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Erectile dysfunction is defined by the National Institute of Health as the “inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance”.
It may affect 10% of healthy men and an increasing number of men with co-morbidities such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.
Trigger points and subsequent weakness in the pelvic floor muscles can play a role in the venogenic form of erectile problems. The bulbocavernosus muscle of the pelvic floor compresses the deep dorsal vein of the penis to prevent the outflow of blood from an enlarged penis. If there is a weakness in the pelvic floor and in particular the bulbocavernosus muscle outflow of blood may not be prevented as well, leading to erectile dysfunction.
Due to the fact that the pelvic floor muscles play a role in sexual activity, the British Journal of internal medicine published a study in 2005 suggesting pelvic floor physical therapy as a first line agent in treating erectile dysfunction. A full urological workup should first be performed in patients with erectile issues, a referral to a pelvic floor specialist may be the next step.
The underlying causes of ED are commonly classified as neurogenic, arteriogenic, venogenic, or psychogenic.
The risk factors for erectile dysfunction are:
At Pelvic Rehabilitation Medicine we center ourselves as the guide with your pelvic floor pain and conditions. If you are having erectile dysfunction and/or pelvic floor concerns please contact our office. We can assist in setting up urological work or provide additional insight if you have already seen other specialists.