Erectile Dysfunction Treatment
Treatment for erectile dysfunction ranges from medications and simple mechanical devices to surgery and psychological counseling. And the cause and severity of the condition are two of the single most important factors in determining the combination of treatments which will be best for your particular situation.
It will also be important to discuss cost and insurance coverage with your physician. As of 2006 Medicare began covering prescriptions for Viagra, Levitra and Cialis. Treatment for erectile dysfunction can be costly and individual coverage by private insurance will vary. For this reason it is also important to discuss your coverage with your insurance company.
But, because erectile dysfunction can be an initial sign of a number of different underlying medical conditions, initial evaluation of the dysfunction is often covered by an insurance policy.
If an underlying medical condition is found and therefore treated, this may alleviate the symptoms of erectile dysfunction. Some policies also have a limit on how many medications or injections are covered each month.
Oral medications is one treatment used for erectile dysfunction. They include Viagra, Cialis and Levitra. All three of these medications work in approximately the same way.
Chemically they are similar but they have different times at which the medication begins to work and different times for the length the medication will work. They also are different in dosage and the effectiveness depending upon the individual.
Although these medications are the first line of defense for many men, not all men can or should take them. Be sure your physician knows if you take nitrate drugs for angina or you take blood thinning medications or you have an enlarged prostate or high blood pressure.
Each of these conditions may eliminate the choice of oral medications to treat erectile dysfunction. Other men who may have severe heart disease, stroke, low blood pressure or uncontrolled diabetes may also not be good candidates for oral medications.
It is also important to understand that you may not receive the correct dose immediately. Dosages might need to be adjusted or are you may need to alter when you take the medication.
Be sure to investigate potential benefits and side effects of the medications as well as discuss any serious illnesses or health problems that you have had in the past. It is also important to consider any over-the-counter medications, prescription medications or herbal remedies which you take that could interfere with the ability of the medications to work.
Another option for treatment is injectable medication. These medications are used to relax the muscle tissue in the penis which helps to enhance the blood flow needed for an erection. In the first case a fine needle may be used to inject medication into the base or side of the penis.
This will generally produce an erection in five to 20 minutes that can last about an hour. Because in injection goes directly into the area of the penis affected it is usually effective. The size of the needle is so small that pain from the site is usually minor. Other side effects can include bleeding from the injection, prolonged erection and formation of fiberous tissue at the injection site.
The second injectable medication involves using a disposable applicator to insert a tiny suppository about half the size of a grain of rice in to the tip of the penis. This suppository is absorbed by the tissue in the penis which increases the blood flow that causes an erection.
There are no needles involved but some men still find this method uncomfortable. Side effects can include pain, minor bleeding, dizziness and formation of fiberous tissue.
There are a small number of men who have a deficiency of testosterone and testosterone replacement therapy may be an option for them. Other men find using penis pumps, which is a treatment involving the use of a hollow tube with a hand powered pump, an alternative to medications or injections.
The tube is placed over the penis and the pump is used to suck out air creating a vacuum that pulls blood in. Once an adequate erection is achieved a tension ring is slipped around the base of the penis to maintain the erection. The vacuum is removed and the erection will typically lasts long enough for a couple to have sex.
A man who has been involved in a traumatic injury or surgical procedure which has disturbed the vascular blood flow to the area may be a candidate for vascular surgery.
This procedure can be used to correct erectile dysfunction caused by vascular blockages in the goal is to increase blood flow to the penis so erections can occur naturally. Long-term success of this surgery at this time is unclear.
Another treatment option is a penile implant which involves surgically implanting a device into the two sides of the penis which allows for an erection to happen as often and for as long as desired. This is an inflatable device that the man controls.
These implants are either inflatable or semi rigid rods made from silicone or polyurethane. The treatment is often expensive and not recommended until other methods have been considered or tried.
Erectile dysfunction is a problem which will cause issues in any marital relationship. Fortunately with current research and technology this condition often has treatments which are accessible for most couples.
MayoClinic: erectile dysfunction
AARP: Treating Erectile Dysfunction without the Little Blue Pill
MedlinePlus: Erectile Dysfunction
Harvard Health Publications of Harvard Medical School: A Logical Approach to Erectile Dysfunction
NHS Choice: Treating Erectile Dysfunction
University of California SanDieo: Understanding Erectile Dysfunction
US Food and Drug Administration: Hidden Risk of Erectile Dysfunction Treatments