Erection Problems (Erectile Dysfunction)
Treatment for an erection problem depends on the cause of the problem. The cause may be mental, physical, or a combination of both.
Many doctors take a step-by-step approach to treating erection problems. They use the least invasive treatments first. The treatment steps are:
- Looking for and then stopping Reference medicines that may be causing your condition. In some cases, a different medicine can be tried.
- Trying Reference testosterone or another treatment to fix a hormone problem if tests show you have one.
- Trying pills called Reference PDE-5 inhibitors, such as sildenafil (for example, Viagra), tadalafil (for example, Cialis), and vardenafil (for example, Levitra).
- Trying counseling if a psychological cause is suspected.
- Trying medicines that are injected or inserted into the penis.
- Trying a vacuum device.
- Trying penile implant surgery.
- Opens New Window Erection Problems: Should I Take Medicine? Opens New Window
- Opens New Window Erection Problems: Should I Try Injection Treatments? Opens New Window
Taking medicines safely
PDE-5 inhibitors have relatively few side effects. But they can be dangerous in certain men. If you are taking Reference nitrate-containing medicines, such as nitroglycerin, you cannot use sildenafil (for example, Viagra), tadalafil (for example, Cialis), or vardenafil (for example, Levitra).
You also should not take certain alpha-blockers—used to lower blood pressure and to treat an enlarged Reference prostate gland Opens New Window—with these medicines. There is a risk of a dangerous drop in blood pressure. Check with your doctor to see whether you can take PDE-5 inhibitors with your alpha-blocker.
What to think about
Oral medicines are commonly tried first before other medicine or surgery.
It is important to involve your partner in your decision, regardless of the treatment you choose.
Many men overestimate how important being able to have erections is to their relationships. Some men find that when they are able to have erections again, the hassle of using the treatment isn't worth the effort. Other men may find that being able to have erections doesn't change their relationship as much as they or their partners had expected.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference May 14, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Christopher G. Wood, MD, FACS - Urology, Oncology