Erection Problems (Erectile Dysfunction) - Treatment Overview
Treatment for an
erection problem depends on the
cause of the problem. The cause may be mental, physical, or a combination of
Many doctors take a step-by-step approach to treating
erection problems. They use the least invasive treatments first. The treatment steps
- Looking for and then stopping
medicines that may be causing your condition. In
some cases, a different medicine can be tried.
- Trying testosterone or another treatment to fix a hormone problem if tests show you have one.
- Trying pills called
PDE-5 inhibitors, such as sildenafil
(for example, Viagra), tadalafil (for example, Cialis), and vardenafil (for example, Levitra).
- Trying counseling if a psychological cause is
- Trying medicines that are injected or inserted into the
- Trying a vacuum device.
- Trying penile implant
- Erection Problems: Should I Take Medicine?
- Erection Problems: Should I Try Injection Treatments?
Taking medicines safely
PDE-5 inhibitors have relatively few side effects. But they can be dangerous in certain men. If you are taking
nitrate-containing medicines, such as nitroglycerin,
you cannot use sildenafil (for example, Viagra), tadalafil (for example, Cialis), or vardenafil
(for example, Levitra).
You also should not take certain alpha-blockers—used to lower blood
pressure and to treat an enlarged
prostate gland—with these medicines. There is a
risk of a dangerous drop in blood pressure. Check with your doctor
to see whether you can take PDE-5 inhibitors with your alpha-blocker.
What to think about
Oral medicines are commonly tried first before other medicine or surgery.
It is important to involve your
partner in your decision, regardless of the treatment you choose.
overestimate how important being able to have erections is to their
relationships. Some men find that when they are able to have erections again,
the hassle of using the treatment isn't worth the effort. Other men may find
that being able to have erections doesn't change their relationship as much as
they or their partners had expected.