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Treatment


Treatment depends on the cause. Testosterone supplements may be used for cases due to hormonal deficiency. However, the cause is more usually lack of adequate penile blood supply as a result of damage to inner walls of blood vessels. This damage is more frequent in older men, and often associated with disease, in particular diabetes.

Treatments (with the exception of testosterone supplementation, where effective) work on a temporary basis: they enable an erection to be attained and maintained long enough for intercourse, but do not permanently improve the underlying condition.

ED can in many cases be treated by drugs taken orally, injected, or as penile suppositories. These drugs increase the efficacy of NO, which dilates the blood vessels of corpora cavernosa. When oral drugs or suppositories fail, injections into the erectile tissue of the penile shaft are extremely effective but occasionally cause priapism.

Exercise, particularly aerobic exercise is an effective cheap treatment for erectile dysfunction.

When pharmacological methods fail, a purpose-designed external vacuum pump can be used to attain erection, with a separate compression ring fitted to the penis to maintain it. These pumps should be distinguished from other penis pumps (supplied without compression rings) which, rather than being used for temporary treatment of impotence, are claimed to increase penis length if used frequently, or vibrate as an aid to masturbation. More drastically, inflatable or rigid penile implants may be fitted surgically. Implants are irreversible and costly.

All these mechanical methods are based on simple principles of hydraulics and mechanics and are quite reliable, but have their disadvantages. In a few cases there is a vascular problem which can be treated surgically.


Other articles from the section: Erectile Dysfunction

Oral treatment

  The cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases constitute a group of enzymes that catalyse the hydrolysis of the cyclic nucleotides cyclic AMP and cyclic GMP. They exist in different molecular forms and are unevenly distributed throughout the body.  One of the forms of phophodiesterase is termed PDE5. The prescription PDE5 inhibitors sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra) and tadalafil (Cialis) are prescription drugs which are taken orally. They work by blocking the action of PDE5, which causes cGMP to ...

Section: Erectile Dysfunction

Vacuum Therapy

  These work by placing the penis in a vacuum cylinder device. The device helps draw blood into the penis by applying negative pressure. A tension ring is applied at the base of the penis to help maintain the erection. This type of device is sometimes referred to as penis pump and may be used just prior to sexual intercourse. Several types of FDA approved vacuum therapy devices are available with a doctor's ...

Section: Erectile Dysfunction

Pathophysiology

  Penile erection is managed by two different mechanisms. The first one is the reflex erection, which is achieved by directly touching the penile shaft. The second is the psychogenic erection, which is achieved by erotic or emotional stimuli. The former uses the peripheral nerves and the lower parts of the spinal cord, whereas the latter uses the limbic system of the brain. In both conditions, an intact neural system is required for a successful and complete erection. Stimulation of penile shaft by ...

Section: Erectile Dysfunction

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