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Stem Cell Therapy May Be an Alternative Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction

Stem Cell Therapy May Be an Alternative Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction can be extremely embarrassing for men and their partners. It can lead to relationship and self-esteem issues. There are medications on the market to counteract this problem, but not all of them work for the reasons behind erectile dysfunction. When damaged nerves and blood vessels cause erectile dysfunction, stem cells can replace and regenerate new and healthy tissue to treat the underlying cause.


What is Erectile Dysfunction?


Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to get or keep an erection firm enough to have sexual intercourse. It’s also sometimes referred to as impotence. Occasional ED isn’t uncommon. Many men experience it during times of stress. Frequent ED can be a sign of health problems that need treatment. It can also be a sign of emotional or relationship difficulties that may need to be addressed by a professional. There are many possible causes for ED, and they can include both emotional and physical disorders. An erection is the result of increased blood flow into your penis. Blood flow is usually stimulated by either sexual thoughts or direct contact with your penis. When a man becomes sexually excited, muscles in their penis relax. This relaxation allows for increased blood flow through the penile arteries. This blood fills two chambers inside the penis called the corpora cavernosa. As the chambers fill with blood, the penis grows rigid. Erection ends when the muscles contract and the accumulated blood can flow out through the penile veins. ED can occur because of problems at any stage of the erection process. For example, the penile arteries may be too damaged to open properly and allow blood in.


Although the risk of ED increases with age, ED is not a natural component of older age. It may be more difficult to get an erection as you age, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you will develop ED. In general, the healthier you are, the better your sexual function. ED can also occur among younger men. Researchers have found a stronger correlation between smoking and illicit drug use and ED in men under 40 than among older men. That suggests that lifestyle choices may be a primary contributing factor for ED in younger men. Your doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms and health history. They may do tests to determine if an underlying condition causes your symptoms. You should expect a physical exam where your doctor will listen to your heart and lungs, check your blood pressure, and examine your testicles and penis. They may also recommend a rectal exam to check your prostate. Additionally, you may need blood or urine tests to rule out other conditions.


How Can Stem Cell Therapy Treat Erectile Dysfunction?


Men with diabetes some times experience erectile dysfunction due to nerve death in the penile area. Stem cells are being studied as a treatment method for erectile dysfunction, specifically in men who have diabetes. These studies have shown promising results in restoring function to damaged nerves and allowing longer erections. The delivery method and type of stem cells are still being perfected, but the initial studies are encouraging.

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