Treatments for Erectile Dysfunction

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Third of a Three Part Series on ED.

This week, Brett and I finish our discussion of erectile dysfunction in men. We have spent two weeks talking about what it is and how it works (or does not) and this week we will talk about treatments or interventions for ED.

First let me reassure you that almost all men at times find that they are not getting the erections they want. Either they are unable to get one, or they do not feel that it is rigid enough to satisfy either themselves or their partners. This is not uncommon at all. For most men, it appears to be situational. If it becomes a problem at least 25% of the time, they should seek treatment.

We have spent time talking about the various treatments for dealing with the problems of ED. We have talked about testosterone and other pharmaceutical treatments. The most common pharmaceutical treatments are drugs like Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra. They generally help men obtain erections. Sometimes there are side effects such as headaches and lower back pain. Strokes and fainting are possible side effects. One other pharmaceutical treatment is a drug called Muse. It is technically alprostadil, a postglandin ge1. It is administered in two ways, the first is a pellet the size of a grain of rice is inserted in the urethra. One of the side effects that tends to make men not want to use it is a burning sensation. If you don’t insert it, you can take it as a shot, which is administered at the base of the penis. This drug works 30-40% of the time.

If you don’t want to take the drugs, or they don’t work, then there are still options for you to think about. The next level of intervention is surgery. You can have a pump with a self- contained reservoir of saline installed. A pump button is hidden in the scrotum and you press it to make it fill and press it again to drain it. It works every time, and the erection remains for as long as you want. Depending on insurance, it can be pretty expensive. Also, once you have this procedure you will never have a natural erection again.

Another type of surgery involves placing two semi rigid rods in the penis that have to be connected together in order to create an erection and then twisted apart to end the erection. The penis stays semi rigid as long as the the rods are connected.

Some men prefer to use an external pump. It is a plastic tube placed over the penis with a pump mechanism attached. You pump the air out of the tube and the vacuum causes the blood to flow into the penis. You then place a tourniquet around the base of the penis and leave it there until you no longer desire the erection. When you remove this, the blood drains back out and the erection goes away.

This is an interesting and important topic for education and discussion. We really hope that you have found all three of our podcasts to be helpful. Again, thank you for listening.

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