The Benefits of Erectile Dysfunction Therapy
The first step to treating erectile dysfunction is a visit to your physician. It can be uncomfortable and even embarrassing to admit that you are suffering from this condition, but erectile dysfunction is treatable.
Your doctor will perform a full physical examination, including a complete blood panel, to make sure you are not suffering from another medical condition that may be affecting your ability to achieve an erection.
A variety of treatments exist for erectile dysfunction, including psychotherapy, medication, physical stimulation, and surgery.
Psychotherapy may not seem like the first course of action for men living with erectile dysfunction, but it is beneficial in the majority of ED patients. Relationship problems, issues at work, and financial problems are all stressors that can contribute to erectile dysfunction. Talking over your issues with a trained therapist provides a safe environment that can lessen anxiety and teach a variety of intimate techniques to increase satisfaction for both partners. Most patients have to attend less than six sessions to find some relief from their erectile dysfunction.
Medication is one of the most popular courses of therapy for men suffering from erectile dysfunction. Most medications are taken in pill form, although some may be injected into the penis or inserted directly into the urethra. The majority of erectile dysfunction medications are a classification of drugs known as phosphodiesterase (PDE) type 5 inhibitors. These pills relax the smooth muscles inside the penis, allowing for increased blood flow for stronger, longer-lasting erections. PDE 5 type inhibitors help alleviate ED in approximately 80% of patients.
Physical stimulation is another therapeutic treatment for erectile dysfunction. Vacuum pumps are the primary course of stimulation treatment, and they are made up of three parts: a clean plastic cylinder, a pump, and a rubber ring. The plastic cylinder is slipped over the penis, with the rubber ring sitting as far down on the base of the penis as possible. The pump then draws air out of the tube, encouraging extra blood to flow into the penis. As the penis begins to stiffen, the rubber ring prevents the blood from flowing back out, helping to keep the erection strong. After the intimacy session is over, the erection will soften slightly and the ring can be removed.
Surgery for erectile dysfunction falls into either reconstructive or implant categories. Reconstructive surgery is typically done on patients with vascular damage in or near the penis. Small tears or holes in the veins may prevent proper blood flow, making it difficult to achieve an erection. Surgical implants are inserted directly into the penis and support the penis, keeping it rigid enough for an erection. Implants may cause infection in some men, so this avenue should be considered with caution.