Although erectile dysfunction (ED) can be frustrating and embarrassing, most men are reluctant to discuss their problems with friends or family, let alone seek help from their doctor. As a result, many men continue to experience ED without even realizing there’s an issue until it has caused severe damage to their relationships and self-esteem. If you suspect you might have ED, don’t ignore the problem any longer – In this article, you’ll learn the different erectile dysfunction treatment options and ways to prevent ED.
ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION TREATMENT
Once your doctor has determined the cause of your erectile dysfunction problem, it’s time to begin treatment for ED. Today, there are many more treatments than ever available for erectile dysfunction before. This also provides several options as you find a solution to the condition. Becoming informed about your options is the key to ensuring you have all the information you need while also looking to see what you would be willing to do as a part of your treatment. Below are the main types of erectile dysfunction treatments, what they involve, and how they are administered.
ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION PILLS
The most popular and the most prescribed treatment for erectile dysfunction is pills (medications). This allows the man to take control of his erections immediately while providing privacy to solve the problem.
The three leading pills for treating erectile dysfunction are .
- Tadalafil – Cialis
- Vardenafil – Levitra
- Sildenafil – Viagra
Each of these medications improves blood flow to the penis, and the pills are administered orally in various dosages.
HOW DO THESE PILLS FOR ED WORK?
Pills for ED work by enhancing the effects of nitric oxide in the penis. This naturally occurring substance helps to relax the muscles of your penis to restore blood flow. However, once you take the medication, an erection is not always achieved immediately. These ED pills will provide the right mood, but you will still need physical or mental stimulation to stimulate the erection to start .
The good news is that these medications often help you no matter what the cause of erectile dysfunction is. For most men, these are significant steps to erectile dysfunction freedom. The sad news is that these ED pills have potential side effects like other medications.
ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION DRUGS SIDE EFFECTS
You may experience headaches from these medications as they dilate the blood vessels. Those with heart problems can also have more trouble with their blood pressure, so your doctor will need to keep this in mind when choosing the correct formulation. Therefore, you must talk with your doctor before taking any of these medications.
You shouldn’t self-medicate with someone’s prescription because it can cause serious complications. For example, if you’re on the medication below, you cannot use these pills for ED.
- Blood thinners – examples are Coumadin, warfarin, etc.
- Nitrate drugs – nitroglycerin, etc.
If you suffer from the following conditions, you will also want to talk to your doctors about whether these medications are right for you:
- History of strokes
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Low or high blood pressure
Some patients may also experience prolonged and painful erections that have trouble subsiding without medical intervention. If you encounter an erection lasting more than 4 hours, you should see your doctor immediately. With the three different formulations, some of these medications might work for some men, while others work better for others.
There is no ‘best’ medication for all ED cases. You may have to try different ED pills or supplements at different dosages. You should take these ED medications as directed and talk to your doctor about any unusual changes you experience in your body.
Prostaglandin E (alprostadil) is another helpful medication for men with ED. This erectile dysfunction medication is hormone-based and is used to relax the penis muscle tissue to help blood flow for an erection. Prostaglandin E can be administered in two ways:
1. Urethral administration
The process involves using a disposable applicator to insert a small suppository of alprostadil into the tip of the penis. This medication is absorbed into the muscle tissue. Since the drug does need to be inserted several inches into the urethra, this can be painful for some men, which can make this an undesirable method of treatment. Other side effects include;
- Fibrous tissue formation
2. Needle injection
You can use a fine needle injection to eliminate the pain associated with getting this hormone into the organ instead of inserting the alprostadil into the penis. This method will produce an erection within 5 to 20 minutes, and the erection can last about an hour. So this tends to be a highly effective treatment, though it can be expensive and, for men who don’t like needles, a little frightening.
Some men who test positive for testosterone deficiencies will have to undergo hormone replacement therapy, as determined by their doctors and the level of the deficiency. In addition, you may be given medications, supplements, and injections until your testosterone levels are normal.
PENIS PUMPS FOR ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION
Penis pumps are often used in erectile dysfunction treatment to encourage blood flow to the penis. This s a battery-powered pump that you place over your penis, and then it sucks away the extra air around the penis. As a result, blood flow is enhanced to the penis area, creating an erection. Once you get an erection, you will need to place a tension ring around the base of your erection to maintain your erection for the duration of your sexual experience. Remove the tension ring immediately after you have had sex.
For those men who do not want to take medications and who are unable to take drugs, this can be a simple and often highly effective treatment for erectile dysfunction. It might look awkward at first, but it is a tested and proven method of maintaining an erection. You can buy penis pumps online and in high-quality sex shops to buy them. Penis pumps can be expensive but compared to the cost of medications and other treatments, they’re pretty reasonable.
You might need to purchase many pumps to find the best penis pump that works best for you. If you have trouble maintaining an erection more than achieving one, you might want to check out cock rings at the same retailers. Just as you place that tension ring at the base of your penis after using the pump, these rings are placed in the exact location after you have achieved an erection, thus helping you to maintain your hardness throughout sexual intercourse .
You might need surgery to fix tissue issues if you have significant problems with the nerves and arteries in your penis. This shouldn’t cause sleepless nights because surgery isn’t the first choice of treatment your doctor will suggest when diagnosed with ED. Surgery is often the best course of treatment when you’ve had some injury to the penis area or when you have had cancer that required surgery during the treatment.
Penile implants are another more common and less invasive type of surgery. This is a surgery in which the surgeon places a device into the shaft of the penis to create an erection for as long as the man decides he wants to maintain that hardness. The device is inflatable, so you have complete control over your erections permanently.
Because surgery is expensive and not all insurance companies will cover this treatment; it might be left as a last resort. However, before considering a surgical treatment option, you need to remember the side effects, chances of infection, complications such as excessive bleeding, and other potential problems .
THERAPY AND COUNSELING
No matter your ED diagnosis or cause, it can be helpful for you to have some counseling as you manage your ED. In terms of treatment, therapy can help you learn to deal with stressors and conflicts in your life that might cut off blood flow to your penis .
When you undergo cognitive therapy, it will work on breaking down any fears and hesitations you might have about sex in your life. In this program, you will set specific goals you desire and the steps you will take to achieve them. Cognitive therapy sessions are for limited periods. This could be beneficial for individuals who don’t have a lot of mental health coverage on their insurance plans and those who don’t want to spend too much time in therapy .
Your doctor may prescribe medications to help with severe depression or anxiety, but these medications can also lead to ED. Hence you need to be monitored closely to evaluate if the antidepressant and anxiety drugs are helpful with healing the erectile dysfunction problem. Depending on the person, you may require a smaller dose of these medications without losing sexual performance or desire .
When you begin to realize that your relationship might be the source of some of your erectile dysfunction problems, you might want to head to therapy together with your partner. Sex counseling helps you and your partner learn how to o communicate better about your needs and deal with conflict when it does arise .
ALTERNATIVE AND NATURAL TREATMENTS OF ED
Alternative and natural treatment of ED has become popular in medical practice for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. These treatments may be combined with other medicines you might be currently using. Ensure you consult your doctor before you start any new treatment .
Numerous supplements claim to help with erectile dysfunction but are more harmful than helpful. When in doubt, stick to the rule of – if it sounds too good to be true, it is. Here are some natural supplements for ED that are being recommended:
Gingko acts by improving blood flow in the brain to improve memory. In addition, this property is found to help increase blood flow in other parts of the body, including the penis.
As an energy enhancer, ginseng has also been linked with increased blood flow and helped stamina.
L-arginine acts by enhancing the effects of nitric oxide.
DHEA supplement is beneficial if you have lagging libido issues because it acts as a building block for testosterone.
Maca has been used for several years to enhance performance. It is thought to be another sexual response stimulator. Because several of these medications may interact with other prescription medications, you should talk to your doctor before adding them to your daily routine.
Acupuncture is an ancient treatment method used by the Chinese for over 2500 years. In recent years, this medical practice has become known around the world.
Your body is made up of energy and routes of energy. When one of these energy channels is disrupted, it can lead to erectile dysfunction. An acupuncturist inserts needles into specific points of the body to help get the energy flowing again while allowing you to feel more relaxed.
According to a study published in the international journal of impotence research, acupuncture treatment was beneficial for ED . An advantage of acupuncture treatment is that it does not interact with medications you might be taking and provides minimal risk to your health.
TANTRA SEXUAL PRACTICES
Sexual energy is believed to be a part of your body, but many people lack touch with this energy. By following tantra practices, you can learn how to tap into this energy to prevent and treat erectile dysfunction. For example, when utilizing tantra, you might learn how to breathe into your genital area to restore energy and blood flow.
You can learn how your body reacts to touch or feels before, during, and after orgasm by learning the sensitive spots in your body. This practice helps couples better understand their sexual relationship and create a renewed sense of trust and understanding. In addition, Tantra sexual practice can help heal the mind, soul, and body, especially if you’re uncomfortable with sex or have had erectile dysfunction.
WHAT ED TREATMENT IS BEST FOR YOU?
Before starting any ED treatment, you should consider answering these questions:
- What is the success rate?
- How much will it cost?
- What do I need to do?
- Can I maintain the steps I need to take?
When you consider each of these ideas, you will be able to find an erectile dysfunction treatment that not only helps your erection issues but also allows you to continue to experience a healthy sexual performance.
HOW TO PREVENT ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION
You can prevent many of the causes of erectile dysfunction (ED) by following the below steps :
- Quit smoking and limit alcohol intake
- Follow a healthy eating plan
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Be physically active
- Avoid using illegal drugs
- Prevent diabetes and high blood pressure or manage the disease if you already have it
- Reduce stress
- Treat anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems
- Yafi FA, Jenkins L, Albersen M, et al. Erectile dysfunction. Nat Rev Dis Primers. 2016;2:16003. Published 2016 Feb 4. doi:10.1038/nrdp.2016.3
- Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction; Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/erectile-dysfunction/symptoms-causes
- Leisegang K, Finelli R. Alternative medicine and herbal remedies in the treatment of erectile dysfunction: A systematic review. Arab J Urol. 2021;19(3):323-339. Published 2021 Jun 11. doi:10.1080/2090598X.2021.1926753
- Engelhardt PF, Daha LK, Zils T, Simak R, König K, Pflüger H. Acupuncture in treating psychogenic erectile dysfunction: first results of a prospective randomized placebo-controlled study. Int J Impot Res. 2003;15(5):343-346. doi:10.1038/sj.ijir.3901021
- Preventing erectile dysfunction | niddk [Internet]. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. [cited 2022 Dec 3]. Available from: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/erectile-dysfunction/prevention