|Ways to treat erectile dysfunction (impotence) can be found in pills and pellets, implants and injections. Your choice depends on your health, medical background and the cause of your erectile dysfunction.|
Phosphodiesterase E5 (PDE5) drugs -- Viagra (sildenafil), Levitra (vardenafil) and Cialis (tadalafil).
These drugs are the most prescribed treatment of erectile dysfunction today.
Yohimbine. Yohimbine is modestly effective in treating erectile dysfunction. Made from the extract of the bark of a West African tree, yohimbine is not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Yohimbe, an herbal remedy containing yohimbine as its active ingredient, is available over the counter, but the FDA strongly advises against its use because it has serious and potentially life-threatening side effects, such as paralysis, fatigue, stomach disorders and even death.
Before Viagra was approved, injecting medicine into the penis was the main way to treat impotence. It helps up to 90% of men with impotence. Doctors often recommend it for men who don't get erections using Viagra and the other PDE5 drugs.
Sold under the name MUSE (medicated urethral system for erection), these suppositories contain the drug alprostadil. Men insert the pellets about two inches into the opening of the penis. Sometimes a rubber band is placed around the base of the penis to sustain the erection.
This option doesn't have any side effects or discomfort.
Penile implants are the primary surgical option for impotence. This is a costly treatment. It is usually recommended only after other methods have failed.
There are other types of surgical treatment for impotence that are rarely used: venous outflow surgery, which repairs leaky veins in the penis that keep a man from maintaining an erection, or bypass surgery, which clears blocked penile arteries.
Another procedure, known as revascularization, is used most successfully in younger men who have small blockages in arteries. These are caused by injury to the crotch area or a fractured pelvis. An artery is taken from a leg and surgically connected to the arteries at the back of the penis. This restores blood flow by going around the blockage.
This is a rare option. Only about 5% of men have a testosterone deficiency that causes erectile dysfunction.
Testosterone is usually administered by patch, topical gel or injection. Oral testosterone can reduce impotence in some men with low levels of natural testosterone, but it is generally not recommended because possible side effects include damage to the liver.
The cause-and-effect relationship of erectile dysfunction and mental health is a complex one. Counseling often helps to clarify the issues.
Depressed men may have trouble performing sexually. If you get rid of the depression, the sex drive may come back.
Psychological obstacles to sexual fulfillment tend to appear more in younger men.