Vacuum devices are useful for all types
of erection problems—physical, psychological, or both. The device has a tube
you place around the penis. You pump the device to create a vacuum that leads
to an erection.
Counseling (psychotherapy) is recommended for men whose erection
problems are caused, at least in part, by psychological factors. Treatment may
Sex therapy. It focuses on ways to improve attitudes toward sex. It also focuses on
specific sexual techniques.
Group therapy. Evidence shows that group therapy helps with erection problems
in some men. Adding group therapy to treatment with sildenafil (for example, Viagra) helped
more than sildenafil alone. Men who were taking part in group therapy also were
more likely to keep taking their medicine.1
Counseling also may be used with medicine treatment or vacuum devices for erection problems that have psychological and
Medicines are usually the main treatment for
erection problems. But some men try
complementary therapies. If you don't want to use
medicine, or if medicine doesn't work for you, you may want to talk with your
doctor about some of the following options. Most of these treatments need more
research before doctors can know if they work for sure.2 Treatments include:
Ginseng. It has been shown to
work for some men who have erection problems. But because it is sold as a dietary
supplement, it is hard to know if you are getting the right
The amino acid L-arginine. Some men take this dietary
supplement to try to treat erection problems. The amino acid increases the
amount of nitric oxide in the blood, which relaxes blood vessels. In theory,
L-arginine could improve erections. But L-arginine may be harmful.
men who have low zinc levels in their body have had success using zinc
supplements to treat erection problems. But high doses of zinc can be
In this article
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
January 27, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this