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treatments for erectile dysfunction

5 Best Treatments for Erectile Dysfunction

Erection trouble can happen from time to time and isn’t necessarily a cause for concern. However, frequent difficulty achieving or keeping an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse is a condition known as erectile dysfunction (ED). If you’re experiencing it frequently, getting evaluated by a urologist is the first step to take. They will help you find the best treatments for erectile dysfunction so you can be back in action soon.

Causes of ED

There are many causes of ED.

Sometimes it can be a sign of an underlying health condition that needs treatment. Examples may include:

  • Circulatory problems that interrupt blood flow to the penis, such as:
      • Heart disease
      • High blood pressure
      • Clogged blood vessels from high cholesterol
  • Neurological complications from damage to the penis’s nerves due to:
      • Diabetes
      • Stroke
      • Spinal cord injuries
      • Surgeries
  • Peyronie’s disease — development of scar tissue inside the penis
  • Obesity
  • Medication side effects from drugs prescribed for:
      • Chronic pain
      • Blood pressure management
      • Depression
  • Psychological factors like depression or anxiety over performance
  • Hormonal imbalance or low testosterone (low T)

In addition, lifestyle factors can contribute to ED, including:

  • Alcohol consumption
  • Smoking

ED can be more prevalent as men age. Declining sexual function, however, doesn’t have to be an inevitable part of aging.

It is important to remember that effective treatments are available. Treatments aim at enabling men to achieve and maintain sufficient erections, and the types of treatment vary based on the root cause of ED.

5 Best Treatments for ED

1. Lifestyle Modifications

Simple changes, including better diet, exercise, sleep, and stress management, can significantly improve ED symptoms. Similarly, adjustments in medications (in partnership with a doctor), smoking cessation, and limiting alcohol can be helpful in ED management.

2. Medications

Phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) inhibitors are well-known drugs that can help men achieve an erection. These medications can be prescribed by your doctor or urologist and include:

  • Sildenafil (Viagra)
  • Tadalafil (Cialis)
  • Vardenafil (Levitra)

PDE5 inhibitors work by increasing blood flow to the penis, improving erectile function.

3. Penile Self-Injection

Penile self-injection therapy is a treatment option for ED that involves the direct injection of medication into the penile tissue. This method causes an erection by dilating the blood vessels within the penis, increasing blood flow. They are not dependent on nerve stimulation.

The medicines used in injection therapy include:

  • Alprostadil
  • Papaverine
  • Phentolamine

To ensure the safety and effectiveness of this treatment, urologists provide training on how to use the medication correctly and proper injection techniques.

4. Vacuum-Assisted Erection Devices

Vacuum-assisted erection devices provide a non-invasive mechanical approach to ED. The process involves enclosing the penis within a vacuum-sealed cylinder. This device then uses negative pressure to draw blood into the penile tissue, enhancing blood flow in a way that mimics the body’s natural response to sexual arousal.

Once an adequate erection is achieved through this vacuum process, a constriction ring is placed at the base of the penis. The ring helps maintain the erection by preventing blood from leaving the penis too quickly.

Though there is a possible restriction of ejaculation with these devices, the capacity to achieve orgasm remains unaffected.

5. Penile Prostheses

Surgically implanted devices can provide a more permanent solution for those who do not have results with other treatments.

The two main types available are:

  • Inflatable devices closely replicate the look and function of a natural erection. This system is surgically implanted with the main components hidden from view.  Activation is discreet and simple. A pump is implanted in the scrotum that, when squeezed, inflates the cylinders in the penis to create an erection. Deflation is just as easy, returning the penis to a natural and flaccid state after use.
  • Semi-rigid rods are made from a combination of metal and silicone. These rods keep the penis in a semi-erect state at all times. This option is particularly beneficial for those who may struggle with the mechanics of a pump due to hand dexterity issues.

Penile implants do not interfere with orgasm or ejaculation. For men who have not had successful outcomes with medications or lifestyle changes, penile implants can be the best treatment.

Getting Treatments for Erectile Dysfunction

If ED affects your life, consulting a specialist is the first step toward regaining your sexual health. A urologist can help identify the cause of your ED and discuss the best treatment options for you.

Don’t continue to suffer from erectile dysfunction – call 843.347.2450 to schedule an appointment today!


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