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High Blood Pressure and Erectile Dysfunction Treatments

Surgery for Erectile Dysfunction

Most men would prefer to avoid surgery, but for some men with erection problems, penis implants are another option for regaining sexual function.

There are two kinds of penis implants. One kind is a rigid but flexible rod implanted in the penis. You bend it up for sex or down for daily living. The other kind is an inflatable implant. The device stores fluid in a reservoir under the skin of your abdomen or scrotum. You press on the reservoir to pump fluid into cylinders in the penis. That creates an erection. A valve drains the fluid out of the penis when you're done.

There are drawbacks to implants. An erection you get with an implant may be slightly shorter than a natural erection. The device itself may malfunction, in which case it would require another surgery to remove or replace it.

Getting a penis implant is a big decision. Once you have it, you may not be able to try other treatments. That's because the implant replaces the chambers in the penis that fill with blood for a natural erection.

Alternative Treatments for Erectile Dysfunction

Before Viagra hit the market in 1998, there was no proven treatment for erectile dysfunction that men could take in pill form. Doctors were interested in yohimbe, an herb that increases heart rate and blood pressure. Some doctors prescribed it to their patients in combination with other treatments for erectile dysfunction. Even then it was not a recommended treatment and is still not today. Studies have not proven that it works.

Men with high blood pressure especially shouldn't take either the prescription drug or the herb. It can dangerously raise blood pressure.

Currently, no herb or supplements have been proven to help with erectile dysfunction. Herbs and supplements that some believe are helpful for erection problems include:

  • Ginseng
  • Horny goat weed
  • Ginkgo biloba
  • Muira puama
  • Pycnogenol
  • L-arginine
  • Damiana

Before trying any alternative treatment, be sure to ask your doctor about it. Herbs and supplements, whether they help with erections or not, have real effects on the body. They could cause dangerous reactions with other medicines you might be taking.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by James Beckerman, MD, FACC on March 23, 2013
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