Selecting an Erectile Dysfunction (ED) treatment is surely a personal decision, however, one can work with your doctor to treat the underlying cause of your ED. Here is a look at the common treatments available to help you make the right decision.
The first and most preferable choice is treatment through medicine of course. Your doctor may prescribe you on of the following medicines to help you reach and sustain an erection:
- Avanfil (Stendra)
- Sildenafil (Viagra)
- Tadalafil (Cialis)
- Vardenafil (Staxyn, Levitra)
All the above mentioned medicines work by boosting the blood flow in the penis and relaxing its smooth muscles when sexually stimulated. However, these medicines should be strictly avoided if you are already on nitrates that are used to treat heart conditions.
Also, it is mandatory to consult your doctor before taking these medicines if you are already taking alpha-blockers for the treatment of prostate enlargement as alpha-blockers when combined with erectile dysfunction treatment medicine can cause a sharp drop in blood pressure that may lead to nausea.
Patients with low levels of the sexual hormones called testosterone may also be prescribed a moderate dose of oral testosterone. However, oral dose of testosterone may not be helpful if the erectile dysfunction is caused by nerve or circulatory problems. Erectile dysfunction resulting from late-onset hypogonadism cannot be cured with testosterone intake either. Moreover, intake of testosterone may also affect how a patient’s other medicines work and can result in side-effects like urination problems and high blood cell count. Read more about Erectile Dysfunction Treatment.
Injectable Medicines and Suppositories
Injecting alprostadil in penis has proven to provide stronger erections by directing a heavy flow of blood to the penis. Injectable medicines have an edge over oral medicines as though the later does improve one’s response to sexual stimulation, however they cannot trigger an automatic erection the way injectable medicine do.
Other than injecting, alprostadil can also be inserted as a suppository directly into one’s urethra. Suppositories are solid pieces of medicine that can be inserted into the body where it slowly dissolves. Your doctor will prescribe you prefilled applicator for inserting the pellet around an inch into the urethra. The medicine causes an erection within around 10 minutes and usually lasts about 5 minutes.
Vacuum devices help reaching an erection by pulling blood into penis through suction, while an elastic ring sustains the erection in an intercourse by retaining the blood in the penis.
For severe cases that cannot be treated with medicine, surgery remains the only resort. Surgeries for the treatment of erectile dysfunction are carried out either for the reconstruction of arteries to help boost blood flow to the penis or to implant a device to help the penis achieve an erection.
- Reconstruction of Arteries:
This operation is carried out to repair the arteries and remove the blockages that hinder blood flow to the penis. However, this operation is usually only recommended for men younger than 30 years.
- Implanted Devices:
Implanted devices commonly called prostheses have proven to help reach a strong erection in erectile dysfunction patients. Two types of prostheses are available:
Inflatable Implants – These implants use a pump implanted in the scrotum that makes the penis wider and longer.
Malleable Implants – These implants are basically rods that let you manually adjust the position of the penis.
Most patients are released from the hospital 2 days after surgery while the full recovery period ranges between 4 to 6 weeks after which the implants can be used. Common complications with implants include post operation infections and breakage of implants.