If you have erectile dysfunction, you’ve probably been reading up about treatment options for impotence (e.g., penile injection therapy, blood vessel surgery, penile implant). Although those are all good treatment options, there are other less invasive treatments that aren’t quite so extreme. Since erectile dysfunction has many different causes and everyone responds differently to treatment, these less invasive options may or may not be more appropriate for you.
Counseling for ED
Sometimes, erectile dysfunction is caused by psychological or emotional issues (e.g., stress, performance anxiety, depression), rather than physical issues. In those cases, you may need to be referred to a psychologist for counseling. Impotence, itself, can also cause anxiety or depression, which may also require counseling.
Over the Counter Products for ED (Nutraceuticals)
Over the counter or herbal remedies for erectile dysfunction may or may not be effective, and could also be dangerous since they have not been approved by the FDA. Popular alternative treatments for erectile dysfunction include:
- L-arginine: L-arginine dilates blood vessels, improving blood flow. Side effects include decreased blood pressure, abdominal pain, breathing problems.
- Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA): DHEA increases testosterone levels. Side effects include increased blood pressure, headache, fatigue, hair loss, irregular heartbeat, and upset stomach.
- Yohimbe: Yohimbe increases blood flow to the penis. Side effects include increased blood pressure, nausea/vomiting, anxiety, increased heart rate, dizziness, headache, and tremors.
Prescription Medications for ED
Erectile dysfunction medications relax the muscles in the penis, which results in increased blood flow, which leads to an erection. There are three common medications for impotence:
Different people react differently to each medication, so it may take some time to determine which one works best for you.
All three ED medications have potential side effects, which include:
- Prolonged erection
- Nasal congestion
- Vision changes
- Upset stomach
MUSE (Intraurethral Agents)
Intraurethral agents are suppositories that are inserted into the penis. The suppositories release Alprostadil, a medication that dilates the arteries to the penis, which causes an erection due to increased blood flow. You should get an erection within about 10 minutes of inserting the suppository, and it should last for about an hour.
ED Pumps (Penis Pumps)
A penis pump, also known as a vacuum construction device, is a pump with a cylinder (tube) attached. The tube is placed over the penis, and the pump creates a vacuum that causes an erection. Once the penis is erect, a constriction band is placed around the penis to keep it erect.
For more information on other ED Treatments, contact Leroy Jones, MD, urology specialist of San Antonio.