Although it can feel disheartening to receive a diagnosis of erectile dysfunction, the good news is that many options exist to treat it. If you have regular problems getting or sustaining an erection, the first step is to visit our clinic for a physical exam and to learn more about your treatment options.
What to Expect When Visiting a Doctor for Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction can have physical causes, psychological causes, or both. In some cases, other conditions exist that also require treatment such as with diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease. If the cause is related to depression or anxiety, therapy can address those issues while medication can help with the physical aspects of not being able to achieve or sustain an erection.
You should expect to undergo a physical exam when visiting your doctor. He or she may physically inspect your penis and testes while determining if you have a problem with nerve sensations. Blood and urine tests help to detect the presence of other health issues. If your doctor suspects that a lack of blood flow is causing erection problems, he or she may refer you for an ultrasound. After determining the cause of your impotence, your doctor should present you with several options for treating it.
Prescription Medications or Injections
Medication for erectile dysfunction improves blood flow to the penis, which typically allows you to get an erection and maintain it long enough to complete sexual intercourse. You should take the medication a few hours before you would like to engage in sexual activity or according to the instructions. Both brand name and generic medications exist for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Some of the top prescriptions written by doctors include Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis.
If you can’t take medication due to allergies, side effects, or they’re just not effective for you, penile injections are another option. You inject medication via a needle into the side of the penis shortly before desiring sexual intercourse. This option is usually faster since the injection delivers medication directly to the bloodstream.
Making certain lifestyle changes can improve blood flow to the penis as well as the functioning of your nerves. Remember that these changes are gradual, and you won’t see an improvement overnight. However, sticking with them long-term is essential to see lasting changes in your sexual performance. While not all of the following will apply to you, these are the lifestyle changes doctors recommend most to improve erectile dysfunction:
- Exercise regularly
- Lose weight
- Quit smoking
- Reduce consumption of alcohol
- Reduce stress
- Penile Pumps or Implants
A penile pump goes over the penis and helps to pull blood into its shaft. The vacuum seal creates an erection. At that point, you can remove the pump by pulling its retaining band down to the tip of your penis. Although this typically allows an erection to last long enough for intercourse, it may prevent ejaculation due to the tightness of the rubber band. You may also notice that your penis feels much colder than usual.
An intraurethral suppository to treat erectile dysfunction is approximately the same size as a grain of rice. You guide it into the urethra by placing it in the tip of your penis. Once inside, it dissolves and improves blood flow to the penis to allow you to achieve and sustain a satisfying erection.
A penile injection is a way to deliver strong medications to treat ED directly into the penis itself via a small painless injection. This is specifically useful for patients whose nerves leading to the penis that stimulate erections have been damaged or injured (eg after prostate cancer surgery).
Penile Implants (Surgery)
With a penile implant, a Urologist can surgically replace the damaged internal portions of your penis and replace them with inflatable cylinders. These cylinders connect to a pump system hidden in your scrotum. Whenever you want an erection, you can activate the device and your normal penis becomes engorged and erect. The entire device is inside your body and discreet. You can maintain an erection for as long as you would like, whenever you would like. This short outpatient procedure can give patients back their erections and sexual health, even if you haven’t had an erection in years. Speak with your urologist about all of your options.
Contact Us Today to Request an Appointment
Erectile dysfunction is common, especially as men get older. That doesn’t mean you need to accept it as a normal part of aging, however. Help is available, regardless of your age or health history. We encourage you not to delay in contacting us to request your initial appointment.