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Erectile Dysfunction Medication

Erectile Dysfunction Medication: What You Should Know

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common medical condition characterized by the inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance.

ED can be a short-term, temporary occurrence or a chronic problem that affects a man’s sexual health and quality of life.

ED can result from a variety of causes, which can be physical, psychological, or a combination of both. Physical causes can include conditions like:

  • diabetes
  • heart disease
  • hormonal imbalances
  • neurological disorders
  • medication side effects

Psychological causes can involve:

  • stress
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • relationship issues

The severity of erectile dysfunction can vary from person to person. Some men might be able to achieve an erection but not maintain it, while others might not be able to achieve an erection at all.

Although ED tends to become more common as men age, it is not considered an inevitable part of aging.

Erectile Dysfunction Medication and Treatment

Treatment is tailored to address the ED’s root causes while also considering overall health and personal preferences.

The primary approach in managing ED involves identifying and treating any underlying health conditions that may be contributing to its occurrence. ED can often be a symptom of other health issues, such as diabetes or hormonal imbalances.

Your urologist will conduct a thorough medical history and examination.

Before recommending medication therapy, your doctor may first suggest treatments for an underlying condition such as diabetes. Or, they may encourage lifestyle changes, such as:

  • exercising regularly
  • losing weight
  • maintaining a healthy diet
  • limiting alcohol
  • avoiding smoking
  • reducing stress

Oral Medications

Oral medications, called PDE5 inhibitors, are convenient and effective and are among the most common treatments for ED. These include:

  • sildenafil (Viagra)
  • tadalafil (Cialis)
  • vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn)
  • avanafil (Stendra, Vivus)

These drugs work by enhancing the effects of nitric oxide, a natural substance in the body that relaxes muscles in the penis. This increases blood flow and enables an erection in response to sexual stimulation.

It’s important to note that these medications facilitate the erection process; they do not initiate it without sexual arousal.

Before starting any ED medication, it is necessary to receive the okay from your doctor, especially since these treatments can interact with other medicines, like nitrates taken for chest pain.

Other ED Treatments

If oral medications are not effective or suitable, there are other options for treatment.

Alprostadil self-injection: This method involves injecting the medication alprostadil, a naturally occurring form of prostaglandin, directly into the penis.

Alprostadil urethral suppository: This treatment uses a tiny suppository to induce an erection. The suppository is placed inside the urethra using a special applicator.

Testosterone replacement therapy: In cases where ED is linked to low testosterone levels, hormone replacement therapy may be recommended either alone or in combination with other treatments.

Penile Implants: In some cases, penile implants (IPPs) are necessary to address severe ED. These devices allow a man to achieve an erection firm enough for sex while preserving sensation.

Remember, there are a range of options available for managing ED.

Choosing the proper treatment involves a comprehensive evaluation by your doctor. They will conduct a thorough health assessment and consider your specific situation and preferences.

The Right Erectile Dysfunction Medication for You

From oral medications to hormone therapy and direct injections, most men can find a medication treatment that works effectively for them.

If you want to learn more about your options, call 843.347.2450 today to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.


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