What Can I Do About Erectile Dysfunction?

Treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED) varies if you have certain health issues like diabetes.

Fortunately, there are plenty of treatment options available. Consult with a doctor to determine which option may work best for you.

Oral Medications

There are several oral medications that facilitate blood flow to the penis. Your doctor might recommend sildenafil (Revatio, Viagra), vardenafil (Staxyn, Levitra), or tadalafil (Adcirca, Cialis).

However, oral medications may not be recommended if you:

  • Use nitrate medications typically prescribed for chest pain.
  • Are using alpha blockers, antibiotics, blood thinners, anti-arrhythmic, or anti-seizure drugs.
  • Have heart problems, uncontrolled low or high blood pressure, or had a stroke.
  • Have certain eye problems.
  • Have severe liver or kidney disease.

When oral medications are not an option, there are a few non-oral treatments available.

Non-oral ED Medications

Non-oral medications for ED include alprostadil (Muse), a tiny suppository that is placed into the urethra (urine tube) before engaging in sex; the resulting erection lasts about 30 to 60 minutes. Possible side effects are pain and some bleeding in the urethra.

Alprostadil can also be injected (Caverject, Edex) into the side or base of the penis for an erection that lasts about one hour. Although it is hard to imagine, some men tolerate this treatment well. The needle is extremely fine, keeping pain to a minimum. Prolonged erection, scar tissue, or bleeding at the injection site are possible side effects.

Some cases of ED are caused by low levels of testosterone and treated with testosterone replacement therapy.

Uplifting Devices

Should the variety of oral and non-oral medications be inappropriate or fail, erection devices may come to the rescue.

Hand or battery powered devices called a vacuum or penis pump, are a low risk way to initiate an erection. A hollow tube is placed over the penis. Its pumping action pulls air out of the tube creating a vacuum that draws blood in. A tension ring is put at the base of the penis to hold the blood in place after achieving an erection and removed after intercourse.

Possible pump side effects are less forceful ejaculations and penile bruising. Your doctor may suggest a pump model that best suits your needs and can recommend reliable manufacturers.

An inflatable or a semi-rigid surgical implant is an option when both medications and pumps are not up to the task. Rods are placed into both sides of the penis. The semi-rigid type leaves the penis firm yet bendable. The inflatable rods give men control over when and how long they sustain an erection. It is a generally safe and effective remedy for ED, but usually recommended after other treatments have failed.

Rarely,blocked blood vessels are the cause of ED and surgery may be recommended for repair.

Four Lifestyle ED Remedies

By making wise lifestyle choices you can improve ED and increase your overall well-being.

  1. Smoking contributes to ED in two ways. First, it narrows blood vessels, impeding blood flow to the genitals, Second, smoking lowers a person’s levels of nitric oxide, the chemical that tells the body when more blood is wanted in the penis. There is no easy way to quit smoking but there are plenty of products and people available to help. Talk to your doctor for suggestions.
  2. Follow your diabetes treatment regimen and stick to a healthy diet of nutritious, mostly non-processed foods. Extra pounds can cause or exacerbate ED.
  3. An active lifestyle helps relieve ED by reducing stress, improving blood circulation and helping with weight maintenance or loss.
  4. Since anxiety and depression can cause ED, choosing to see a psychotherapist for relief of mental health symptoms may lift your mood and your genitalia.

Source: Mayo Clinic ; Mayo Clinic
Photo credit: flickr.com/photos/klengel

Get A Free 7 Day Diabetes Meal Plan

Get a free 7-Day Diabetes Meal Plan from Constance Brown-Riggs who is a Registered Dietitian-Certified Diabetes Educator and who is also a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

Just enter in your email below to download your free Diabetes Meal Plan.

By clicking Submit, you agree to send your info to InformationAboutDiabetes.com who may contact you with updates and information and we agree to use it according to our privacy policy.

More Articles

Treatment of Diabetes Depends on if it Is Type 1 or Type 2

The treatment of Diabetes depends upon which type of Diabetes a person has....

Having elevated blood sugar can damage our body’s nerves over time.

Diabetic neuropathy is the generic term for all...

Modern fitness culture has popularized a wide range of high-intensity activities, from Crossfit and spin-class to marathon running and exercise...

Depression is a mood disorder that causes you to feel sadness and lose interest in activities that you once enjoyed. The symptoms of depression...

There have been numerous studies that have demonstrated the link between gut health and autoimmune diseases, immune system, mental health, mood,...

More Articles

Nerve damage affects about 50 percent of people with diabetes, according to the American Physiological Society. Numbness, tingling and pain in the...

Diabetes has no known cure, but there are many ways to control the disease and prevent the symptoms from interfering with daily life. One major...

There are a host of complications that come along with diabetes of either type. Among them are increased risks for amputation, cardiovascular...

There is no question that people with diabetes need a diabetes diet plans and...

The different sugar content of fruits can be confusing when you are trying to manage your blood glucose. For instance, a half cup of raspberries...

Oil pulling therapy derives from Ayurveda, a holistic healing system developed thousands of years ago in India. Ayurvedic medicine maintains that...

It’s only been recently that doctors, including endocrinologists, have realized the starring role gut microbes play in our health. The unique...

Well-controlled diabetes may depend on medication, but nutrition is perhaps the most important factor. There are many foods that can be added to...

Sleep apnea — a condition that causes shallow or obstructive breathing patterns — is an unpleasant disorder that often goes hand in hand with...

COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that causes difficulty breathing, wheezing, cough, and mucus...

Certain dietary supplements may play a beneficial supporting role in the prevention and management of diabetic neuropathy. Frequently...

Evidence is mounting that consuming black cumin helps to manage type 2 diabetes. The spice lowered blood glucose levels and blocked AGE glycation...

Hot weather does not directly alter blood glucose levels. However, sweltering temperatures affect our metabolism and the release of hormones. Heat...

Diabetes can seem to have an almost limitless list of symptoms. Now headaches are added to the list. The ebb...

One way to ensure our body gets a variety of nutrients is eating nutrient-dense foods, and one of the most nutrient-dense foods on our planet is...