The inability to develop and maintain an erection for penetrative sex can be a daunting and frustrating issue to deal with. In reality, erectile dysfunction is increasingly common, especially with age; with reports approximating 40% of men aged 40 and up to 70% of men aged 70 experiencing some degree of erectile dysfunction (1). Given how integral sexual health is to well-being and quality of life, finding reliable and accurate treatment advice can be a difficult challenge. A recent 2019 report by the Journal of Restorative Medicine (2) evaluated an array of the currently available treatment options to most effectively treat erectile dysfunction. An overview of the most effective treatment options to date are summarised below in 7 Top Tips!
7 Top Tips for Treating Erectile Dysfunction
- Pharmacological Therapy
Use of orally taken medication is an effective and popular solution to treating erectile dysfunction. Sildenafil, Tadalafil, Vardenafil and Avanafil are all medications designed to increase blood flow to the penis; they are all similarly effective but differ slightly in how they work and some of the side effects. Avanafil has the shortest onset and is effective from 15 minutes with a duration of approximately 6 hours, where the medication can assist with achieving an erection before it wears off. Sildenafil and Vardenafil are effective from 30-60 minutes, with a duration of effectiveness lasting up to 10-12 hours. Tadalafil has the longest effectiveness duration lasting up to 36 hours and is active from 15-30 minutes. These treatments are only obtainable by prescription, but can be conveniently prescribed online by one of the UK’s leading online pharmacies, Pharmica Online Pharmacy.
- Psychosexual Counselling
Psychosexual counselling forms another effective method for tackling erectile dysfunction. It involves counselling to treat possible psychological causes of erectile dysfunction such as stress, depression or relationship issues. It may be more daunting, but is certainly worthwhile given the increased effectiveness when combined alongside pharmacological therapy for a combined strategy. It is important to try various methods for treating erectile dysfunction as the cause may be multifactorial where specific treatments have a more significant effect.
- Reducing Pornography Use
This may seem somewhat counterintuitive at a glance but actually reducing the amount of pornography watched, especially if this is excessive, can improve the ability to get an erection. By abstaining from watching pornography, it is possible to recondition the body to be more sexually aroused when in the company of real-life partners. The reason for this is psychosomatic, where arousal is associated with virtual triggers rather than physical triggers of physical sex.
- Use of a Vacuum Constriction Device
Vacuum Constriction Devices or ‘penis pumps’ are an alternative to medication and used to increase blood flow by creating negative pressure around the penis to safely induce an erection. Caution should be taken when selecting a reliable Vacuum Constriction Device; Pharmica Online Pharmacy offer reliable erectile dysfunction treatments with the Vaxaid Hydropump featuring as a popular, safe treatment option.
- Low-Intensity Shockwave Therapy
It may sound pretty daunting… but Low-Intensity Intracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (LI-IST) can form a safe, suitable solution on the off chance that other erectile dysfunction treatments such as pharmaceutical therapy is not effective. LI-IST is a procedure where a type of acoustic wave of varying intensity frequency is applied to the target tissue of the penis to restore and regenerate penile nerve innervation and vascular smooth muscle cell repair (3). LI-IST can be an effective treatment mode, as it can make pharmaceutical therapy more effective due to increased localised nerve receptivity.
- Lifestyle Changes
Making simple lifestyle changes such as dietary improvements, increased exercise and weight loss can form a cost-effective strategy to improve erectile function compared to other treatments. Eating more leafy greens and beets containing nitric oxide has been reported to enhance vascular health which is integral to improving erectile function (4). A Mediterranean diet consisting of a high intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and fish has been suggested to improve sexual function; possibly due to the lower intake of dietary fats found in commonly consumed foods (e.g. pizza, burgers, bacon, cheese and fried food) (5).
Moderate-vigorous exercise for a minimum period of roughly 8 weeks is also reported to improve vascular function and erectile function (6). This is in part due to exercise induced weight loss, where being excessively overweight can be an attribute of erectile dysfunction. Being underweight can also be a risk factor of erectile dysfunction, which is worth acknowledging. The link between obesity and erectile dysfunction is well established, obesity is suggested to increase inflammatory markers, reduce testosterone and impair endothelial function in the body (7). Therefore, losing weight either through exercise or prescription medication if obese, can significantly improve erectile function.
- Physical Therapy
Physical therapy consisting of Kegel exercises can surprisingly improve erectile function. This form of therapy involves manually stopping urination midstream, to identify the muscles necessary to contract. These muscles should be contracted 10-20 times in a row, each lasting 5 seconds, three times per day for optimal results (8).
Whilst these 7 Top Tips may not be exhaustive, they are certainly recognised as being the most concurrently effective treatments. It is important to always consult a doctor about treatments if unsure and always obtain prescription medication from reliable sources such as the online pharmacy mentioned in this article.