Erectile Dysfunction (ED) Treatment

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Many options exist today to treat ED. We may treat the cause or the symptoms. For many men, the answer is as simple as taking a pill. Others have to try two or three options before they find a treatment that works for them and their partner. Don’t give up if the first treatment doesn’t work; finding the right treatment can take time.

Treating the Cause

Health problems
The first step is to treat any health problems that may be causing your ED. Untreated diabetes or high blood pressure may be part of the problem.

Lifestyle changes
You may experience improvement by quitting smoking, drinking less alcohol, increasing physical activity and/or stopping illegal drug use.

Changing medications
Talk with your doctor about all the medicines you are taking, including over-the-counter medicines. One of these may be causing your ED. You may be able to lower the dose or take another medicine that works in a different way.

Counseling
Counseling can help couples deal with the emotional effects of ED. It may also enhance medical treatment by making your relationship stronger.

Medications

If your health is generally good, we may prescribe a pill to treat ED. They work by increasing blood flow to the penis. Common medicines include sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn), tadalafil (Cialis) and avanafil (Stendra). You should not take any of these medications if you take nitrates for a heart condition.
 
If taking a pill doesn’t work, we may try an injection into the shaft of your penis or medicine placed in your urethra, at the tip of your penis. 

Medications are now commonly used in penile rehabilitation after treatment for prostate cancer in an effort to lessen or prevent ED.

Vacuum Device

Mechanical vacuum devices cause an erection by creating a partial vacuum. You place your penis into a specially designed vacuum tube and pump out the air in the tube. Blood flows into your penis, making it larger and firmer. A specially designed elastic ring keeps the blood from flowing back into your body until you are ready. Vacuum Devices are now commonly used in penile rehabilitation after treatment for prostate cancer in an effort to lessen or prevent ED.

Surgery

If the other options fail, we may be able to treat your ED with surgery. Dr. Francis Schanne leads reconstructive urology surgery at Urologic Consultants. He offers nationally recognized expertise in helping men who experience ED, especially after cancer treatment and trauma. 

Implanted devices
An inflatable implant uses two cylinders placed inside the penis that fill with fluid like a balloon. You fill the cylinders by squeezing a small pump placed under your skin. 

Malleable implants consist of two rods placed side by side in your penis. You adjust the position of the rods with your hands to make your penis straight. 

Implanted devices do not affect the way sex feels or the ability to have an orgasm.

Surgery to repair blood vessels
Sometimes we can repair the blood vessels that carry blood to the penis. This type of surgery is more likely to work in men younger than 30.