No matter what phrases are used to describe erectile dysfunction (ED), many men are uncomfortable having conversations about ED with their partner; or even their doctor: “I can’t get it up”, “this never happens to me”, “I can’t stay hard”, “I just drank too much”..
Many men can feel depressed, embarrassed, or frustrated about their lack of performance in the bedroom. And the partners of those men are also dealing with mental and emotional obstacles related to the issue.
If you’re suffering from ED, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. Erectile dysfunction affects as many as 40 million men. What’s even more important is the fact that ED is treatable. Even if you have been diagnosed with erectile dysfunction, it’s possible to obtain an exciting and enjoyable sex life once again.
ED is a medical condition that prevents a man from maintaining or achieving an erection that is hard enough for penetration. There are a number of culprits behind erectile dysfunction, including diabetes, high blood pressure and ED, prostate cancer, stress and anxiety, the natural aging process, and many others.
But don’t give up on your sex life. With such a high prevalence of ED these days, there are many options for treatment. The tricky part is choosing the erectile dysfunction treatment that is right for you. Let’s dive into the treatments for ED to help you find the perfect one.
Tests to determine the cause of ED
First, it’s important to get a medical diagnosis of what you’re experiencing, to identify what ED treatment will be most effective with minimal risk to your health. Your diagnosis may include one of the following tests:
- Physical Exam of the testicles and penis, as well as nerves related to sensation.
- Blood Tests to identify signs of heart disease, diabetes, low testosterone, and other health issues.
- Urine Tests that can identify diabetes or other potential causes.
- UltraSound to determine if there is a lack of blood flow to the penis, preventing an erection
Additionally, there’s a questionnaire known as the IIEF, that can help quantify the type of ED you’re experiencing.
Your diagnosis will determine which ED treatment option is right for you. It is important to note that not all ED treatment options will work for everyone. A doctor with a specialty in men’s sexual health, such as a urologist, will be the best option for discussing your ED treatment options. It’s likely that your specialist will schedule follow up appointments to review and make sure your treatment for ED is working, or if it’s worth considering an alternative treatment approach.
Erectile Dysfunction Treatment Options
From prescription pills and penis pumps, to surgeries and natural remedies, there are tons of ED treatment options to choose from. Here’s a thorough guide to the numerous remedies that are available to you.
There’s nothing new, here. The same type of lifestyle changes you’ve probably heard for years are still true, and will absolutely help treat ED symptoms and improve your sexual health and wellness. Here are the main lifestyle changes you can adopt to treat ED:
- Stop smoking
- Drink less alcohol
- Lose weight
- Exercise regularly
- Reduce stress levels
While these changes aren’t an instant fix, they can improve your blood flow and proper functioning of your nerves. If you’re finding it difficult to stick to these goals, speak to your partner or spouse, to join you. Getting healthy together and trying new things as a couple can be a great bonding experience and can strengthen your relationship. More information about working together as a couple, or for singles, how to maintain these healthy lifestyle changes solo, in our ED Guide Video Series about sexual health and wellness.
There is a wide array of prescription pills specifically formulated to treat erectile dysfunction. Depending upon the underlying cause of your ED condition, the most commonly prescribed ED pills include:
- Avanafil (Stendra)
- Sildenafil (Revatio and Viagra)
- Tadalafil (Cialis and Adcirca)
- Vardenafil (Staxyn and Levitra)
Despite the fact that all of these different medications utilize the same basic mechanisms, they all have their differences. The basic principle behind these pills is to inhibit an enzyme known as phosphodiesterase type 5 to boost blood flow to the penis and enable you to experience a rigid erection.
Before using any of these pills, it’s essential to tell your doctor about existing medical issues and any other supplements or medicines you’re currently taking. Certain drugs can cause an adverse reaction when combined with ED pills. Additionally, there are a number of popular prescription drugs that cause ED. For instance, if you take nitrates, the combination can cause severely low blood pressure.
Additionally, erectile dysfunction pills may be accompanied by some unwanted side effects, including:
- Hearing loss
- Back pain
Men who have suffered from a stroke or heart attack within the last six months should not take these medications.
In rare instances, you may experience an erection lasting longer than four hours. This is due to blood becoming trapped in your penis and unable to flow back out. This can lead to permanent ED and scarring if not immediately treated.
Penis Pumps and Vacuums
Another option that you may consider for treating your ED is a vacuum constriction device (VCD), also known as a penis pump. This pump is made up of a cylinder that includes a pump that can be directly attached to the end of your penis.
A constriction band, or ring, is then placed upon the cylinder at the other end. Together, the pump and cylinder form a vacuum to help you get an erection, while the constriction band aids in maintaining it.
Operated manually or by batteries, you will pump all of the air out of the cylinder to create a vacuum. This will draw blood into the shaft and cause your penis to swell, eventually becoming erect.
While a penis pump can be a good treatment option for some men, it can also be an embarrassment to others. Who wants to stop the momentum of foreplay to pull their penis pump from the top drawer of their dresser before engaging in intercourse?
Additionally, there have been some reports of penile injuries related to this type of device. Some other possible side effects of using a penis vacuum include:
- Bruising on the shaft of the penis
- A decrease in ejaculation force
These devices can run you between $300 and $500, depending on the type and brand.
Also called a penile prosthesis, penis implants are another treatment option for men with ED. Available in inflatable or bendable rods, the implant is surgically implanted into your penis’s erection chambers.
Bendable penile implants make your penis permanently semi-hard. All you have to do is lift your penis to engage in penetration. Hydraulic, inflatable implants allow you to have an erection whenever you choose. Plus, it’s simpler to conceal.
Typically conducted in an outpatient center, penis implant procedures take about an hour to complete. However, you can’t enjoy sex for six weeks after the surgery.
Many men with penile implants complain that their erection is shorter than a normal, natural one. Additionally, penis implants may destroy your body’s natural erection reflex and if removed, you may never experience a natural erection again.
Other complications that come along with penile implant surgery may include:
- Uncontrollable bleeding
- Scar tissue
Furthermore, you may be left with a noticeable scar on your shaft that indicates you’ve had a penis procedure.
Alprostadil is a prescription medicine for men with erectile dysfunction. It is given by injection and expands your body’s blood vessels, increasing blood flow to your penis. Another way to take this medication is by placing it in the opening at your tip.
You shouldn’t take this medication if:
- You’re allergic to alprostadil
- You have a penis implant
- You have priapism
Some rare side effects of this drug can include:
- An erection lasting four to six hours
- Spotting or bleeding from your urethra
- A painful curving of your penis
If all of those side effects sound just as appealing as sticking a needle in your shaft, you’re in for a treat when you discover that this ED treatment option is expensive and temporary.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy
If your body produces a low level of testosterone, it may be causing your ED. Testosterone replacement therapy can improve your deflated penis troubles. There are several different types of testosterone replacement therapy methods, including:
- Intramuscular injections
- Gels applied to your nose or skin
- A testosterone stick
- Muco-adhesive material applied above your teeth
This type of treatment is generally safe. However, it is associated with a few side effects, such as:
- Breast enlargement
- Risk of blood clots
- Fluid retention
As with any other type of medication, you should discuss this treatment option with your doctor.
If surgery or medicine doesn’t sound appealing to you, you could opt to use a constriction device to help maintain your erection. Cock rings and other such devices are placed at the base of your penis to decrease venous outflow and boost the duration of your erection.
While they look sexy, these devices can come with a lot of negative consequences, including:
- Pain and discomfort
- Retrograde ejaculation
- Constriction of the arteries that may stop blood inflow
Additionally, constriction devices don’t give you an erection. They just help you to maintain one.
While it’s similar in concept, Eddie by Giddy is different from a cock ring.
If you have ED, you may wish to consider some alternative treatment methods. These can include herbal remedies, acupuncture, marijuana, and nutritional supplements.
While many of these methods haven’t been thoroughly studied for their effectiveness against ED, you can always discuss these alternative treatments with your doctor.
Eddie by Giddy
There’s a lot to consider when you start looking at ED treatment; side effects from ED pills, health risks, pain, awkwardness… Eddie by Giddy was designed to come with none of those things, making it the go-to option for thousands of men and their partners.
A sleek, sexy, and simple product, Eddie’s a wearable product available over the counter, even though it’s an FDA Registered Class II medical device.
The tension bands that come with Eddie, once applied, increase constriction from the device, to help maintain erections. They’re designed to be comfortable, easy, and discreet to use.
Eddie’s worn at the base of your penis, and can be used in conjunction with pills, pumps, lubes, and condoms (talk to your doctor before adding Eddie to your current treatment regimen). Eddie’s shaped like an oval, to conform to the natural shape of the penis, while traditional constriction rings are shaped like a circle, which can be painful to wear and cause retrograde (backwards) ejaculation.
Final Thoughts About ED Treatments
While there are many erectile dysfunction treatments available on the market, many of them are littered with side effects, discomfort, and for many men, embarrassment. Not all treatments are right for everyone. Get an official diagnosis from your doctor. Talk to your partner about any ED you might be experiencing, and help each other find a solution that works for both of you.
If you’re seeking a safe, effective, and discreet way to treat your ED, consider Eddie by Giddy. It’s known for being comfortable for the user and partner, affordable when compared to other treatments, and to simply work when it comes to maintaining erections. It’s natural, without any pills or injections, and can be safely and easily removed if needed.
If you want to learn more about our innovative device for ED, feel free to drop us a line at any time.
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And remember, if you think you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
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