Erectile dysfunction is a serious problem that can lead to emotional distress and lower your confidence. Fortunately, it is treatable with medications, lifestyle changes and sexual therapy.
Doctors usually prescribe oral phosphodiesterase type-5 inhibitors like sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis) or vardenafil (Levitra). These increase blood flow to your penis and help you get an erection.
These drugs work by blocking the PDE-5 enzyme in your body, which normally produces erections. However, they are not without side effects.
They may also interfere with other medicines that you are taking, such as nitrates for heart disease or alpha-blockers prescribed to lower blood pressure. These medications must be taken at least four hours before you take the ED medicine.
Lifestyle changes are also an important part of treating ED. If you are smoking or eating a high-fat diet, changing those habits can help improve your erectile function.
Psychological therapy is another option. Experts can teach you techniques that decrease anxiety associated with intercourse and improve your erection.
For men with venous leak or blockage in arteries that flow enough blood to the penis, surgery is sometimes an option. This surgery can locate the vein causing the problem and suture it, or it can repair blockage in the artery.
If your ED is related to an underlying health condition or medication, you may be able to improve it with lifestyle changes. These include a healthy diet, regular exercise and avoiding certain health risks.
In addition to helping you lose weight and balance hormone levels, these changes can help manage pain. In some cases, they also can lower your blood pressure and cholesterol.
Researchers have found that a diet high in fruits and vegetables, low in fat and sugar and rich in fiber helps improve erectile function. They also found that a combination of dietary and exercise interventions was the most effective way to improve erectile dysfunction in men.
Sex therapy is a form of counseling that can help treat sexual dysfunction. It can be used for both men and women, and it may improve sexual performance, intimacy and sexual satisfaction.
Often, erectile dysfunction is not only a physical issue but also a psychological one. If this is the case, psychotherapy can be helpful.
In sex therapy, your therapist will work with you to identify the underlying cause of your sexual problems and learn strategies for dealing with them. This may include techniques that can improve your erection health and reduce anxiety about sex.
A therapist can also address relationship issues. This includes desire discrepancies, where one partner wants to have sex more or less than the other.
Whether you are seeking therapy for yourself or your partner, it is important to choose a therapist who is a good fit. A good therapist will be someone you feel comfortable talking with and can trust to guide you through your concerns.
Surgical treatment for erectile dysfunction is another option for men who have tried medication and lifestyle changes. In this treatment, a surgeon reconstructs the arteries in the penis to improve blood flow.
This can improve erections in many men. It also reduces the risk of heart disease.
Injections of PDE5 inhibitors are another ED therapy that can help. These injections improve blood flow to the penis and stimulate normal erections.
These drugs are effective for most men and come in the form of sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis) or vardenafil (Levitra). However, these drugs have lower response rates in people with heart conditions or diabetes.
Aside from medication, dietary changes and exercise are important parts of erectile dysfunction treatment. These methods can increase blood flow to the penis, decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease and improve erectile function.