treatments are available for erectile dysfunction?
Medicines for Erectile Dysfunction
on the names above to get specific information about these
are currently several oral drugs licensed for the treatment
of erectile dysfunction. These are tablets taken up to
one hour before sexual activity. For many men these drugs
are effective. However they do not cause an erection unless
the man is sexually stimulated.
these drugs work by inhibiting an enzyme PDE5 which
results in a high concentration of a chemical GTP that
allows the penis to become erect.
is a drug which works by a different mechanism
injection therapy (Direct injections into the penis)
is a highly effective form of treatment. The patient (or
his partner) is taught to inject a drug directly into
the shaft of the penis when he wants an erection. Erection
usually follows within fifteen minutes of the injection.
Although many men initially do not like the idea of injection
therapy procedure is easy to learn and very effective.
is an effective needle-free form of treatment. A small
pellet of drug is introduced into the urethra (the tube
through which urine is passed) using a special disposable
applicator. The drug is then absorbed through the wall
of the urethra and passes into the erectile tissue, giving
an erection within 5 to 10 minutes.
different designs of constriction devices are available.
Essentially the device consists of a plastic cylinder
connected to a pump, which may be either hand or battery
driven, and one or more tension rings. The penis is inserted
in to the cylinder and activation of the pump removes
the air from within the cylinder so creating a vacuum.
This results in blood being drawn into the penis, which
immediately enlarges in a similar way to a natural erection.
Once an adequate erection is produced, a tension band
is slipped around the base of the penis to maintain the
vacuum within the cylinder is then released and the cylinder
removed from the penis. It is important that the tension
ring is also removed within 30 minutes.
a very small proportion of cases of erectile dysfunction
are caused by hormone abnormalities. The most frequent
hormone abnormality is a reduced level of testosterone
(male sex hormone) which can be restored by appropriate
testosterone replacement. It is unwise to take testosterone
preparations unless laboratory investigations confirm
these are splints which are inserted surgically in to
the penis. There are two main types: semi-rigid rods which
maintain the penis in a state of rigidity all the time
but which allow the penis to be bent downwards out of
the way when not required. The second type is more sophisticated
and involves insertion of a hydraulic device which causes
stiffening of the penis when a pump (implanted in the
scrotum) is activated. As implantation of penile prosthesis
causes destruction of erectile tissue, they should never
be considered until other forms of treatment have been
a man discuss the problem with his partner?
There is the old adage that a "problem shared is a problem
halved" and this is certainly true in the case of erectile
dysfunction. Sometimes partners, unintentionally, put
a lot of pressure on men to "perform". If the man has
difficulty with his erections this pressure can cause
erectile dysfunction. Discussing the problem with his
partner may relieve this pressure and restore normal erectile
function. It is often helpful for the partner to accompany
the man to the doctor’s appointments.
Sexual Dysfunction Association
Windmill Place Business Centre
2-4 Windmill Lane
Middlesex UB2 4NJ
The Impotence Association
O Box 10296
020 8767 7791