There are a variety of treatment options available for erectile issues, many of which are non-surgical and noninvasive. Which treatment option is best for you will depend on the type of erectile problems you’re having and your health/medical history. Depending on each treatment’s effectiveness and your tolerance to the medication, other approaches may be tried. Let’s take a look at some of the non-surgical treatment options for erectile issues.
Common non-surgical treatment options include:
- Oral medications
- Penile injection therapy
- Vacuum pumps
The first line of treatment option for many is oral medication, such as Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis. Most of these medications are taken once daily and have few side effects. Each of these medications is a phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor (PDE-5), which boosts the natural signals that are generated during sex.
These medications cause the muscles in the penis to relax, allowing for better blood flow, which improves and prolongs the erection. Many show improvement after trying one or two of these medications. Side effects are usually mild and temporary, and can include headache, stuffy nose, flushing and muscle aches.
Penile Injection Therapy
Penile injection therapy, or intracavernous injection, involves the injection of a vasodilator (a chemical that relaxes arteries to increase blood flow) into the penis. Penile injection therapy is recognized as the most effective nonsurgical treatment for erectile dysfunction. However, due to its somewhat invasive nature, it is often used in men who have failed or have contraindications to other treatments such as oral therapies.
Papaverine, a drug that produces vasodilatation (widening of the blood vessels), was shown to produce erections when injected directly into the penis. Soon afterward, other vasodilators were demonstrated to be effective as an erectile dysfunction treatment.
For those who do not respond to other treatments or prefer not to use them, a vacuum pump may be helpful. When worn, these pumps create a vacuum around the penis. This vacuum draws blood into the penis, quickly giving the user an erection, with continued use resulting in a harder, long-lasting erection – a completely scientific process. Vacuum pumps are easy to use, and also avoid potential drug interactions and serious side effects from medications and other treatments.