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Erectile Dysfunction Treatments
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to get or keep an erection. It is caused when not enough blood flows to the penis. ED can happen at any age, but it is more common in men over the age of 40. There are several treatments that can help.
The most common oral medications for ED are sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn), and tadalafil (Cialis). These drugs work by blocking a chemical called phosphodiesterase type 5. They also boost a chemical called nitric oxide. This action increases blood flow to the penis. These drugs are often taken before sexual activity. They can start working in as little as 30 minutes and can last for 4 hours or more.
A vacuum constriction device (VCD) is an external pump with a band on it that a man with erectile dysfunction can use to get and maintain an erection. The VCD consists of an acrylic cylinder with a pump that may be attached directly to the end of the penis. A constriction band is placed around the cylinder at the other end of the penis. The cylinder and pump are used to create a vacuum to help the penis become erect. The band is used to maintain the erection. The VCD is safe and with proper care and cleaning can be used over and over again.
Some men with erectile dysfunction benefit from injections into the penis. The medicine is usually a mixture of two drugs. The first is alprostadil (Caverject Impulse, Edex). This increases blood flow to the penis. The second drug is papaverine (Pavabid, Papacon, Papagee, Papazol). This also increases blood flow to the penis. The mixture is then injected into the side of the penis. These drugs usually take effect in 5 to 15 minutes. They can cause an erection that lasts for 30 minutes to an hour. The erection will go away after the man has had sex. These drugs should not be used more than three times a week.
A penis implant is a medical device that is surgically placed into a penis to produce an erection. The device is usually made of silicone, and it has two cylindrical rods that are put into the penis. The rods are not connected to each other. The implant is usually placed under the skin of the penis on the top side. The implant is then connected to a pump that is placed in the testicle. The pump is used to draw blood into the penis and to create an erection. The man then puts a ring around the base of the penis to keep the blood from flowing out. The ring can be removed for sex. The implant can be left in place for up to 6 months. Penis implants can be used in men who have not had success with other treatments.
In some cases, psychotherapy may be helpful. This is most likely to be successful if the man has erectile dysfunction that is caused by psychological problems. These may include stress, anxiety, and depression. The therapist will work with the man to help him deal with his psychological problems.