Erectile dysfunction (ED), also known as impotence, is the inability to get and maintain an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. ED affects as many as 30 million men in the United States. Several treatment options are available to help manage this condition. Living with ED can be extremely distressing and detrimental to one's self-esteem and relationships.
Oral medications are often the first line of treatment for ED. They work by improving blood flow to the penis to help achieve and maintain an erection.
Phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors are the most common ED medications. They include:
Vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn)
PDE5 inhibitors are generally effective and well tolerated. Common side effects include headache, flushing, nasal congestion, backache, and upset stomach. These medications should not be taken with nitrates.
Other Oral Medicines
Other oral medicines prescribed for ED include:
Alprostadil (Caverject, Edex) helps relax smooth muscle tissue to improve blood flow
Testosterone replacement boosts testosterone levels to improve sexual function
Injections And Suppositories
Alprostadil self-injection (Caverject, Edex) is injected directly into the penis for an erection within 5-20 minutes
Alprostadil urethral suppository (MUSE) inserted into the urethra using an applicator
Injections and suppositories deliver alprostadil directly into the penis. This medication relaxes smooth muscle to increase blood flow for an erection. Side effects may include pain, dizziness, and prolonged erection.
Vacuum Erection Devices
Vacuum erection devices use suction to pull blood into the penis to achieve an erection. A tension ring is placed at the base of the penis to maintain the erection. Vacuum devices are noninvasive, but may cause pain or numbness.
Surgical options like penile implants involve the insertion of devices into the penis. Implants provide a permanent solution when other ED treatments fail. Potential risks include infection, erosion, and mechanical failure.
Lifestyle Changes And Home Remedies
Many men can manage ED with simple lifestyle changes:
Quit smoking, alcohol, and illegal drugs
Exercise regularly to maintain good blood flow
Reduce stress through yoga, meditation, or therapy
Communicate openly with your partner
Consider natural supplements like L-arginine, ginseng, and ginkgo biloba
Alternative and Natural Remedies
Some men have turned to herbal medicines and natural supplements as alternatives for treating ED. While the evidence is limited, some options include:
L-arginine - Amino acid that may help improve blood flow. Dosages of 5g/day have been studied.
Panax ginseng - Asian ginseng may aid sexual functioning. Doses of 900 mg/day for 8 weeks may be effective.
Ginkgo biloba - Helps blood circulation; 120-240 mg/day may improve ED symptoms.
Maca root - Lepidium meyenii may boost libido. 1.5-3g/day for 12 weeks may increase erection frequency.
Preventing the Onset of ED
Making positive lifestyle choices may help delay or prevent ED:
Maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine to prevent obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
Limit alcohol intake and quit smoking.
Get screened early for related health conditions.
Adopt stress management techniques like meditation.
Take medications as prescribed and treat medical issues.
What Is The Best Medication For Erectile Dysfunction?
PDE5 inhibitor medications like Viagra and Cialis are the most common first-choice options for ED treatment. They are effective for most men and have mild side effects.
How Long Do Ed Pills Last?
PDE5 inhibitors are effective for 4-5 hours after taking a dose. The effects of Cialis may last up to 36 hours. Check with your doctor for dosage guidelines.
Can Erectile Dysfunction Be Cured Completely?
ED can often be successfully managed with prescription drugs, medical devices, therapy, and lifestyle changes. Complete, permanent cures are less common, but newer treatments may help resolve ED in some men.
What Vitamins Help Erectile Dysfunction?
Some vitamins and supplements may help improve ED symptoms, especially in milder cases. These include vitamin D, L-arginine, panax ginseng, and ginkgo biloba. Always check with your doctor before taking supplements.
Is Erectile Dysfunction A Sign Of Heart Disease?
ED and heart disease often coexist. They share many risk factors like obesity, smoking, diabetes, and lack of exercise. ED may be an early warning sign for more serious cardiovascular health issues.
What Causes Erectile Dysfunction?
Common causes include diabetes, heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, tobacco use, Peyronie's disease, treatments for prostate cancer, injuries, surgeries, and psychological issues like stress and anxiety.
At What Age Does A Man Start Having Erectile Problems?
Erectile dysfunction becomes more common with age, though it can affect men at any age. About 4% of men in their 50s and nearly 17% of men in their 60s experience ED.
How Is Ed Diagnosed?
A doctor will ask about medical history and do exams to rule out physical causes. Additional tests like nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT) tests, ultrasounds, or lab tests may be done.
What Lifestyle Changes Can Help Ed?
Losing weight, quitting smoking, limiting alcohol, exercising regularly, reducing stress, and eating a healthy diet may help improve ED symptoms.
Can Ed Be Cured Completely?
There is no permanent cure for ED, but treatment can help manage symptoms so men can achieve erections and enjoy a healthy sex life. Lifestyle changes and treating underlying conditions may also improve ED.
What Is The Best Medicine For Erectile Dysfunction?
There is no single "best" medicine for erectile dysfunction, as the best treatment depends on the individual's medical history and needs. The PDE5 inhibitors (Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, Stendra) are usually tried first and are effective for most men.
What Is The Fastest Way To Cure Ed?
The fastest-acting options for treating erectile dysfunction are the erectile dysfunction injections and suppositories. They can work in 5-20 minutes. Oral medications take 30-60 minutes to work like cenforce and kamagra.
What Is The Best Daily Pill For Erectile Dysfunction?
Daily use pills like tadalafil (Cialis) and tadalafil generic are popular options for treating ED. They allow spontaneity rather than needing to time the medication before sex.
What Is The Safest Erectile Dysfunction Drug?
All FDA-approved ED medications are generally considered safe when used as directed. However, PDE5 inhibitors like sildenafil (Viagra) and vardenafil (Levitra) have lower rates of side effects like headache, flushing, and vision changes compared to other options.