Our physicians work with patients to develop effective treatment plans to improve their sexual health


A sexual health issue that affects an estimated 20 million men in America is erectile dysfunction or ED. It is more prevalent with age and up to 50% of men over the age of 50 have some degree of erectile dysfunction with the majority of diagnoses occurring after the age of 65. ED is defined as the inability to achieve and/or sustain an erection for sexual intercourse.

Blue Ridge Urological understands that erectile dysfunction is a sexual health problem that can impact the quality of life for men as well as their partners. ED can cause stress, embarrassment and impact self-confidence. Having problems getting and keeping an erection may be indicative of other health conditions and could be a risk factor for heart disease. Therefore, it is important to talk to your doctor about this problem.



There are many factors and bodily systems involved in male arousals such as the brain, mental health, emotions, nerves, blood vessels, hormones and muscles. If there is a problem with any of these systems, it can impact male arousal and cause or exacerbate erectile dysfunction. Most physical causes of erectile dysfunction range from chronic diseases to lifestyle choices. Mental health plays a role in erectile dysfunction as well.


Most physical causes of erectile dysfunction range from chronic diseases to lifestyle choices and include:

  • Atherosclerosis (blocked blood vessels)
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Heavy smoking and drinking or substance use
  • Certain prescribed medications
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Prostate cancer
  • Vascular disease
  • Low testosterone

The following are some mental health disorders that can have an impact on sexual arousal:

  • Mental Health
  • Depression
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Bipolar
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Social anxiety

It is important to speak to your doctor about any problems you may have with erectile dysfunction to rule out other health conditions. It can be normal to have occasional issues achieving and sustaining an erection and this is not a cause of worry. However, if issues with erectile dysfunction occur close to 50% of the time, you may have a condition that needs treatment.


Erectile dysfunction is usually diagnosed if you have regular or repeated difficulty with:

  • Getting an erection
  • Maintaining an erection during sexual activity
  • Interest in sex/lack of desire

Symptoms that may accompany ED, but are different sexual disorders are:

  • Premature ejaculation
  • Delayed ejaculation
  • Inability to achieve orgasm or anorgasmia


Blue Ridge Urological offers comprehensive testing for sexual health disorders such as erectile dysfunction. Your doctor will evaluate your medical history and ask you a series of questions related to ED and how long you have been experiencing symptoms. A physical examination will be performed to evaluate any physical causes of the disorder and to ensure that you are healthy. Men may experience erectile dysfunction as the result of enlarged prostate; therefore, a prostate exam will help rule out other medical conditions.

Your symptoms, as well as how long you have been experiencing them, will help guide your urologists in choosing the appropriate testing to determine the cause of your erectile dysfunction.


There are many natural treatments for erectile dysfunction ranging from healthy dietary choices to exercises to help strengthen pelvic floor muscles to help combat the symptoms of ED. Your doctor may suggest Kegel exercises which have been shown to help patients with ED. Contracting the pelvic floor muscles regularly helps to strengthen them and increase blood flow to the area. Routine exercises such as swimming, running and yoga have also shown to be beneficial in managing the symptoms of ED. Certain lifestyle habits can play a role in erectile dysfunction such as smoking, excessive alcohol use and certain prescription medications. Your specialist will advise you on modifying or eliminating these habits, if possible, to promote improved sexual health.

If lifestyle modifications and exercises do not help, there are other treatment options that can be pursued. Oral medications can be prescribed to increase the blood flow to the penis improving erection strength and duration. Hormone therapy may be used if blood work indicates that testosterone is low.

Blue Ridge Urological provides compassionate care for men experiencing sexual health disorders such as erectile dysfunction. Our board certified urologists will work with you to tailor an individualized treatment plan to restore your sexual health. We will make sure that you have the resources you need to make the best possible decisions throughout the process. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call Blue Ridge Urological today at (540) 932-5926.