Erectile dysfunction is a relatively common problem that affects men. According to Single Care, it’s estimated that 10% of men are impacted by ED at some point in their life. Fortunately, ED treatment can help address this issue. While it’s normal to encounter problems with getting an erection, it’s especially important to seek ED treatment if the issue continues to worsen or frequently interrupts a man’s sex life. Below, we will explore ED treatment options in great detail, but first, let’s have a closer look at what ED is and the signs and symptoms associated with it.

What Is Erectile Dysfunction (ED)?

Simply put, ED is when a man has difficulty getting or maintaining an erection. Because the erection is not firm enough, it can be impossible to continue with the act of sex. ED can happen to any man due to several reasons. For instance, a man might have trouble getting an erection if they are feeling stressed or are emotionally unstable. ED can also happen when there’s a medical issue that’s preventing adequate blood flow in the penis. Sometimes, ED is a sign that the person is at risk of serious illness, such as heart disease and high blood pressure. Whatever the reason, getting early ED treatment can help address the issue and improve your overall health.

Normally, when everything is working as it should, there’s increased blood flow into the penis whenever a man becomes sexually aroused. The penis is made of spongy muscle tissue that quickly fills with blood, causing the penis to harden or become firm. But once a man has orgasmed, the muscle tissue contracts, squeezing out the blood and effectively getting rid of the erection. With ED, this does not happen, and the penis may remain soft or limp. Sometimes blood can still flow into the penis, but it’s not enough to cause the desired firmness. This can result in low self-esteem, lack of confidence in sexual abilities, depression, and distress. ED can also negatively impact a man’s relationship with his partner.

Generally, men are more likely to be affected by ED if they are more than 50 years old or if they smoke, use drugs, or drink alcohol excessively. Lack of exercise also increases the risk as well as underlying health conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. As mentioned, the most common causes behind ED include hardened arteries, injuries, faulty nerve signals, nerve damage, side effects from cancer treatment, or drugs used to treat other health problems. Emotional problems, such as anxiety, depression, and work stress, can also cause ED. All of this leads to reduced blood flow into the penis, and the man fails to keep an erection. While ED is more common in older men, it can still affect men of any age. But with the right treatment, it’s possible for a man to regain their sexual function even in their golden years.

How Does ED Treatment Work?

Before undergoing treatment for ED, it’s important to first get a diagnosis from your healthcare provider or urologist. This helps to discover the cause behind the issue so that your treatment can be tailored to you. Therefore, it’s typical for your healthcare provider to ask questions about your physical, emotional, and mental health as well as your lifestyle and the kind of prescription or recreational drugs you take. Sometimes, you may also undergo a physical exam or go through lab tests to determine the factors behind the ED.

Keep in mind that men experience ED differently. For instance, for some, the problem develops over time while the issue is sudden and full-blown with others. Others may have no problem keeping an erection at different times, while others have problems with ejaculation or experience a painful erection. Whatever the issue, your healthcare provider will use this information to discover the best ED treatment for your situation. Here are some common treatment options that your doctor may suggest.

Lifestyle Changes

Your provider may suggest changes you can implement to improve your heart and vascular health. This can significantly help lower the risk of ED. Positive lifestyle changes that can help include quitting smoking or alcohol, eating better, and stopping the use of drugs or using alternative drugs. It’s also recommended that a person exercise more to boost their heart health. If the root cause is emotional or mental, resolving the problem can often cure the ED. For instance, therapy can be used to address issues like depression, anxiety, relationship conflicts, and life stressors.

Non-Invasive ED Treatments

Before suggesting surgery as a viable treatment for ED, your healthcare provider will often begin by trying out different non-invasive treatments that might work for you. The most common non-invasive treatment available on the market is oral drugs, with Viagra being a well-known option. These drugs only work if the penis doesn’t have any nerve damage, and they are typically taken a couple of hours before sex.

Another non-invasive option is Testosterone therapy which helps to increase blood levels of Testosterone. This ED treatment is often recommended when a low sex drive is the cause behind ED. Other ED treatment options include the vacuum erection device and penile injections. A vacuum erection device is a plastic sleeve that fits onto the penis and forms a seal with the skin. A pump attached to the tube is then used to create an erection, while an elastic ring at the base of the penis helps to maintain the erection by preventing blood from flowing out of the penis for up to 30 minutes. In contrast, penile injections are an alternative to oral drugs. With this option, the drug is injected directly into the penis. A more involved procedure involves placing a slow-release form of the drug in the urethra.

Invasive ED Treatments

There are various surgical treatments that can be used to address ED. One of the most common surgical treatment involves the insertion of a penile implant or prosthesis that facilitate the stiffening of the penis, thus allowing affected males to enjoy a regular sex life. With this option, one can choose a bendable implant that comprises flexible rods that are usually made of silicone. Alternatively, one can choose an inflatable implant that comes with a pump that can be used to change the pressure in the implant’s cylinders so that the man can lose or keep an erection as desired. For penile implants, the procedure is carried out while you’re under anesthesia. However, the procedure is generally minimally invasive since only a small surgical cut is made to insert the implant. There’s no tissue removal, and blood loss is small, so the patient can quickly recover and resume normal life soon after the procedure.

In a nutshell, common treatments for ED include making lifestyle changes or non-invasive options, such as oral drugs, testosterone therapy, and the use of a vacuum erection device. Most of these treatments can be controlled, such that the erection feels natural, sex can be spontaneous, and the effects wear off after sex. Some of the treatments are successful, but they don’t always fix the underlying problem. Sometimes, treatments are combined at the suggestion of your healthcare provider to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the solutions.

Is Erectile Dysfunction affecting your life, and would you like to know more about the treatment options available to you? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experts as they can help answer your questions and find a suitable solution to your problem.