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Adv Psychosom Med. 2008;29:33-49. doi: 10.1159/000126623.

Erectile dysfunction.

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Porterbrook Clinic, Nether Edge Hospital, Sheffield, UK.


Erectile dysfunction is a common problem affecting sexual function in men. Approximately one in 10 men over the age of 40 is affected by this condition and the incidence is age related. Erectile dysfunction is a sentinel marker for several reversible conditions including peripheral and coronary vascular disease, hypertension and diabetes mellitus. Endothelial dysfunction is a common factor between the disease states. Concurrent conditions such as depression, late-onset hypogonadism, Peyronie's disease and lower urinary tract symptoms may significantly worsen erectile function, other sexual and relationship issues and penis dysmorphophobia. A focused physical examination and baseline laboratory investigations are mandatory. Management consists of initiating modifiable lifestyle changes, psychological and psychosexual/couples interventions and pharmacological and other interventions. In combination and with treatment of concurrent comorbid states, these interventions will often bring about successful resolution of symptoms and avoid the need for surgical interventions.

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