Erectile dysfunction is a condition where a man is unable to attain or sustain an erection. Although much older men are more likely to experience erectile dysfunction, it is also common in younger men. More than 18 million men in the US have erectile dysfunction. Risk factors include drinking, smoking, stress, lack of exercise, and an unhealthy diet.
As much as the disease is treatable, many men feel ashamed or embarrassed to seek treatment. Some try home remedies such as consuming nuts and other foods. Coffee is also said to ward off erectile dysfunction. It is, however, important to seek medical attention. The Center for Reconstructive Urology offers treatment for erectile dysfunction. These treatment methods include surgical and non-surgical procedures.
Oral medications and injections
Oral medications are the first mode of treatment a doctor will use. Drugs include Levitra, Cialis, and Viagra. These drugs work by increasing the effects of a natural chemical in your body, known as nitric oxide. The chemical relaxes penis muscles and helps you to attain an erection. The drugs, however, may not be used when someone is on a nitrate prescription. Doctors may also inject medication such as MUSE (Medicated Urethral System for Erection) into the penis to promote healthy blood flow and trigger an erection. MUSE may also be inserted into the tip of the urethra.
An erectile dysfunction pump
Also known as a vacuum pump or penis pump, it helps to achieve an erection by drawing blood into the penis through creating a vacuum. It consists of three separate parts. These are; a transparent plastic tube which the doctor will place over your penis, a battery-powered pump attached to the tube, and an elastic ring or band fitted at the base of an erect penis. The battery-powered pump slowly pumps the air out of your penis, which causes it to fill with blood. The band maintains the erection. Once you have placed the ring, you can remove the pump to have sexual intercourse. It is vital to choose an appropriate band size that will not cause injury.
Surgical procedures: Penile implants
If you are reactive to the non-surgical methods of treatment or they fail to work, you can opt for penile implants. Inserting penile implants in the inside of the penis and scrotum is a surgical process. There are various types of penile implants including malleable penile prosthesis; AMS penile prosthesis, Ambicor; and inflatable penile implant prosthesis 3-piece. Doctors consider several factors before deciding which method is best for you. These factors include your body type and shape, age, size of the penis, past surgeries, whether or not you are circumcised, and your overall health. Let us look at each of the surgical processes below.
The malleable or semi-grid rods
A doctor will insert two constantly rigid but flexible rods into your penis. They are usually set facing downwards, but you can change then to an upward position when you want to have sex. The rods make the penis permanently firm. If you want to have an erection, you will hold the penis in the desired direction and return it to the original position when you are done. They are, however, quite uncomfortable due to their rigid state.
The 3-piece inflatable pump
A doctor will place two cylinders in the penis, accompanied by an inflatable pump in the scrotum and a fluid-filled container in the abdomen; all of which are connected using a tube. When you squeeze the pump in the scrotum, the fluid goes out of the cylinder and creates an erection. When you release the pump, the fluid returns to the cylinder. The three-piece inflatable pump is very comfortable in a flaccid state compared to the malleable rods.
AMS 2-piece penile prosthesis, Ambicor
This method contains a two-piece inflatable cylinder in the penis shaft and a fluid-filled container and a pump, all inserted in the scrotum. That eliminates the separate reservoir. Just like the three-piece inflatable pump, you will inflate the implants when you desire an erection, and deflate them when you are finished. Most men find them easy to sue, and they are also comfortable than semi-rigid ones.
While erectile dysfunction is treatable, it is better to prevent it. You can prevent the medical condition by quitting smoking, eating healthy, exercising and maintaining a healthy weight, and also avoiding the use of illegal drugs.