How Can I Treat Erectile Dysfunction?
You can work with a health care professional to treat an underlying cause of your erectile dysfunction (ED). Choosing an ED treatment is a personal decision. However, you also may benefit from talking with your partner about which treatment is best for you as a couple.
Your health care professional may suggest that you make lifestyle changes to help reduce or improve ED. You can
limit or stop drinking alcohol
increase physical activity and maintain a healthy body weight
stop illegal drug use
You can seek help from a health professional if you have trouble making these changes on your own.
Go to Counseling
Talk with your doctor about going to a counselor if psychological or emotional issues are affecting your ED. A counselor can teach you how to lower your anxiety or stress related to sex. Your counselor may suggest that you bring your partner to counseling sessions to learn how to support you. As you work on relieving your anxiety or stress, a doctor can focus on treating the physical causes of ED.
A woman and man talk with each other and a counselor.
Your counselor may suggest that you bring your partner to counseling sessions to learn how to support you.
How Do Doctors Treat Erectile Dysfunction?
Change your medicines
If a medicine you need for another health condition is causing ED, your doctor may suggest a different dose or different medicine. Never stop taking a medicine without speaking with your doctor first. Read about which medicines make it more likely that you’ll develop ED.
Prescribe Medicines You Take By Mouth
A health care professional may prescribe you an oral medicine, or medicine you take by mouth, such as one of the following, to help you get and maintain an erection:
vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn)
All of these medicines work by relaxing smooth muscles and increasing blood flow in the penis during sexual stimulation. You should not take any of these medicines to treat ED if you are taking nitrates to treat a heart condition. Nitrates widen and relax your blood vessels. The combination can lead to a sudden drop in blood pressure, which may cause you to become faint or dizzy, or fall, leading to possible injuries.
Also talk to your health care professional if you are taking alpha-blockers to treat prostate enlargement. The combination of alpha-blockers and ED medicines also could cause a sudden drop in blood pressure.
A health care professional may prescribe testosterone if you have low levels of this hormone in your blood. Although taking testosterone may help your ED, it is often unhelpful if your ED is caused by circulatory or nerve problems. Taking testosterone also may lead to side effects, including a high red blood cell count and problems urinating.
Testosterone treatment also has not been proven to help ED associated with age-related or late-onset hypogonadism . Do not take testosterone therapy that hasn’t been prescribed by your doctor. Testosterone therapy can affect how your other medicines work and can cause serious side effects.
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