Erectile Dysfunction Treatment Options
Erectile dysfunction (ED), commonly referred to as impotence, is a condition in which men have difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection during sexual intercourse. While this condition can certainly be a source of stress and frustration, patients should understand that there are treatment options available. The right resource for you will depend on your specific lifestyle and other underlying health factors.
Working closely with your doctor can help you identify the best resource for your treatment. There are a variety of options to choose from including traditional and alternative methods that could help with symptoms or slow the progression of ED.
Traditional Erectile Dysfunction Treatment Options
There are a variety of conventional treatments that your doctor may suggest based on your current situation and desired results.
Medications for Erectile Dysfunction
Most physicians will suggest oral medications. This treatment option will take some time to work and figure out which type of medication provides the best results. Because drugs have side effects and may interfere with certain medications, it’s essential to rely on a prescription for this type of medication. Common options include:
- Sildenafil (Viagra).
- Tadalafil (Adcirca, Cialis).
- Vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn).
- Avanafil (Stendra).
These particular medications all work to enhance nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide is a natural chemical in the body that relaxes muscles in the penis while simultaneously increasing blood flow. Ultimately, the medication creates the physical reaction that results in an erection.
It’s important to understand that these medications do not work without proper sexual arousal. That being said, the mediation simply channels the physical reaction (increased blood flow) so that the penis can function normally.
Your doctor will consider your lifestyle and the progression of ED when prescribing a dosage. Common side effects of these drugs include upset stomach, nasal congestion, headache and vision problems.
Penile implants are considered an invasive treatment in which implants are placed inside the penis. Inflatable implants allow you to control the erection while flexible rods offer a permanent firmness that can bend. Doctors usually suggest this treatment as a final option if other treatments do not work.
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Complementary Erectile Dysfunction Treatment Options
If you don't feel comfortable about talking to your doctor about your physical intimacy problems, there are two other options you may consider before consulting your doctor. These options complementary treatment options include penis pumps and talk therapy.
Penis pumps work to increase blood flow to the penis by using a battery-powered or hand-powered hollowed tube.
Once the tube is placed over the penis, the suction works to create more blood flow thus resulting in an erection. A tension ring is then set at the base of the penis to ensure the erection remains during intercourse.
Stress, anxiety and relationship issues can all play a role in the development of ED. For some people, the problem is not physical, and it may take some trial and error to realize that.
Discuss with your doctor about therapeutic resources that can help you combat any of your emotional issues that could be the underlying reason for your ED. Individuals may also benefit from sex therapy to understand ED and other ways they can obtain sexual pleasure.
Natural and Alternative Erectile Dysfunction Treatment Options
There are herbal supplements available on the market that are touted as being effective solutions for ED. However, doctors strongly suggest discussing supplements before ingesting them. Keep in mind; the FDA has warned against certain supplements for ED because they could contain harmful ingredients, be contaminated, or may have an unknown dosage.
Acupuncture is another potential solution for ED. There are mixed reviews when it comes to using acupuncture for ED, but some research indicates that people experienced more erections after completing this treatment. This could be a potential solution for some patients, and it’s a safe option if performed by a licensed professional.
Lifestyle and Diet Changes for ED
Lifestyle is an important contributor to the progression of ED. While it’s true that even healthy individuals can have ED, there is certainly lifestyle and dietary factors that could help you avoid ED or at least slow its progression. Here are a few tips to consider:
- Eat a balanced diet that supports heart health.
- Exercise and maintain a healthy weight.
- Avoid tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption.
- Focus on the treatment of underlying health conditions.
- Work through relationship issues.
Speak to your doctor about your weight, diet, and activity level to learn if you should make adjustments to help with your overall health and ED.
An ED diagnosis should not be the end of the discussion, but rather the start of one. Talk to your doctor today to learn more about your options and begin working toward a solution that gives your life back.
Remember, effective treatment takes time, so patience and commitment are important. If you suspect that you may have ED, reach out to your medical provider to learn more about what you can do. Begin the process today so you can get back to living the life you deserve.