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What ED treatment is best for me?

Treatment options for Erectile Dysfunction

Anyone diagnosed with ED should undergo a thorough physical and mental health assessment to verify the underlying causes of the ED symptoms and establish the proper course of treatment.

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The critical thing to remember is that although a medical professional may advise you on the best and most effective treatment options available to you, the final decision is still up to you. This is why it is essential to know a little more about the available treatment options for Erectile Dysfunction, so you can ask the right questions and choose wisely.

Types of ED

Erectile dysfunction is defined as the constant inability to achieve or maintain an erection for satisfactory sexual intercourse. It can be classified into two main types:

Organic ED:

Organic ED pertains to the dysfunction of the arteries, veins and nerves that regulate blood supply to the penis. Some of the causes of organic ED include atherosclerosis, atrophy and fibrosis; neurological problems; hormonal imbalances or medicinal side effects.

Premature Ejaculation (PE):

This is defined as uncontrolled early ejaculation that occurs either before or within 1 minute of vaginal penetration, in all or most sexual encounters. PE can either be classified as lifelong, acquired or performance anxiety PE.

Treatment options for Erectile Dysfunction

Depending on the determined cause of ED, each case will be treated differently. At first, the underlying conditions will be treated with medication or counselling suited to each situation. In many cases, this alone could dramatically improve ED symptoms.

Specific treatments for ED symptoms include:
Exercises such as Kegels, cardiovascular exercise and yoga. These can be helpful in cases where ED symptoms are because of an unhealthy lifestyle that includes stress and obesity. Cardiovascular exercise will improve blood circulation and can assist with decreasing cholesterol levels when combined with a healthy diet. Kegels specifically will strengthen the abdominal floor muscles involved in sexual performance, whereas yoga can help reduce stress levels, increase muscles, and lose weight.

These are excellent treatment options for most men suffering from ED, even if obesity is not a problem, precisely because these can be used in conjunction with most medicines.

Alternative treatments:

These include herbal or alternative medicines such as asparagus, DHEA, ginseng, L-arginine, L-carnitine, Horny goat weed and zinc. These can help regulate blood circulation and affect hormone levels, but are quite often also stimulants and can usually not be taken in conjunction with other medicines such as heart pills.

Acupuncture and prostatic massage:
These are also very viable options for most ED sufferers, as it can be used alongside other medicines. Prostatic massage has been shown to help improve symptoms of ED in a couple of studies.

These include the more commonly known ED drugs such as Sildenafil (Viagra), Vardenafil, Tadalafil (Cialis) or Avanafil (Stendra). It is essential to understand that these medications should only be taken if and how prescribed by a healthcare professional, as they may have adverse side effects. These drugs are also not good treatment options for heart patients taking nitrates for heart pain, as these medicines together can potentially lead to a heart attack.

Penis pump:
This is a suction device that draws blood into the penis, resulting in an erection. These are considered safe treatment options for many ED cases, as it has no side effect and is non-invasive.

Surgery - arterial repair or prosthesis:
This is a potential option for ED patients that do not respond to drugs or alternative treatments. Since it is invasive, these are usually one of the last options considered by healthcare professionals, but that does not mean that it is ineffective. Vascular reconstructive surgeries are helpful in cases where arterial damage, due to diabetes, injury of alcohol and drug abuse, is causing ED.

Penile implants are usually done in outpatient surgeries and take about an hour to complete. These include inflatable implants or semi-rigid implants. These may not be the best option if you have diabetes or currently have a pulmonary or urinary tract infection.

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