Erectile dysfunction is a prevalent condition that affects many millions of men. As common as it is for men to have a hard time getting or keeping an erection, the conversation about erectile dysfunction continues to be quiet. Men may look online to learn about the causes of ED and, in so doing, may find a few common approaches to addressing this health concern. Make no mistake, erectile dysfunction is a health concern. Not only can it profoundly affect a man’s quality of life, but it may also indicate a bigger health matter than needs attention. Here, we discuss some common and not-so-common ED treatment options that are worthy of consideration.
Medications for Erectile Dysfunction
Since 1998, the most common way to handle erectile dysfunction has been with medication. Viagra was the first ED medication to gain FDA approval. Since 1998, when prescriptions first began flying out of doctors’ offices, the use of Viagra has increased by over 250 percent. Also, since the approval of this first ED drug, others have been developed. These include Cialis and Levitra. They work the same, by increasing blood flow to the penis so an erection can occur. Though helpful, ED drugs do come with side effects, including headache and nasal congestion. Medication is also contraindicated for men who take nitroglycerine for heart disease. For these reasons, alternative methods of managing an erection are necessary.
An easy and effective method of supporting an erection is to use a vacuum pump. It may come as a surprise to learn that this is the most common method behind medication for treating ED. A vacuum pump is safe and easy to use. To produce an erection, a man places a plastic cylinder over his penis and uses the device’s pump action to increase blood flow to the penis. Once the erection has been obtained, a comfortable elastic ring holds blood in the penile shaft. Vacuum pump treatment is effective for approximately 75% of men who use it.
Two types of surgical implants are available for erectile dysfunction. The malleable implanted devices allow men to get an erection at the time of intercourse and stop the erection after intercourse. These devices do not increase blood flow to the penis so do not carry the same side effects as medications or a vacuum pump. A penile implant may work by filling cylinders in the penis with fluid or by stiffening upon positioning.
These are a sampling of available ED treatments. In our Laurel, MD office, men may also explore options including hormone therapy and shockwave therapy to reduce blockages in the tiny blood vessels in the penis. Learn more about erectile dysfunction treatments at (855) 803-MIVC.