ED isn’t just a natural part of aging that you’re stuck accepting. Guys with ED have several erectile dysfunction treatment options to consider, depending on the reason for their ED. The sooner you learn about ED treatment alternatives, the sooner you can go back to sharing and enjoying intimate moments with your significant other.
Erectile Dysfunction Treatment Options
When you make an appointment to discuss ED with your doctor, he’ll go over your options and help you decide what’s best for your unique situation. He might suggest making lifestyle changes, trying drug therapy, or getting a penile implant.
The same healthy lifestyle tips your doctor has been recommending for years can also help treat your ED:
- Quitting smoking
- Reducing alcohol consumption
- Losing weight
- Exercising regularly
- Reducing stress
These steps aren’t an instant fix, but they’ll improve your blood flow and nerve functioning. This should give you more energy and may reduce the severity of your ED in the process.
If you’re having trouble sticking to these goals, ask your spouse or partner to join you. Getting healthy together and trying new things as a couple can be a great bonding experience that will strengthen your relationship.
When lifestyle changes alone don’t work, drug therapy is normally the next step. Viagra® is the most commonly prescribed therapy for ED, but it’s far from the only option, and may not be best for you.
With drug therapy, there’s a risk of side effects such as headaches, back pain, upset stomach, or muscle tenderness. You must also provide your doctor with a complete list of medications you’re taking, including dietary supplements. St. John’s wort, antibiotics, and blood pressure medications are a just a few of the many drugs that can cause a harmful interaction.
In addition to pills, injections can be used to treat ED. They are easily administered, but can lead to scarring and painful erections.
MUSE (alprostadil) is a urethral suppository that is also used to treat ED. It comes in individually wrapped packets that include a disposable plastic applicator. Common side effects include penis or testicle pain, urethral bleeding, and burning in the urethral opening.
Also called vacuum constriction devices, penile pumps are devices that are placed over the penis to draw blood into the shaft. Once the vacuum creates an erection, the retaining band is slid down to the lower end of the penis and the pump is removed. You can leave the band on for up to 30 minutes.
Pumps can be either hand-operated or run on batteries. To avoid accidental injury to the penis, any non-prescription penile pump should contain a “quick release” feature that allows for a rapid release of the vacuum.
Treating Erectile Dysfunction with Penile Implants
When other treatments haven’t helped, a penile implant can be the perfect solution. A penile implant is a medical device that is surgically placed into a penis to produce a natural-looking and natural-feeling erection. Implants are custom-fitted to your anatomy. Sensitivity and the ability to ejaculate aren’t typically affected either, so you’ll be able to have an orgasm normally (unless you have a medical condition that prevents this).
To learn about erectile dysfunction alternatives like Coloplast Titan® penile implant, visit our Penile Implants page. To arrange to speak with a man who has had the procedure about the impact of having an implant, head over to our Patient Educator page.
Insurance Coverage for ED Treatment
Every policy is a little different, but most insurance providers do offer some form of coverage for ED treatment. Penile implants, for example, are covered by most insurers and Medicare when they are determined to be medically necessary for a man who has not responded to other alternatives.
Our Insurance page outlines some of the steps you can take to learn more about your out-of-pocket cost for treating ED. The reimbursement specialist at your urologist’s office might also be able to help you sort out the specifics of your coverage.