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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 ...

Section: Erectile Dysfunction

Alternative treatment methods

  Numerous alternative therapies are used to improve sexual function. Some include: niacin, zinc, copper, Korean red ginseng root, ginkgo, pine bark, Tribulus terrestris, arginine, Avena sativa, horny goat weed, maca root, muira puama, saw palmetto, and Swedish flower pollen. None of these however have been recognized as effective by the FDA. While zinc ...

Section: Erectile Dysfunction

Medical diagnosis

  There are no formal tests to diagnose erectile dysfunction. Some blood tests are generally done to exclude underlying disease, such as diabetes, hypogonadism and prolactinoma. Impotence is also related to generally poor physical health, poor dietary habits, obesity, and most specifically cardiovascular disease such as coronary artery disease and peripheral vascular disease.  A useful and simple way to distinguish between physiological and psychological impotence is to determine whether the patient ever has an erection. If never, the problem is ...

Section: Erectile Dysfunction

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