The main sign of Erectile Dysfunction is being unable to get or keep an erection that’s firm enough for sexual intercourse – even though there’s sexual stimulation or arousal.
What causes Erectile Dysfunction?
There are many possible causes of Erectile Dysfunction, including physical and emotional factors:
- Alcohol, smoking and recreational drugs: While alcohol makes you feel less inhibited, it also reduces sexual performance and delays orgasm and ejaculation. The chemicals in cigarettes can disrupt blood flow to your penis by damaging blood vessels and affecting the smooth muscle that relaxes during an erection. Recreational drugs can also affect sexual function.
- Physical illness: Because good blood flow helps you to get and keep an erection, health conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, cigarette smoking, obesity, heart disease can all contribute to ED.
- Psychological factors: Problems at work, relationship issues or financial struggles can all affect your sex drive and performance. Some mental health conditions like depression or anxiety can also lead to ED.
- Medications: Some medications used to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, depression, other psychological disorders and prostate disease may cause or worsen Erectile Dysfunction as one of their side effects.
ED could be caused by one or more of these factors – so it’s important to see a clinician to rule out factors and treat your ED appropriately.
When should I see a doctor about Erectile Dysfunction?
Don’t be anxious about occasionally failing to get or keep an erection – this is normal and could be due to stress, a big night out or tiredness. However, if you’re experiencing ED frequently, it could be a sign of other health problems.
We understand that talking about ED can be embarrassing – but the sooner you get it checked out, the sooner we can help address any underlying issues such as heart disease or stress (and treat your ED too!)
How is Erectile Dysfunction diagnosed?
Erectile Dysfunction is usually diagnosed based on a medical and sexual history. This helps your clinician:
- understand how ED has impacted you and your partner;
- work out any psychological factors behind it;
- rule out any medical factors that may also need treatment, and;
- assess whether you and your partner experience other sexual problems associated with ED (e.g. low sexual desire)
Tests can help to check whether blood flow to your penis is disrupted. Blood tests can reveal whether hormone imbalances (e.g. low testosterone) are causing ED.
What’s the difference between Erectile Dysfunction and impotence?
Impotence is an older term used to describe Erectile Dysfunction. Although the terms are used interchangeably, impotence is sometimes used to describe more broad problems with sex and reproduction, sexual desire and issues with orgasm and ejaculation. ED describes specifically the symptom of being unable to get or keep an erection.
What are the different kinds of treatments for Erectile Dysfunction?
For the vast majority of men, Erectile Dysfunction is very treatable. Depending on the underlying causes, there are several ways to restore erectile function, ranging from lifestyle changes to medications to surgery. Your clinician can advise you on the benefits and drawbacks of each.
Losing weight, increasing physical activity, quitting smoking, sleeping well and reducing alcohol can all help to improve healthy blood flow and make it easier for you to get and keep and erection.
Psychotherapy and counselling
Talking through your feelings and concerns in a safe environment can be helpful in discovering any underlying reasons for ED. See your clinician if this might be a helpful referral for you. For those who have experienced sexual abuse, there is also free counselling available through ACC.
Medication – PDE5 Inhibitors
Oral tablets such as sildenafil (Viagra, Silvasta, Vedafil), tadalafil (Cialis) and vardenafil (Levitra) work by relaxing the blood vessels in your penis only when you are stimulated or aroused, which usually enables you to have an erection. These tablets work well for most men with ED, allowing sexual intercourse in about 7 out of 10 men. However, they may not be safe if you’ve had a stroke, unstable angina, a previous heart attack or uncontrolled blood pressure. Your clinician can help choose the right tablet for you.
Be sceptical about emails or messages offering these tablets online, without a prescription – you may end up with ineffective or tampered with versions that may cause dangerous side effects.
Vacuum penile pumps are placed over the penis to help draw blood flow and mimic a normal erection. Rubber rings are placed around the base of the penis to help make it firm enough for intercourse. These devices can help restore erectile function, but should be properly fitted and explained before use in order to reduce the risk of side effects like pain, numbness, coldness and difficulties ejaculating.
Some medications such as Caverject increase blood flow when injected directly into the base of your penis. This allows most men to get an erection within 5–10 minutes that may last beyond ejaculation. Your clinician will need to teach you how to use penile injections properly. While penile injections are simple and convenient to use, a possible side effect is priapism, where the erection lasts for several hours and may cause permanent damage if not addressed.
If your Erectile Dysfunction is a result of low testosterone, your clinician may prescribe testosterone replacement therapy.
For Erectile Dysfunction that isn’t adequately resolved by lifestyle changes and less invasive treatments, surgery may be an option. Surgical treatments for ED include:
- Penile prosthetic implant – this is a device surgically implanted into the penis that allows you to have an erection. An implant can provide erectile function when other treatments are not effective. Two types of implants are available in New Zealand: inflatable (allows an erection by squeezing a pump) and semi-rigid (containing rods that you bend or straighten).
- Vascular surgery – this is where surgery in the blood vessels around the penis may help men who have had vascular damage in that area (e.g. after a car accident or fall).
Are there effective over-the-counter treatments available?
A number of herbal products and dietary supplements claim to improve sexual function, such as horny goat weed, ginkgo biloba extract, yohimbe bark and ginseng. Most of them have not been clinically tested specifically for Erectile Dysfunction.
As some Erectile Dysfunction is caused by anxiety and general health, herbal products that promote better health and wellness could indirectly help with sexual function. It’s important to see a doctor or pharmacist before trying out an alternative treatment for Erectile Dysfunction, as certain supplements can cause side effects or interact with your other medications.
Can I prevent Erectile Dysfunction?
There are a number of other ways you can help maintain erectile function or reverse ED, such as:
- Cutting down on alcohol
- Stopping smoking
- Reducing stress in your life
- Eating healthy foods: Since ED is affected by poor blood flow, maintaining your blood vessel health can help to prevent and treat ED. Eat mainly wholegrains, vegetables and fruits; limit how much red meat, full-fat dairy and processed sugars you eat.
- Pelvic floor muscle training (Kegel exercises): You can do this by contracting the muscles you use to stop peeing midstream for 3 seconds, 10–20 times in a row, three times a day. A 2019 study found that regular Kegel exercises were effective in treating both ED and premature ejaculation.2
Remember too that as your body ages, the time and stimulation it takes to get an erection changes. It’s up to you and your partner to consider how adequate your erection is, and how important it is to a fulfilling and intimate relationship.
Request an Appointment
To book an appointment with us please get in touch with our team.
- Quilter M, Hodges L, von Hurst P, et al. Male Sexual Function in New Zealand: A Population-Based Cross-Sectional Survey of the Prevalence of Erectile Dysfunction in Men Aged 40-70 Years. J Sex Med 2017; 14: 928–36.
- Myers C, Smith M. Pelvic floor muscle training improves erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation: a systematic review. Physiotherapy 2019; 105: 235–43.
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