Erectile dysfunction can affect men of all ages, even if it becomes increasingly common as a man grows older. Men do not suffer alone with erectile dysfunction, as their spouses also share in their emotional struggle. Some spouses may also blame themselves for erectile dysfunction, and it can affect a couple’s relationship deeply.
If a man has trouble getting or keeping an erection frequently or the problem seems to get worse, then they should consult a doctor and get treated. There are many forms of treatment for Erectile Dysfunction, and while each is proven to be effective at treating the condition, treatment depends on the cause of the problem and is different for each man.
While it might be embarrassing to talk about it, take courage and know that erectile dysfunction can be treated. Much like any other health condition, the sooner you seek treatment, the sooner you can return to the best version of yourself.
To read more about Erectile Dysfunction along with its symptoms and causes; read our blog on Erectile Dysfunction at: https://www.islandhospital.com/en/health_blog/erectiledysfunction
Oral medications are one of the most common forms of treatment for ED, but may or may not work for everyone. You might recognise some of the medications used, such as:
When blood begins to flow in the penis, our body releases a chemical called nitric oxide to relax the muscles in the penis. The stretching of muscles is what allows the penis to sustain the erection as the blood flows in it.
As men get older, production of nitric oxide in their bodies may decrease, resulting in erectile dysfunction. The prescribed oral medications will boost the effects of nitric oxide in a man’s body, once again allowing the muscles in the penis to relax and sustain an erection.
The medications will amplify the signals from the brain that releases the nitric oxide into the penis, but they do not cause the man to get excited. A man will still require sexual stimulation to get an erection, and these medications do not cause excitement or sexual stimulation in people who get normal erections.
While it is an effective form of treatment, the medication might not work for some men; while some men also don’t like needing to wait for the medicine to take effect.
Some men may also experience side-effects from oral medications, such as:
Oral medications may also be less effective in diabetics or people who have gone through prostate surgery. The medications may also be dangerous in people who:
A penile pump (also known as a penis pump or a vacuum constriction device) is a pump that comes with a band that can be used to help a man get and maintain an erection.
How does it work?
1) The pump is first placed over the penis
2) Air is then pumped out of the tube so that a vacuum is created. The vacuum will suck the air out of the tube and blood will be drawn into the penis.
3) Once the penis is erect, a retaining band or ring is slid down over the lower end of the penis.
4) The vacuum is released and the pump is removed.
A penile pump can be hand or battery-powered, and usually comes with a release feature that stops the vacuum so that injuries to the penis can be avoided. The retaining band allows the erection to last long enough for a couple to have sex, although ejaculation will be restricted by the band.
Penile implants are devices that are made to fit a man’s penis and surgically placed into both sides of the penis. These implants are inflatable and bendable devices that will expand to keep the penis erect and firm when needed.
The devices are controlled by a pump that can be pressed to cause an erection whenever the man desires. As the devices are surgically implanted and cannot be seen from the outside, an erection caused by a penis implant looks the same as a normal erection would.
Penile implants are usually not recommended until other forms of treatment have been tried and are unsuccessful. As it requires surgery, this form of treatment carries risk of infections and bleeding. It is not recommended for people with urinary tract infection (UTI) to get penile implants.
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) is a safe method of treatment that can not only improve, but also cure erectile dysfunction in some men. While other forms of treatment merely serve to improve the blood flow to the penis, it does not solve the root cause of a person’s erectile dysfunction. In men whose erectile dysfunction is caused by poor blood flow, ESWT can potentially cure ED and eliminate the need of medication or external help for an erection.
This is because Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy uses low-energy shock waves to stimulate the formation of blood vessels in the penis by applying microtrauma to the blood vessels. The trauma causes the body to heal and create new blood vessels; encouraging and improving the strength of a natural erection.
Unlike penile implants, extracorporeal shock wave therapy is a non-invasive treatment that carries minimal risk and is a pain-less procedure. The intensity of the shock waves can be freely adjusted during the treatment session to suit the patient’s comfort, and each session takes less than 20 minutes to complete.
As a majority of erectile dysfunction cases are caused by poor blood flow as a result of aging, high blood pressure and cholesterol; this form of treatment is suitable for most cases of erectile dysfunction. However, in rare cases where a person has infections, cancer or scarring in their penis, then shock wave therapy should not be administered until the conditions are treated.
If you would like to find out more about Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy and how it can help you overcome Erectile Dysfunction, check out our blog at: https://www.islandhospital.com/en/health_blog/extracorporeal-shock-wave-therapy
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