Erectile dysfunction treatment has come a long way since erectile dysfunction was only ever acknowledged as the result of war injuries – and unless you were a wheelchair-bound war hero you didn’t admit to erection problems.
Before Viagra, men accepted there were no erectile dysfunction treatments available so when erections failed they just shut up and put up with it, but the “little blue pill” has changed all that.
In the second decade of the 21st century many men and women expect to continue an active sex life into their 60s, 70s, and even 80s. And if the “flesh is unwilling” they go in search of a solution.
Finding a suitable erectile dysfunction treatment has never been easier. The issue is not so much that erectile dysfunction treatments are not available, but rather deciding what to choose from the wide range of erectile dysfunction treatment options.
Which Erectile Dysfunction Treatment Suits You?
Before you reach for the pill bottle . . .
Think about what is going on in your life. Ask yourself:
- How long have you had erectile problems?
- Are you suffering from other health symptoms – fatigue, cardio vascular problems?
- Are you stressed at work or in your family relationships?
- Have you recently gone on a new medication – anti-depressants or beta blockers for high blood pressure?
- Are you resuming sex with a new partner after a period without sex?
These are all typical life situations which take their toll on your self-confidence and physical ability to produce strong erections.
First Steps for Erectile Dysfunction Treatment
Before you even think about erectile dysfunction treatment, you may want to make changes:
- Adjust your work load to cut down on stress (anxiety creates adrenalin which shuts down penile blood flow. ED drugs won’t work if you are anxious)
- Take steps to make more time with your partner
- If family demands (needy teens?) are crowding out your time as a couple, carve out some private space for intimacy and communication
- Ask your doctor for an alternative medication if appropriate
- Be upfront with a new partner. Acknowledge you feel out of practice and might need understanding to get under way again
- Have a health check up to ensure all systems are working – you may have undiagnosed diabetes or similar. Better to know now than remain unaware and let it get worse.
Once you have “taken control” of your life and done what you can to give yourself the best chance for good erection response, you may still need to take the next step to seeking a specific erectile dysfunction treatment. Making these changes may not be enough on their own to get you going again.
Ensuring Best Erectile Dysfunction Treatment
Erectile dysfunction treatments range from:
- Natural herbal supplements which not only boost erections but also lift energy levels and general well being with few side effects
- The ‘PDE 5’ drugs like Viagra, Cialis and Levitra which give an erection within a few hours but can have some unpleasant side effects
- More technical apparatus:
- penile injections
- vacuum pumps
- penile implants and stents
- Life style changes for erectile dysfunction treatment:
- losing weight
- stopping smoking
- reducing alcohol consumption
- increasing exercise
Choosing Erectile Dysfunction Treatment
Choosing which is for you is not just about the state of your own health but also about:
- Cost – what can you afford? Medications for recommended erectile dysfunction treatment may cost $60 a week. In Australia half a 100mg Viagra tablet is around $9. Caverject injections are around $18, and penile implant surgery around $20,000 – with a $5000 gap on private health insurance.
- Temperament – are you looking for an “instant easy answer” or are you open to working through issues like changing your sexual technique and considering partner response?
- Robust attitude - ED drugs like Viagra may need to be used up to 8 times before you get a successful erection – so it’s best to have a robust experimental attitude to finding what works for you. A quarter of men give up on ED drugs after one try.
- Personal preference – Are you happy with pharmaceutical options or do you prefer a more holistic – possibly herbal - approach?
- Partner input – have you discussed the situation with your partner and asked her opinion? Some women dislike erectile drugs because they put the emphasis on penile penetration when they desire more foreplay and sweet talk. One woman told Sydney sex therapist Bettina Ardnt: “Viagra is like the third person in the relationship.”
Health Contra indications
- Recent heart problems may rule out ED drugs
- Diabetics may not be able to take some medications
- Irritating side effects – bad headaches, sinus and eye problems put some men off ED drugs
- Oral supplements are best for mild to moderate ED but are not so effective if you’ve had surgical penile damage
Maintaining Life-Long Healthy Sex
Working out the best erectile dysfunction treatment requires taking into consideration your changing physical and emotional health, and is also likely to change as your situation – and that of your partner – changes.
What works for you this year may not be as satisfactory in five years. Just as life is a dynamic process, so your sexual health needs – and suitable erectile dysfunction treatments - may evolve.