Treating ED, with a Multiple-Method Approach

Tired stressed male worker taking off glasses, person massaging nose bridge suffering from headache and trying to relieve pain. Despaired man frustrated after reading company collapse or failure news

Erectile dysfunction, also referred to simply as ED, can take a huge toll on the man suffering with it. Beyond the impact to his self-esteem and confidence levels, men living with this condition can often find that the effects branch into his personal relationships and even his professional life. For years men suffered alone and in silence, with a condition that today is largely treatable.

Advances in knowledge, awareness and technology now mean that men can get the treatment that they need for ED. The first step towards getting treatment is to reach out to your doctor. The subject of ED can be embarrassing and uncomfortable to discuss. However, your doctor will have the compassion and discretion needed to ensure that your concerns are addressed in a professional manner. If you don’t reach out for help, you can’t get the right treatment to address your individual concerns.

That first appointment

The very first thing that your doctor will need to do is to get to the bottom of your ED. What is causing it, what other factors are contributing to it, is it purely mental or is there a physical component that needs to be addressed? 

It’s vital that you provide your doctor with a thorough medical history, including any medications and herbal supplements that you might be taking. Herbal supplements are often sold with the promise of being a safe alternative to medical intervention. However, sometimes they are not only useless, but they can actually make the situation much worse.

According to the expertise of the doctors at the very first consultation will typically involve a physical examination. Blood work may be required in order to rule out any hormonal or vitamin deficiencies. This is also your opportunity to have an open and honest discussion with the doctor about your ED. Be prepared to cover topics that include when it started being a concern, is it sporadic, is it progressive? Remember that is it very normal for men to occasionally experience difficulty with getting and maintaining an erection. Even the healthiest of men can struggle with this once in a while. It becomes an issue, however, when it happens frequently and keeps on happening.

Oral medication options for ED

Most of us are aware of the oral medications that can help to treat some types of ED. They work by enhancing the effects of a natural chemical in the body. Nitric oxide is the chemical that is produced by the body upon receipt of sexual stimulation. It relaxes the muscles in the penis, which then increases the blood flow that will result in an erection. These medications are not aphrodisiacs and will not produce an erection automatically. Sexual stimulation is needed, combined with these medications, to produce the desired results.

There are a number of these types of medications, offered in varying dosages. They also vary in the way that they produce results and the side effects that are often experienced with them. Your doctor will consider your ED and the circumstances surrounding it, in order to determine which of the medications might be the best viable option for you.

Other drug options for ED

There are several other medications that have seen to produce results for ED. They are not quite as simple as taking a pill, however.

  • One method involves self-injecting a medication into the base or the side of your penis prior to engaging in sexual activity. Results typically last up to an hour. The needle used is very small and typically results in just minor discomfort.
  • Testosterone replacement therapy is an option for men who have ED that is being complicated by low testosterone levels. In these cases, testosterone replacement therapy may be the first treatment step, or it may be combined with other types of ED therapy.
  • Urethral suppositories are an option for some men. These very small suppositories are inserted into the urethra prior to sexual activity. The results can last up to an hour and don’t have many side effects outside of minor discomfort and the potential for bleeding.

Remember that your doctor cannot prescribe a treatment plan until the cause of your ED has been established.

Non-surgical procedures and treatments for ED

There are surgical treatments that have been used to treat ED, but they are often the option deferred to after the non-surgical options have been exhausted. Some of the non-surgical procedures are quite effective, particularly when they are combined with other types of treatment.

Low intensity shockwave therapy is a non-invasive treatment can increase the functionality of blood vessels, which can lead to an increase in the ability to maintain an erection. It’s a painless treatment, requires no anesthetic and takes as little as 10 minutes to complete. After a round of treatment, which is typically 6 to 12 sessions, up to 75% of men report seeing a difference in their ability to get and maintain an erection.

What is important to note is that many men opt to have these types of treatments done while also using oral or injectable drugs to treat their ED. Taking a treatment approach that takes several factors into consideration is often quite effective.

Many doctors will also recommend that their patients undergo therapy, so that any emotional or mental health concerns surrounding their ED can be addressed in a confidential and discreet space. There is as much of a mental and emotional connection to ED as there is a physical.