Penile injection therapy, also known as intracavernous injection therapy, is one of several possible treatments for erectile dysfunction. It has been shown to be an effective treatment for more than 80% of men with impotence, and is often used in men who have not had success with oral erectile dysfunction medications. However, which type of treatment you need will depend on the cause and severity of your ED. You may need to try several treatment options before you find one that works for you.
Penile injection therapy involves using a needle to inject a medication into the side of your penis. The purpose of the medication is to dilate the blood vessels, which will increase blood flow to the penis and produce an erection. The injection is done with a very thin needle, which makes it relatively painless. You will be taught how to inject the medication yourself.
Medications Used for Penile Injection Therapy
The most common medication used for intracavernous injection therapy is a vasodilator called Alprostadil. It is sometimes used alone, but can also be used in combination with other medications. Penile injection therapy medications should not be used more than three times a week or more than once in 24 hours.
Effects of Penile Injection Therapy
The effects of a penile injection for ED begin within 5-10 minutes, and normally last anywhere from an hour to 90 minutes. The effects of the medication will continue, even if you ejaculate before the medication wears off. You should plan to have sex within 30 minutes after injection. If your erection does not last for at least an hour, or if it lasts longer than 90 minutes, you may need to have your dosage adjusted.
Penile Injection Therapy Side Effects
Side effects of penile injection therapy may include:
- Prolonged erection (priapism)
- Bleeding at the injection site
- Scarring at the injection site
- Pain (from the medication)
If you experience any of the following side effects, contact Dr. Jones:
- A painful erection that lasts for more than four hours
- A painful, curved erection
- Pelvic pain
For more information on penile injection therapy, contact Leroy Jones, MD, urology specialist of San Antonio.