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Erection Problems (Erectile Dysfunction) - Other Treatment

Other treatment choices

  • 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 include:
    • 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 physical causes.

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:

Recommended Related to Erectile Dysfunction

Understanding Erectile Dysfunction -- the Basics

Erectile dysfunction, also known as ED or impotence, is the inability to attain or maintain an erection of the penis adequate for the sexual satisfaction of both partners. It can be devastating to the self-esteem of a man and of his partner. As many as 30 million American men are afflicted on a continuing basis, and transient episodes affect nearly all adult males. But nearly all men who seek treatment find some measure of relief.

Read the Understanding Erectile Dysfunction -- the Basics article > >

  • Acupuncture.
  • 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 amount.
  • 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.
  • Zinc. Some 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 dangerous.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: 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 information.
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