Erectile dysfunction or otherwise known as impotence is when men realize that they are unable to get a natural erection through normal stimulation. Sometimes it is temporary, but as it becomes more permanent and the problem becomes more obvious to the man, then they often do need to pick up the courage to accept that they need to go and see a family doctor and discuss the treatment options.
Treatment options that will be offered to men generally would start with just a medical assessment to make sure that we’re not missing some other condition that might be instead of erectile dysfunction.
Generally, though once those issues are resolved men will usually try what’s called an oral erectogenic drug. What that means is that the tablet that can give him an erection. The three tablets in the market currently are Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis. They all work in a similar way. Some have different side effects in different people, but generally, you would try at least one or two different brands for at least three or four different doses before you decide that the drugs don’t work for you.
People tend to be afraid because of early reports of cardiac death or heart deaths with these medications. The man who assessed by the GP and deemed be safe to try these drugs will be able to try them and generally it’s very safe.
There are some minor side effects that people may notice. They include a headache, which is unusual but can occur and put a man of using the medication. Sometimes blocked nose or nasal congestion can be a problem. And very rarely also a discoloration in the vision. But as the tablet ways of those issues tend to settle down.
The drugs generally work in about 60 to 70 percent of men who try them. They best work in men who are getting a soft erection, who just need to firm it up a little bit. But the man who perhaps is not having an erection for over five years is unlikely to respond to the tablets.
The other treatments that we try include a vacuum erection device and that’s where the device is placed over the penis and vacuum is created within the device to suck the penis into the device. That can happen either by manual pump or electronic pump. Once the penis is full through the vacuum, a firm ring is placed onto the base of the penis to keep an erection held.
Another treatment that we could try would be called penile injection therapy. That’s where we teach you much like a diabetic needs to inject themselves with insulin; we teach you to inject the penis with a small amount of the drug that will cause a natural erection. It does take about 10-15 minutes for the erection to come through and then it’s quite a reliable erection.
The injection therapy tends to work well, but some men just can’t bring themselves to put a needle into the penis, and that’s just a fact of life. We did discuss it with them, but I think if a man feels he’s unable to do that then that’s a reason why we should not pursue it.
The final option would be reconstructive surgery where we surgically implant inflatable device which is fairly advanced technology into the penis to emulate or realistically form an erection. The device is pumped through a small device in the scrotum which the man can manipulate. Fluid is transferred from a collection bag inside, which is hidden well away from you and the one you cannot feel, through the pump into the penis. It’s very reliable in the sense that you are able to pump it up within five or ten pumps and you have an erection within about 10 seconds. That brings back the spontaneity. When you completed, you just deflate the pump, and the penis goes down.
Satisfaction rates vary depending on different service, but generally penile implant surgery is very well received by a man and his partner who are comfortable with the idea of penile implant surgery. Over ninety percent of people say they would have happily had the surgery once again.
The most important things than any man who realizes that his erections are starting to fail and more importantly causing him a personal grief that man does not have to suffer in silence. He needs to pick up the courage to go and see his GP who is usually very accepting of the fact that he may have erectile dysfunction and is used to dealing with those types of issues. That man will at least try some tablets. If they don’t work they may often need to be referred to a urologist – that’s a specialist to deal with these types of problems. And it’s important that the man sees a urologist who deals with penile reconstructive surgery and more importantly implant surgery. That urologist is best equipped to discuss the issues with men. The most important thing I think for any men is not to suffer in silence when this issue occurs.