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Treating Erectile Dysfunction

Myth: If I have erectile dysfunction, I’ll have to take pills for the rest of my life.

Fact: There are many options for treating erectile dysfunction. The FDA-approved medications specifically for ED treatment are effective for many men. These include medications taken by mouth, injected directly into the penis, or inserted into the urethra. 

Because erectile dysfunction can also be the result of an underlying health condition like atherosclerosis or high blood pressure, treating the condition may help alleviate your erection problems, too. If a prescription medication causes ED as a side effect, ask your doctor if you can be switched to another medication. Don’t stop taking any medication before talking to your doctor. If pills don’t work out for you, keep in mind that prescription medicines aren’t your only option.

You may also be able to make a few lifestyle changes. Quitting smoking, losing weight, or decreasing your alcohol intake can significantly improve your sexual potency and help your erection problems.

Psychotherapy has also been effective for many men who experience anxiety-related erectile dysfunction associated with sexual performance. You can find a trained counselor with experience in this area of treatment by contacting the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT)

Mechanical vacuum devices and surgical treatments may also be helpful for men with erection problems.

Myth: I can treat ED myself without seeing a doctor by using herbal remedies and supplements for erectile dysfunction.

Fact: You run several risks when trying to take supplements for ED. The exact contents of many of the supplements marketed for ED are not known, and it’s possible they could contain dangerous compounds or ingredients that might interact with other medications you may be taking.

In addition, many online sites will not advise you about the potential risks and side effects of taking the remedies they sell. And, of course, taking supplements without talking to your doctor means you aren’t being examined for conditions like diabetes and heart disease that may contribute to ED.

Your best option for successfully and treating ED is to consult with your doctor, who may refer you to a physician who specializes in the care of erectile dysfunction.