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    If you think you have ED, a good first step is to talk with your doctor. The treatment you need will depend on what’s causing it.

    You may find that simple lifestyle changes will help, like losing weight, drinking less alcohol, or quitting smoking.

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    If a medication is causing your ED, your doctor may lower your dose or try a different drug altogether.

    There are also other treatments. They include:


    If anxiety or stress is causing your ED, it may help to talk to a professional therapist.

    Life-changing problems or even everyday stress can trigger erectile dysfunction. Talking about these things with a licensed therapist can ease sexual anxiety and help you feel more confident in your relationship.

    Usually you’ll only need a handful of sessions. You may want to include your partner, as well.


    ED medicines can be pills, drugs inserted into the tip of the penis, or injections into the penis.

    The first things doctors usually prescribe to men with erectile dysfunction are pills like:

    • Avanafil (Stendra)
    • Sildenafil (Viagra)
    • Tadalafil (Cialis)
    • Vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn)

    They are taken anywhere from 15 minutes to 36 hours before having sex, depending on the drug. You shouldn’t use these more than once a day.

    Staxyn dissolves in the mouth. The other medications are swallowed.

    These pills work for about 80% of men who take them. But if your erection lasts more than 4 hours, seek emergency medical help. Side effects include:

    • Headache
    • Stuffy nose
    • Muscle ache
    • In rare cases, a temporary blue-green shading of your vision.

    You shouldn’t take these pills if you take nitrate drugs for heart disease. Doing so can cause a dangerous drop in blood pressure.

    Also use caution if you’re taking alpha-blockers for prostate problems or blood pressure.

    Tell your doctor about all medications you’re taking, including over-the-counter drugs, herbs, and supplements.

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