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5 Ways to Treat Erectile Dysfunction

When your erec­tion falls flat, you need real and hon­est infor­ma­tion on what to do. Ignore those mir­a­cle cures and ran­dom Google search­es; get seri­ous about fix­ing your prob­lem and talk to a doctor.

Erec­tile dys­func­tion (ED), or male impo­tence, is the per­sis­tent inabil­i­ty to achieve or main­tain an erec­tion firm enough to have sex­u­al inter­course and occurs for more than a few weeks or months. The Nation­al Insti­tutes of Health esti­mates that erec­tile dys­func­tion strikes rough­ly 30 mil­lion men in the Unit­ed States, so you are not alone. Erec­tile dys­func­tion pri­mar­i­ly affects men over the age of 20, but preva­lence does increase with age. The Jour­nal of Sex­u­al Med­i­cine reports that one of out every four new ED patients is less than 40 years old.

There are many dif­fer­ent rea­sons you expe­ri­ence impo­tence rang­ing from health prob­lems like high blood pres­sure to psy­cho­log­i­cal and emo­tion­al issues, or even side effects from a med­ica­tion. It is impor­tant to talk to your doc­tor about this con­di­tion because erec­tile dys­func­tion may be a sign of addi­tion­al health problems.

Every per­son is dif­fer­ent, so your physi­cian will focus on the spe­cif­ic con­di­tion that could be caus­ing your erec­tile dys­func­tion. Read more about five treat­ment options for erec­tile dysfunction.

  1. Oral Med­ica­tions
    • There are a num­ber of pre­scrip­tion med­ica­tions avail­able (Via­gra, Lev­i­t­ra, Cialis) that may improve blood flow to the penis. Com­bined with sex­u­al stim­u­la­tion, this can pro­duce an erec­tion. These med­ica­tions all work sim­i­lar­ly to each oth­er; how­ev­er, there are some dif­fer­ences in effec­tive­ness and how quick­ly they begin to work.
    • Com­mon side effects may include headache, facial flush­ing, stuffy nose and an upset stomach.
    • These med­ica­tions can NOT be tak­en if you use Nitrates for chest pain or oth­er med­ical prob­lems. This com­bi­na­tion can cause dan­ger­ous­ly low blood pressure.
  2. Vac­u­um Erec­tile Device (Penile Pump)
    • A vac­u­um erec­tile device (VED) is a device that con­sists of a hol­low plas­tic tube, a hand or bat­tery-pow­ered vac­u­um pump and a ten­sion ring. The tube, placed over the penis, cre­ates a vac­u­um that pulls blood into the penis. Once an erec­tion is achieved, an elas­tic ten­sion ring is placed at the base of the penis to help main­tain the erec­tion. Since effec­tive oral med­ica­tion came onto the mar­ket, VEDs are used less to achieve erec­tion since they can be cum­ber­some and less effective.
  3. Intrau­rethral Suppository/​Medicated Ure­thral Sys­tem for Erec­tion (MUSE)
    • Med­icat­ed Ure­thral Sys­tem for Erec­tion (MUSE) uses an appli­ca­tor con­tain­ing a small pel­let with a med­ica­tion that is insert­ed into the ure­thra. Once the pel­let is released, the med­ica­tion dis­solves inside the ure­thra and helps to increase blood flow to the penis to achieve an erec­tion. Patients admin­is­ter the med­ica­tion them­selves as need­ed before intercourse.
  4. Penile Self-Injec­tion Therapy
    • Injec­tion ther­a­py was the first FDA-approved med­ica­tion for the treat­ment of ED and uses a tiny nee­dle to inject med­ica­tion direct­ly into the base or side of the penis. The inject­ed med­ica­tion can cre­ate an erec­tion by improv­ing blood to flow into the penis direct­ly. Patients can admin­is­ter the injec­tion them­selves as need­ed before intercourse.
  5. Penile Implant Surgery
    • In use since the 1970s, a penile implant is a med­ical device that is implant­ed into the penis dur­ing an out­pa­tient or overnight-stay sur­gi­cal pro­ce­dure. The device is entire­ly con­tained with­in the body, so it is dis­crete. The device allows for an arti­fi­cial erec­tion to be achieved at any time the patient desires by oper­at­ing a con­cealed pump in the scrotum.

If you are expe­ri­enc­ing erec­tile dys­func­tion, talk to your pri­ma­ry care physi­cian or urol­o­gist to help find the best solu­tion for you.