Despite affecting a significant fraction of males, erectile dysfunction is curable. The standard treatments for ED include oral medications, surgery, implants and vacuum pumps. However, simple lifestyle modifications and natural remedies can also be considered as a less-invasive and safer option.
Treatment Options for Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction is a condition that commonly affects men’s health, particularly those who have crossed the age of 40 years. It is a disease in which a male is not able to keep its penis firm enough for participation in a sexual intercourse. An occasional occurrence of ED is not worrisome as it is often caused by psychological factors such as stress. If the problem persists for a longer duration of time, you should get an appointment with a physician right away. It is ideal to consult a urologist as only he can fully understand and treat your problem.
If you are one of the victims of erectile dysfunction, we have some good news for you. Erectile dysfunction is curable and every form of this disease has a specific treatment. Before choosing a particular treatment plan for ED, the most important step is to confirm the diagnosis. In most of the cases, a simple physical test and a question and answer session are enough for your doctor to make a diagnosis and recommend necessary treatment. However, in case you are suffering from a chronic disease, further tests like ultrasound and urine analysis might be required.
There are a lot of treatment options available for ED. These include both invasive and non-invasive techniques.
Medicinal Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction
Oral medications are the commonest type of medical treatment prescribed by the doctors to help regain erectile strength. These medications can help augment the quality of life in a way that you are able to achieve a normal erection. Oral medicines used for this purpose include Viagra. These agents belong to a category called phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5) inhibitors and treat ED by increasing the blood flow towards penis and helping it to dilate.
In the United States, more than 30 million males are victim to erectile dysfunction and are using Viagra, Cialis and Levitra as the first line of treatment for ED. These drugs are fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the U.S. Cialis is considered as the most powerful of them all as it can be taken on a full stomach and provides effects that last for up to 36 hours. These drugs can sometimes produce certain side effects which include headaches and nasal congestion.
Oral PDE5 inhibitors are the ideal treatment for erectile dysfunction. However, if you are suffering from a cardiovascular disorder and currently taking nitroglycerin for it, these agents might not be safe for you. Additionally, if you are a patient of diabetes, the effectiveness of these agents in your case will not be the same. Studies have shown that men suffering from ED and diabetes simultaneously show a 50 percent less response to oral medications. Moreover, men who have started suffering from ED right after a surgical process for prostate cancer might not respond actively to oral medicines. For these dysfunctional patients, a penile implant is suggested.
In addition to prescribing oral medications, some doctors also suggest penile injections. The most commonly used agent for this purpose is Alprostadil. Alprostadil has been approved by the FDA as a safe treatment for erectile dysfunction. The drug starts working in about 5-20 minutes after it is injected into the penis. Alprostadil can help you achieve an erection that stays for about one hour. Side effects are rare and may include burning at the site of injection.
The injectable form of this drug is far more effective than the suppository and has a success rate as high as 80%. The procedure is effective for every man irrespective of his age. However, certain precautions must be kept in mind before opting for this treatment. Injections containing Alprostadil are not suitable if you are allergic to the drug or to any other agent like preservatives or certain food items. It is also not recommended if you already have a penile implant or are using any other drugs or supplements for ED.
MUSE stands for Medicated Urethral System for Erection and is an FDA-approved technique for treating penile problems in males. It is particularly useful for you if you are not willing to get the medicine through injection. The procedure for carrying out this technique is simple and involves the administration of Alprostadil into the penis through the urethra.
The procedure is always performed according to the instructions of doctor and the dosage depends on the severity of the condition and your response to this treatment. The medication may take 10 to 60 minutes to start working and produce an erection that lasts for an hour. MUSE can sometimes cause the development of certain harmful effects that include redness, pain, burning and minor bleeding. Up to 2 doses of the drug can be utilized in 24 hours to avoid these side effects.
Vacuum pumps are external devices consisting of a band which can treat ED and help regain your normal sexual life. A vacuum device comprises an acrylic cylinder and a pump that is to be attached to the penis. The band present at the other end of the cylinder is attached to the body. A vacuum is created with the help of cylinder and pump that allows the penis to become erect. Once an erection is gained, the band helps to maintain it for as long as possible.
Studies have suggested that vacuum devices have a success rate of about 50% to 80%. These devices work for everyone irrespective of their chronic conditions. The technique is also found to be useful for diabetics and people who are suffering from ED due to prostatic surgery or any psychological issues.
In people who have a neurological disorder associated with their ED, surgical implants can be considered. These implants are generally known as penile implants which consist of an inflatable pump filled with water. The pump is placed into the scrotum through a small opening. After inserting it in the scrotum, the pump is pressed to release the fluid into the penis. This induces an erection in the penis that lasts for a long period of time. To remove the erection, the pump must be pressed and held down.
The best thing about the penile pump is that it does not require any maintenance and can stay in place for the entire life. This inflatable pump can allow you to experience spontaneous sex once again. It also allows you to feel normal sensations such as orgasm.
Another type of surgical implants is a malleable prosthesis. The device acts like a gooseneck lamp and allows the penis to get into final position for intercourse. While surgical implants have a high success rate, they possess certain risks including a mechanical breakdown within the body or development of an infection.
If low testosterone levels are the cause of sexual dysfunction, it is suggested to undergo a hormone replacement therapy. Testosterone is a naturally occurring hormone in males that is responsible for a variety of functions. These functions include the normal development of male characteristics, the growth of bones and maintenance of muscles.
Your doctor may perform several blood tests to confirm a testosterone deficiency and suggest the most suitable therapy for hormone replacement. Testosterone can be replenished within the body through intramuscular injections or testosterone patches. In some cases, gels and oral tablets consisting of this hormone can be used.
Hormone replacement therapy must not be considered as a treatment option for males who are suffering from prostate cancer. Certain side effects might be experienced during hormone therapy which may include fluid retention, acne, and enlargement of the prostate and breasts.
Shock Wave Therapy
Shockwave therapy is rather new and a rare form of treatment for erectile dysfunction. The idea of using shock waves to treat this problem is supported by the fact that these waves can initiate a process called revascularization. Revascularization involves regrowth of blood vessels within the body and can provide amazing results even in case of erectile dysfunction.
Herbal Treatment is an Efficient Erectile Dysfunction Treatment
For those who don’t want any chemical treatment for erectile dysfunction, herbal supplements will work just fine. The most commonly used herbal agents for treating ED include Yohimbe, saw palmetto, and biloba. It is, however, recommended to consult with a doctor before trying these supplements out as they can jeopardize your health.
Lastly, introducing some changes in your daily lifestyle can help you overcome ED without using any dangerous chemicals and herbal supplements. They can also prevent relapses of this sexual disorder if followed for a long period of time. Incorporating exercise into your daily routine treats ED through improved blood flow towards penile muscles.
Smoking must be controlled as it leads to narrowing of arteries and reduction in blood flow to the penis. Similarly, alcohol can serve as a depressant and induce impotence and must be avoided to treat ED. Your diet influences your sexual function hence, it must be regulated properly. Try eating more fruits, whole grains, vegetables and fish.
Erectile dysfunction can be frustrating but can be taken care of. If you find yourself struggling with this disease, do not panic. ED is medically treatable and you have a lot of treatment options to choose from.