There are a variety of approaches that may be taken when treating erectile dysfunction. We will be looking at the following options:
There are a number of drugs that can be used to treat ED. Whilst they all work in a slightly different way, ultimately they are designed to improve the sexual activity by stimulating and increasing blood flow into the penis.
The first and most common group of drugs belong to a group known as phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors (PDE5). Their action is to block the enzyme activity attributable to the ED. If an ED sufferer has heart disease it may not be safe to take these types of drugs and so it is necessary that they are used under medical supervision, either that of a doctor or in the case of over the counter versions, the pharmacist.
PED5 inhibitors should not be taken if you are taking nitrates to treat heart disease; this can cause severely low blood pressure and can even be fatal
There are other drugs which may be used to treat ED but are not PDE5 inhibitors
Testosterone may be prescribed to treat ED and in actual fact, PDE5 inhibitors are more effective if used in conjunction with testosterone therapy in patients who are deficient in testosterone.
Testosterone, however, does come with its own risks and increases the chance of having a heart attack or stroke. It is for this reason that ONLY men who are deficient in the hormone are advised to have testosterone replacement therapy. During treatment, levels of testosterone in the body will be closely monitored. Side effects of taking testosterone include skin breakouts (acne), male breasts, prostate growth, swelling, moodiness and interrupted breathing during sleep
There are a number of psychological issues which may affect erectile function. These include:
Many emotional problems can be successfully treated with counselling. Your GP will be able to advise which form of counselling would be best suited to your individual case.
There are some underlying conditions that can cause erectile dysfunction if left untreated. These include diabetes and high blood pressure. These can be dangerous underlying conditions which need to be treated and in doing that, the erectile dysfunction may improve
There are some medications which may contribute to or cause erectile dysfunction. These include:
If you are taking medication and an unwelcome side effect is erectile dysfunction, your doctor may be able to prescribe an alternative and your erectile function will return to normal
In general, an unhealthy lifestyle can result in erectile dysfunction in that cardiovascular health is likely to be suffering and you are more likely to be at risk of becoming diabetic. The following steps are recommended to reduce these risks:
Erectile function medication does not suit everyone as there are some very unpleasant headaches associated with the drugs. If medication does not help your erectile dysfunction it may be that a penile device may be helpful:
There are several surgical procedures which a man may consider to help with erectile dysfunction
Vacuum pumps and medication can mean that spontaneity in a sexual relationship cannot happen in which case a specialist may advise that you have a penile prosthesis fitted. This device is implanted into the penis and it creates an ‘erection like’ state. If ED is related to diabetes, spinal cord injury or vascular disease these implants may be of most use. Implants do not change the sensation felt on the skin of the penis or interfere with a man’s ability to ejaculate or orgasm and they come in two types:
This procedure involves microsurgery to repair and divert blood vessels following an injury to the pelvis. This is done in order to restore blood flow to the penis, without which it is not possible to achieve an erection.
As a general rule, this procedure is recommended for men under 40 years old who have sustained a traumatic pelvic injury which in turn has resulted in erectile dysfunction. The procedure is not recommended for men who have atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
There are some natural options that can be considered for the treatment of ED. It is important to ensure that supplements are safe in advance of trying them out and be aware that they may interact with some prescription medication. In addition, it is advisable to find out what studies, if any, have been done and what were the results as to their efficacy.
Find out more about the treatments mentioned in this article below:
Effective for up to 4 hours
For daily or intermittent use
Effective for up to 5 hours
Works in 15-30 minutes
Sildenafil, Tadalafil, Vardenafil
Over the counter treatment
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