How is Erectile Dysfunction Treated

Erectile dysfunction is characterized by the inability to develop or maintain an erection of the penis. There are various underlying causes, such as diabetes and cardiovascular leakage, many of which are medically treatable.

Causes of erectile dysfunction can either be physiological or psychological. The former illustrates that the penis in unable to retain its hydraulic mechanism, mainly based on blood entering and being retained in the penis. The latter, meanwhile, describes erectile dysfunction as something caused by thoughts or feelings that impede one’s penis to rise.

Erectile dysfunction can be treated, ranging form home remedies to a more scientific approach. Each treatment targets the particular cause of erectile dysfunction. However, most treatments only work on a temporary basis wherein men would able to maintain an erection long enough for intercourse, but do not permanently improve the underlying conditions.

Oral treatment – There are three different tablets currently available from the doctor that aid men in erectile dysfunction. These medicine works when there is sexual stimulation, and it will take between 20 minutes to 1 hour before men can achieve full erection that can last between 3 to 36 hours.

The medicines are mainly selective enzyme inhibitors with brand names such as Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis. They inhibit the enzyme that facilitates their reduction and increase levels of cyclic guanosine monophosphate that relaxes the smooth muscles of the penis, thus enabling blood to flow into the male organ.

However, these should not be taken by men who have had a heart attack or stroke within the past 6 months and those with certain medical conditions such as hypertension, severe low blood pressure, or liver disease. Meanwhile, dosages of these drugs should be limited in patients with kidney or liver disorders.

Self-injection – This involves a short needle or a special applicator, either containing prostaglandin or phentolamine, that is injected into the side of the penis just before sexual intercourse.

Results are similar to Viagra, usually taking effect between 5 to 15 minutes after the application, but are localized in the penis after injection. However, it is recommended that self-injection be performed no more than once every 4 to 7 days.

External application – Several creams such as Befar, which is only commercially available in Eastern Asia, can be applied directly on the penis and the result can be felt in between 10 to 15 minutes, lasting for over 4 hours. Applying the cream would create warm and burning sensations.

Vacuum pumps – These unusual devices work by drawing blood into the penis as the plastic tube where the penis is inserted is pumped off its air, developing a vacuum.

Adequate erection occurs in one to three minutes, after which a soft rubber O-ring is placed around the base of the penis to trap blood and maintain the erection until removed. However, erections are usually floppy because the penis is flaccid between the ring and the body.

Hormone treatment – In rare cases, some patients receive testosterone treatment for their erection problem. Results of which are mostly permanent, with men able to stimulate their penis into erection without much help.

Surgery – This is often the last resort if other treatments have failed. The most common surgical procedure is prosthetic implants, which involves the insertion of artificial rods into the penis.

Counseling – Also known as sex therapy, this is often the treatment of choice for men whose erectile problems are psychological in nature, when pharmacological methods fail, or when self-esteem problems continue despite the positive effect of medicines prescribed for ED.

Qualified therapists work with couples to reduce tension, improve sexual communication, and create realistic expectations for sex, all of which can improve erectile function. It may also be effective in conjunction with medical or surgical treatment.