Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction

The cause of erectile dysfunction should be found and managed accordingly. If the underlying condition is managed well the patient’ sexual dysfunction can improve. A general improvement of the patient’s health is a big part of the management of erectile dysfunction.

There are numerous treatment options available for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. The doctor and patient should discuss these options as well as their benefits and complications. The patient might like to include his sexual partner in the decision making process. The options are divided into non-invasive, minimally invasive and invasive.

 

Non-invasive

Non-invasive treatment options require no devices, drugs or injections.
These include:

  • Lifestyle Changes
  • Lifestyle changes which can improve erectile dysfunction are:

    • maintaining the right weight;
    • eating a healthy diet;
    • reducing stress;
    • being more physically active;
    • giving up smoking and drinking less alcohol also helps to improve erectile dysfunction

    The patient needs to strive towards a general healthy lifestyle. He needs to make adjustments if necessary to manage his time better and to reduce stress. If he is overweight he will need to lose weight. The patient may find it easier to make these changes with the support of his family and by getting help from various professionals. A dietician and qualified personal trainer can make the task easier.

    Psychological Counselling

    Psychological Counselling

  • Psychological Counselling
  • Psychological counselling can benefit the patient in many ways, even if an organic cause of the erectile dysfunction is found. It can be difficult for a man to accept his sexual problems and counselling can help give him back his self-worth. If a psychogenic cause is most-likely, the patient could benefit from a course of intense psychological sessions by an experienced psychologist or psychiatrist with which the patient feels comfortable. Psychogenic reasons for erectile dysfunction require intense psychotherapy.

  • Sexual Counselling and Education
  • When a patient has a better understanding of his problem and the solution it is easier to work through. The patient could also learn alternative techniques in pleasing his partner.

 

Minimally Invasive Options

These options are slightly invasive but do not require any needles or surgery.

    Oral Medication

    Oral Medication

  • Oral Medication
  • If the patient’s medical exam is normal and he has no risk factors, the doctor may prescribe medication to enhance sexual performance. These include drugs like Sildenafil (Viagra), Tadalafil (Cialis) and Vardenafil (Levitra). These drugs all increase blood flow to the penis to help obtain and maintain erection. These drugs have side-effects but they are prescribed if the benefits from taking the drugs outweigh the risk of side-effects. More common side-effects are dizziness, headaches, stomach upset and visual disturbances. These medications should not be taking by anyone with heart problems, eye problems or low blood pressure. It is best for any man to see a doctor and have a medical evaluation before taking any medication for erectile enhancement.

     

    Ginkgo - natural remedies for erectile dysfunction

    Ginkgo – natural remedy for erectile dysfunction

  • Natural Medication
  • Many natural remedies for erectile dysfunction have been recommended but none have been proved very effective. Some men claim that these natural remedies do help a bit. These include pomegranate juice, ginkgo, ginseng, arginine and acupuncture. A derivative of the herb called Yohimbe can be of benefit to patients with a psychogenic cause of erectile dysfunction. It is used to naturally increase testosterone levels. Horny Goat weed has been shown to be of benefit to some men with sexual dysfunction. It is important for the patient to discuss natural medication use with his doctor before starting his own regime because natural remedies also have side effects.

     

    penis_pump

    Penis pump

  • Vacuum Devices
  • Vacuum devices, also known as penis pumps, draw blood into the penis using negative pressure. Once the penis is erect, a ring is placed at the base of the penis to sustain the erection. A pump is placed directly to the end of the penis. The pump is pumped manually or with a battery, then with the help of a lubricant, a ring is put at the lower end of the penile shaft. Many men who have used a pump like this find that a vacuum device can be very useful. It is also considered safe if used in the manner for which it was intended.

     

    Male Urethral Suppository for Erection

    Male Urethral Suppository for Erection

  • Male Urethral Suppository for Erection
  • A vasoactive substance, Alprostadil, is inserted into the urethra with an applicator by the patient himself. This is done 5-10 minutes before intercourse. An applicator releases a medicated pellet into the urethra. The tissues of the urethra absorb the medication into the erectile tissue to cause an erection. Erections can last 30 to 60 minutes using this method. Urethral suppositories could be of benefit to men who have side-effects using oral medication or who have medical conditions which prevent them from using the oral medications. Men should still consult with their doctor before trying this method.

 

Invasive treatments for Erectile dysfunction

     
    Self-Injection Kit

    Self-Injection Kit

  • Self-injection
  • Self-injection into the penis before sexual intercourse with one or a combination of three drugs can create an erection. These drugs cause an erection by dilating the blood vessels in the penis. An adequate erection should occur in 80% of men with erectile dysfunction after using this injection. Erections using this method last about 30 minutes on average. Self-injection should only be used as a treatment if the patient’s doctor agrees that it is relatively safe for him to do so.

  • Vascular surgery
  • It is possible for doctors to perform microvascular arterial bypass or venous ligation is in a small percentage of patients. Vascular surgery is done to improve blood flow to the penis. This procedure is rarely performed because it is technically very difficult and it does not always result in a successful outcome. It might be of benefit to patients who are young and have erectile dysfunction as a result of trauma to the penis.

     

    3-Piece-Inflatable-Penile-Prosthesis

    3 piece inflatable penile implant

  • Implants
  • A penile implant or prosthesis is an option for men with erectile dysfunction who have no success with other treatments. Currently there are 2 types of options available.

    • Malleable rods
    • The most basic version is where 2 rods, which can be bent, are implanted into the penis. With this type of malleable implant the penis is permanently in a semi-rigid position and merely needs to be adjusted when the patient wants to engage in sexual intercourse.

    • Inflatable penile implant
    • Most men prefer the inflatable penile implant because it is less obvious and seems more natural. One or two inflatable cylinders are implanted into the penile shaft (into the corpus cavernosum) with a reservoir filled with fluid surgically placed into the scrotum or behind the groin muscles. To obtain an erection the patient presses the pump button located in the device. A release button is pressed to allow the fluid to escape. An inflatable penile implant is not noticeable and gives the patient new control over his sex life.

There is a lot that can be done for men who suffer from erectile dysfunction. It is also a good thing to have a medical check-up because the erectile dysfunction could be a sign of underlying medical disease