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Erectile Dysfunction Health Center

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Understanding Erectile Dysfunction -- Diagnosis and Treatment

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Penile Implants

While they don’t fix ED long-term, some men choose them. The simplest is a semi-rigid type that creates a permanent erection.

More expensive versions use a pump placed under the skin of your scrotum.

Implants can work. But there is a risk of infection or that the device will fail over time.

Treating Psychological Causes

If your ED is psychological, think about what’s causing stress or tension in your life. A trained therapist can help you figure out what’s going on.

Alternative Therapies

There are other treatments you can explore:

This ancient Chinese practice involves placing very fine needles at certain spots on your body.

It’s thought to boost your body's ability to heal itself. It has helped some men. But more research is needed to prove it really works.

Some scents, like lemon, may help improve your mood. And that may put you in the mood.

Herbs and Supplements
There's little to show that herbs help. If you do try them or supplements, tell your doctor and proceed with caution. Some of the more popular choices include:

  • Ginkgo: It can thin your blood. But there’s no proof it helps you get an erection.
  • Ginseng and saw palmetto: Their claims regarding ED have yet to be proven.
  • Arginine: This amino acid is being studied and shows promise. But more research is needed.
  • Yohimbine: This herb can have serious side effects and is illegal in the U.S.

Herbs can make your medications not work as they should. Talk to your doctor before you start any herbal treatment.

Therapies to Avoid

These can do more harm than good.

  • Cell therapy: Doctors transfer cells from a pig's gonads into humans. It’s unlikely to work. It’s also very costly. Plus it’s illegal in the U.S.
  • Chelationtherapy: This chemical purge is believed to improve circulation. There’s no proof it works.
  • Magnetic field therapy: There’s nothing to show that magnets cure ED.

Can I Use Insurance?

Some insurance policies cover ED treatment if it’s medically necessary. Check with your insurance provider.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on October 26, 2015
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