Erectile Dysfunction Treatment

What is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is classified as the inability to acquire or maintain a substantial enough erection to achieve sexual penetration or that interferes with non-penetrative sexual activity.

It is common for men to have had occasionally experienced some erectile dissatisfaction, but this is not normally a cause for a diagnosis of erectile dysfunction. This condition is only considered a concern if sexual performance becomes unsatisfactory or has become impossible on numerous occasions.

Who Suffers from Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is generally thought of as a condition only affecting older men, but a new study shows just how many young men may also have ED.

The study, published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, shows that one in four men at an outpatient clinic who sought help for erectile dysfunction (a condition where a man has a problem having or maintaining an erection) were actually under the age of 40. Plus, nearly half of those men under age 40 — 48.8 percent of them — had a severe case of the sexual condition, compared with 40 percent of men older than age 40.

The study is based on data from 439 men who visited an outpatient clinic between 2010 and 2012 for newly developed erectile dysfunction. Twenty-six percent of those men were 40 or younger; these men weighed less, had more blood levels of testosterone, and had fewer medical conditions than their older counterparts. However, they also smoked or used illegal drugs with more frequency than the men older than 40.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, as many as 52 percent of men experience erectile dysfunction, with it affecting 40 percent of men age 40, and 70 percent of men age 70. Men who have heart disease, diabetes and are taking certain medications are at a higher risks of experiencing erectile dysfunction.

Treating the cause of ED may help resolve the problem. Lifestyle changes make a positive difference for some men. Others benefit from medications, counseling, or other treatments. Ignoring ED isn’t wise, particularly because it can be a sign of other health problems.

Healthier eating, getting more exercise, and losing weight may help minimize the problems posed by ED. Quitting cigarettes and cutting back on alcohol use is not only wise but may also help with ED.

Communication with your partner is essential. Performance anxiety can compound other causes of ED. A therapist or other mental health professional may be able to help you. Treating depression, for example, may help resolve ED and bring about additional benefits as well.



Oral phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) inhibitors can help treat ED. These medications are recommended before more invasive treatments are considered. PDE5 is an enzyme that can interfere with the action of nitric oxide (NO). NO helps open the blood vessels in the penis to increase blood flow and produce an erection.

Three of the most widely used ED medications are:

-sildenafil (Viagra)

-tadalafil (Cialis)

-vardenafil (Levitra)

All of these drugs require a prescription.

What if Viagra, Cialis, & Levitra doesn't work

A drug called Alprostadil, either alone or sometimes in conjunction with others such as papaverine and/or phentolamine, can be injected directly into the penis to dilate the arteries, experts say. The drug produces an erection in about 10 minutes that can last up to 2 hours.

Vacuum Constriction Devivces

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 ring or band is placed on the cylinder at the other end, which is applied to the body. The cylinder and pump are used to create a vacuum to help the penis become erect; the band or constriction ring is used to help maintain the erection

How Do Vacuum Constriction Devices Work?

To use a vacuum constriction device:

• Place the pump, which can be pumped by hand or run on batteries, over the penis.
• Pump the air out of the cylinder so that a vacuum is created. The vacuum draws blood into the shaft of the penis and causes it to swell and become erect.
• Once the penis is erect, with the help of lubricant, slide the retaining band down onto the lower end of the penis.
• Remove the pump after releasing the vacuum.
Intercourse can be attempted with the constriction band in place to help maintain the erection. The band can be left on safely for up to 30 minutes to allow for successful intercourse.

Be sure that devices brought without a prescription contains a "quick release" feature, as there have been reports of penile injuries due to devices that did not release its vacuum on-demand or released it too slowly.

Are they effective?

Studies suggest that about 50%-80% of men are satisfied with the results of VCDs. As with any other method of treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED), satisfaction rates may decrease with time.