Articles | Treatments for ED / Medication or implants, there is help available

Oral medication, pumps and implants can help in the treatment of ED

Erectile dysfunction is defined as when a man is unable to get or keep an erection to complete sexual intercourse. Sufferers may be surprised at all of the erectile dysfunction help available.

Treatments and drugs

There are a variety of treatments for ED. The cause and seriousness of the ED, and any other health problems are significant factors in determining a course of treatment. The doctor can explain the risks and benefits of each treatment.

Oral medications

Oral medicines offer successful ED treatments for many men. They include:
Sildenafil (Viagra)
Tadalafil (Cialis)
Vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn)

These drugs help relax muscles in the penis which increases blood flow. This helps produce an erection. Side effects include flushing, congestion, headache, and upset stomach.

Other medications

Other medicines for ED include:
Alprostadil self-injection. A very small needle is used to inject alprostadil (Caverject Impulse, Edex) into the bottom or side of the penis. Each treatment causes an erection that may last up to about an hour. Side effects may consist of bleeding at the injection site, protracted erection and development of fibrous tissue at the injection site.
Alprostadil penis suppository. Alprostadil intraurethral (Muse) therapy entails putting a suppository in the penile urethra. An applicator is used to administer the suppository. The erection may last up to an hour. Side effects may include pain, minor bleeding, and development of fibrous tissue inside the penis.
Testosterone replacement. Some men have ED caused by low testosterone levels, and need replacement therapy.

Pumps, surgery and implants

Medications may not work for everyone, so the doctor may suggest a different treatment. These may include:
Penis pump. A penis pump is a tube with a hand- or battery-operated pump. The tube is put over the penis, and then the pump sucks the air out of the tube. This pulls blood into the penis causing an erection. Once an erection is attained, a tension ring is slipped onto the bottom of the penis. The erection lasts long enough to have sex. The tension ring is removed after ejaculation. Bruising by the ED pump and less intense ejaculation are possible side effects.
Penile implants. This involves surgically placing adjustable devices into the two sides of the penis. These implants are either inflatable or semi-rigid rods. The inflatable devices allow a man to control when and how long the erection lasts.
Blood vessel surgery. In some cases, leaking or blocked blood vessels can cause ED and surgery is needed to repair them.

Coping and support

Whether the cause is physical, psychological or a combination of both, ED can become a source of stress. Some tips for coping with ED include:
Don't assume it is a long-term problem. Don't consider occasional erection problems as a reflection on one’s health or masculinity, and don't expect to have erection trouble every time. This can cause anxiety, which may make it worse.
Treatment is more successful when a man involves his partner.
Don't ignore stress, anxiety or mental health problems. Talk to the doctor, or see a mental health provider.


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