5 Treatment Options for Erectile Dysfunction

5 Treatment Options for Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common problem as men age, affecting millions of men. Men who have erectile dysfunction may have trouble getting and maintaining an erection firm enough for penetration during sexual activity.

ED has multiple causes and contributing factors, especially in men over 40. One of the most common causes is low testosterone, which is common in older men. Other symptoms of low testosterone include low libido, fatigue, depression, and loss of muscle mass. Men who have diabetes or peripheral vascular disease, a condition that causes blood vessels to narrow, are also at a higher risk of developing ED.

High stress levels, smoking, and poor diet and exercise habits are other common factors that can contribute to ED and other sexual health problems. Fortunately, erectile dysfunction is treatable for most men. Read this blog to learn some treatment options.


Oral medications are often the first treatment men diagnosed with erectile dysfunction try. The most common medications increase the effect of nitric oxide, which is a chemical that helps relax the penis muscles to increase blood flow and make it easier to get an erection.

These medications include Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, and Stendra and must be taken before sex — between 15 minutes and 36 hours before sexual activity depending on the medication. ED medication works for about 80 percent of men who try it, according to WebMD.

Most oral medications aren’t safe options for men who have heart disease, low blood pressure, and those who take blood thinners or nitrate drugs.

Vacuum Devices

If medications don’t work for you or you can’t take them due to other health issues, your doctor might recommend a vacuum erection device, or penis pump. These devices are shaped like a tube you put over your penis. You remove air from the tube manually or by a battery-powered motor.

As the air is sucked out of the tube, it increases the amount of blood in your penis, which makes it erect. You can place a ring around the base of your penis to hold the blood in until you’re ready to have intercourse.


Men who don’t respond well to oral medications can get a prescription for a medication called Alprostadil that is injected into the side of the penis shaft with a very small needle. Your doctor will show you how to administer the shots if you decide to try this.

Injected drugs create an erection that lasts for 20 to 30 minutes or slightly longer in up to 85 percent of men who have erectile dysfunction, according to the American Urological Association.

Intraurethral Therapy

Alprostadil is also available in small suppositories that are inserted into the urethra. This treatment method is called intraurethral (IU) therapy and is successful with many men. IU therapy is useful for men who want to achieve an erection quickly, as the suppositories usually begin working within 10 minutes.

Surgical Implants

Men who have tried other more conservative treatment methods for erectile dysfunction without acceptable results may be candidates for surgical implants.

Your doctor will surgically place implants in your shaft that allow you to achieve a normal erection without having to plan ahead by taking pills, injections, or urethral suppositories.

There are two main types of implants. Flexible silicone rods are a good option for many men. These rods keep the penis firm, but they allow for bending down for urinating and bending upward for intercourse.

Inflatable implants are another surgical option. The fluid-filled inflatable implants connect to a small pump your surgeon will place in your scrotum. When you engage the pump, the implants inflate and create a firm, natural-feeling erection.

NuMale Medical Center provides treatment for erectile dysfunction and other men’s health issues at 12 locations across the United States. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.