Erectile dysfunction, which is also sometimes called impotence, is the inability to get or maintain an erection firm enough to have sexual intercourse. This happens when nerves fail to produce enough nitric oxide to dilate the blood vessels of the penis. It isn’t uncommon for a man to experience issues maintaining an erection. An estimated 30 million American men are affected by erectile dysfunction and more than half of all men over the age of 75 suffer from the issue. Below are four of the most effective treatments for erectile dysfunction.
The most common and successful treatment for erectile dysfunction is the use of prescription medication. Medicines like Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis work by increasing blood flow to the penis. These medicines are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but like most medications, they come with risks. While each medication has its own list of side effects, some common issues include nasal congestion and headache. The FDA also reported in 2007 that these pills can cause sudden hearing loss, though this is rare. Speak to your doctor about more information on each of these medicines.
- Vacuum Pumps
If you're not interested in taking medication, the vacuum pump is the next most common treatment for erectile dysfunction. This type of treatment is effective with 75% of men. To use, you place the plastic cylinder over the penis and pump the air out of the cylinder. This forces more blood to flow through your penis, creating an erection. An elastic ring slides onto the base of your penis, which maintains the erection. This ring must be removed after 30 minutes. Some side effects of using this method include numbness, bruising, and weak ejaculation.
Injections may sound intimidating, but they can be the most effective treatment aside from oral medication. This type of medication has an 85% success rate. Alprostadil is an FDA-approved erectile dysfunction drug that fits this category. The drug is injected straight into the penis, which causes an automatic erection. It works by expanding the blood vessels in the penis and increasing blood flow. Some possible side effects can include a burning sensation and a prolonged, painful erection. An erection that lasts more than four hours requires medical attention immediately.
Overweight men have an increased risk for developing erectile dysfunction. Studies show that men who lose weight regained sexual function after only two years. Having extra weight promotes inflammation and converts testosterone to estrogen. However, exercising can also help if you’re not overweight. Exercising increases blood flow through the body and gives you more energy.
Aerobic exercise is a great option for men who want to combat erectile dysfunction. Taking a brisk walk 30 minutes a day three to four times a week is all it takes to increase blood flow throughout the body.The best exercises for you to do are Kegels, which strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. Strengthening these muscles can relieve erectile dysfunction and overall improve your sexual experience. To locate these muscles, stop your stream several times during urination. Once you locate these muscles, clench them and hold them for five seconds. Repeat this 10 to 20 times a day for increased blood flow.