Erectile Dysfunction treatments: a comparison
From lifestyle changes to pills and vacuum pumps, there is now a range of treatments available for men who experience erectile dysfunction (ED). But how do you know which options will work best for you? Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question. Before you make any decisions regarding your treatment, you will need to understand what is causing the problem. Bear in mind that physical triggers of ED can include a narrowing of the blood vessels due to diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, hormonal imbalances, surgery or injury. Meanwhile, psychological risk factors can range from anxiety and depression to relationship problems. Once you identify the cause of the issue, it's far easier to find a suitable treatment. If you're looking for a rundown of some of the most popular and effective remedies, keep reading.
We've all heard of the little blue pill, but what is Viagra exactly? This medicine is one of a group of phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) inhibitors, which are among the most widely used and effective types of ED medicines. The drugs work by increasing blood flow to the penis. Viagra is actually a brand name for the drug sildenafil. Other PDE-5 medicines include tadalafil, vardenafil and avanafil, which are sold under the brand names Cialis, Levitra and Spedra.
These drugs can be used to manage ED in at least two-thirds of cases. Dont be put off if the pills fail to work the first time. Experts advise trying them at least eight times before giving up. However, it's important to be aware that the medicines only work if you are aroused and you have to follow the instructions carefully to get the best results. Also, it's important that you do not use them if you have cardiovascular disease or you are taking drugs that contain nitrates.
Addressing underlying medical causes
You might not have to reach for tablets to tackle your ED. If it is caused by underlying health conditions, treating these issues may make your erectile problems disappear. In some cases, lifestyle changes are enough to combat ED. For example, your doctor may advise you to lose weight, change your diet, take more exercise, give up smoking, reduce your stress levels or cut back on your alcohol intake. As well as helping to solve your problems in the bedroom, these lifestyle changes could make you feel fitter and healthier overall.
Bear in mind that ED can be caused by serious health conditions such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis and thyroid problems, so if you don't know why you're experiencing problems getting or maintaining erections, it's wise to speak to your GP.
If your ED has a psychological trigger, you may be advised to use talking therapies. For example, psychosexual counselling is a type of relationship therapy whereby you and your partner are encouraged to discuss any emotional or sexual issues that could be causing problems. Your counsellor may also give you practical advice about sex.
Cognitive behavioural therapy is another option. This approach focuses on the idea that your mindset can stop you from enjoying a fulfilling sex life. Your therapist may help you to identify unhelpful thoughts that are contributing to your ED.
Vacuum pumps are another option. This equipment consists of a plastic tube which is connected to a pump. You place your penis in the tube and pump out the air, creating a vacuum that causes blood flow to increase. You then place a rubber ring around the base of your penis to sustain your erection. This treatment can work for around 30 minutes at a time. It might take you a number of attempts to learn how to use the pump correctly, but with the help of this equipment, nine in 10 men are able to have sex, regardless of what is causing their ED.
Whatever the reason for your ED, you don't have to suffer in silence. The sooner you seek expert advice and get the treatment you need, the sooner you could be experiencing a satisfying sex life.