ED is a very common condition, mainly in aged males. Treatment of ED usually depends upon the underlying cause of it. Several treatments are as outlined below:
Treating underlying conditions
If underlying cause of ED is a health condition like heart disease or diabetes, treating the primary condition can resolve the problem. If you are taking medication that causes ED, one must ask a doctor about prescribing an alternative, if available.
Lifestyle changes as mentioned below can help treat ED
- Achieving a healthy weight
- Stop smoking
- Stopping alcohol consumption and illegal drugs
- Exercising regularly and reducing stress
Phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) inhibitors
Phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) inhibitors are one of the most extensively used and most efficacious class of drugs for treatment of ED. They relax the blood vessels that supply blood to the penis and temporarily elevate the blood flow to the penis. Common PDE-5 inhibitors commonly used and widely available are sildenafil (Generic Viagra 100mg), tadalafil (Cialis), vardenafil, avanafil. Based on the type and the dose of PDE-5 inhibitor, it generally takes about 30-60 minutes before it starts to work. PDE-5 inhibitors should be used with caution in males having heart disease. Although the FDA does not have strict guidelines on marketing ED drugs, it is usually advisable to take these drugs under the guidance of a Registered Medical Practitioner. The doctor will check and verify if you have any allergies with the drug. Concomitant administration of PDE-5 inhibitors and drugs like nitrates (including isosorbide dinitrate, nitroglycerin, or isosorbide mononitrate) can cause low blood pressure. Patient needs to inform the doctor about any heart problems, hypertension, blood pressure issues, liver diseases, chest pains, sickle cell anemia, stomach ulcers, multiple myeloma, hemophilia, leukemia, retinitis pigmentosa, or Peyronie’s disease before the drug is administered. Over the counter purchase of ED drugs is not advisable due to risk of potential severe adverse effects like heart attack, stroke, low blood pressure and other risks. Also, this decreases the chances of buying counterfeit products.
A vacuum pump consists of a clear plastic tube that is connected to a pump, which is either hand or battery operated and allows to maintain an erection for around 30 minutes. Several attempts may be required to use the pump correctly; however, they are generally effective.
In case if ED becomes non-responsive to PDE-5 inhibitors or a vacuum pump, a medicine called Alprostadil is given. This is a synthetic (man-made) hormone that stimulates blood flow to the penis. Alprostadil typically produces an erection after 5-15 minutes; but duration of the erection depends on the dose.
Other management approaches for ED include hormone therapy to restore normal hormone levels and surgery which is usually only recommended if all other treatment methods have failed.
Alternative treatments include Psychological treatments, sensate focus (a type of sex therapy), psychosexual counselling, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), pelvic floor muscle exercises etc.