Treatments for Erectile Dysfunction

By Medically reviewed by Hello Doktor Medical Panel

The first thing to do when you think you are having erectile dysfunction is to talk with your doctor. Your doctor will decide your treatment options based on the cause and severity of your condition and your current health. For some mild cases, simple lifestyle changes such as losing weight, drinking less alcohol, or quitting smoking can help to treat erectile dysfunction. In other cases, there are many other treatments including counseling, medications, pumps, surgery.


If some mental problems such anxiety and stress are the causes of your erectile dysfunction, talking to a professional therapist can be a good choice. Erectile dysfunction can be triggered by life-changing problems or just normal daily stress. A licensed therapist can help you to feel less sexual anxiety while at the same time, boosting your confidence. Taking several sessions can treat your erectile dysfunction. Sometimes, you may want to have your partner with you. It can contribute to your treatment.


Medicines for erectile dysfunction can include oral medication, drugs that are inserted into the tip of the penis, and injections into the penis.

Some pills that doctors firstly prescribe for patient with erectile dysfunction are Avanafil (Stendra), Sildenafil (Viagra), Tadalafil (Cialis), Vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn). While Staxyn dissolves in the mouth, the other medications are swallowed. These pills should be taken from 15 minutes to 36 hours before having sex. And, it is advisable not to use them more than once a day. Headache, stuffy nose, muscle ache are some common side effects of these medications. You may rarely suffer from temporary blue-green shading of your vision. Tell your doctor about all medications you’re taking and seek medical help if your erection lasts more than 4 hours.

In case the pills don’t work or worse, cause dangers for your health, a drug called alprostadil may be prescribed for you. This drug can promote the blood flow to the penis, causing it to erect within minutes. It can be given by injection to the side of your penis and suppositories with pellets placed inside the penis. Injection can cause a higher risk for dangerously prolonged erections and scarring.

Many of the over-the-counter products may contain dangerous or undeclared ingredients. Beware with the medication you take and always follow your doctor treatment.

Vacuum Devices

A vacuum erection device treats your erectile dysfunction by boosting blood flow to the penis. It is made of three parts:

  • A transparent, plastic tube that coversthe penis
  • A pump operated by hands or battery, which sucks air out of the cylinder,making blood flow to the penis
  • An elastic ring placed around the base of the penis after it gets an erection. It prevents blood from draining out of the penis, maintaining the erection. This may be helpful for venous leak syndrome.

with proper use, 80% of men can get an erection hard enough for sex. Vacuum devices are normally used for penis rehabilitation, usually after prostate surgery. To restore normal blood flow to the penis, your doctor will put you on a regimen which will allow you to get a spontaneous erection. You may need several months to see results.

The elastic ring in the device may cause some reactions such as skin irritation, bruising, loss of feeling or sensitivity, or pain.Vacuum devices can be used with or without a prescription. However, it is advisable to ask your doctor before getting one.


Surgery may be recommended when other types of treatments have failed.

The operations are:

  • Placement of an implant in the penis. There are two types including malleable implants and inflatable implants.
  • Vascular reconstruction surgery. This treatment removesblood vessel blockage to boost the blood flow to or blocks veins to reduce blood leakage from the penis and surrounding structures.

Some infections may happen when you take the implant. Should you have a urinary tract infection, skin infection, or systemic (body-wide) infection, it is advisable not to take one.

For vascular reconstruction surgery, blood vessel repair only works in men with a small blockage. It’s a good option for men with more widespread blockages.

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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Review Date: May 17, 2017 | Last Modified: December 4, 2019

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