There are various options available for treating a patient suffering from erectile dysfunction (ED), commonly referred to as ‘male impotence'. These include sexual counseling if no organic causes can be found for the dysfunction, oral medications, external vacuum devices, or invasive therapy. Once a thorough examination is done and after all the information regarding the patient's status has been gathered, the various options in management are decided. This is best completed in the presence of the patient and his partner.
Listed here are the treatments available for Erectile Dysfunction:
• Lifestyle Changes: Many men with ED are able to improve sexual function by making a few lifestyle changes. Quitting smoking, avoiding alcohol and substance use, losing excess weight to maintain a healthy weight and exercising more often, help in improving the blood flow.
• Medications: You've probably heard of Viagra, but it's not the only pill for ED. There are a lot of other drugs that are prescribed for ED. All work by improving blood flow to the penis during arousal. All require a prescription from your doctor for safety.
• Injections: While pills for ED are convenient, some men sustain stronger erections by injecting medication directly into the penis. Drugs approved for this purpose work by widening the blood vessels, causing the penis to become engorged with blood.
• Vacuum Devices (Pumps): Vacuum devices for ED, also called pumps, offer an alternative to medication. The penis is placed inside a cylinder. A pump draws air out of the cylinder, creating a partial vacuum around the penis. This causes it to fill with blood, leading to an erection. After an erection is obtained, a constricting band is placed at the base of the penis during intercourse.
• Surgery: If ED is caused by a blockage in an artery leading to the penis, surgery can often restore blood flow. This is typically done on younger men whose blockage stems from an injury to the crotch or pelvis.
• Implants: In men with persistent ED, a penile implant can restore sexual function. An inflatable implant uses two cylinders that are surgically placed inside the penis. Another option is a malleable implant, which bolsters erections with surgically implanted rods.
• Psychotherapy: Even when ED has a known physical cause, psychotherapy can be beneficial. A therapist can teach the man and his partner techniques to reduce performance anxiety and improve intimacy. Therapy can also help couples adjust to the use of vacuum devices and implants.