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Treatments for Erectile Dysfunction

  • Depending on its cause, there are multiple forms of treatment for this pathology

    There are quite a few causes for erectile dysfunction but there are also various treatments available. Below we will address them thoroughly and in a concise way.

    1. Laser Therapy
    Laser Therapy is an effective, consistent and innocuous instrument, which is available in the market. It can assume different forms in the treatment of erectile dysfunction:

    • Magneto-Laser Therapy
    • Reflexotherapy
    • Laser and Negative Pressure. Accordingly to each case, these kinds of treatments can be matched with other forms of treatment, chiefly the pharmacological.

    The central element for the actual capacity of this treatment is the use of Low Intensity Radiation Laser Therapies which by the way has confirmed the obsolescence of the therapeutic forms that will be presented below with the letter “H” (means “historic” – see glossary). These types of forms have reduced the use of others which are not followed by the letter “H”.

    2. Medication
    When hormonal deficiencies are present, the doctor can prescribe hormonal replacement therapy according to the case.
    The doctor can still suppress, substitute or modify the dosage of any of the patient´s medication that is directly affecting his erectile function.
    In some cases, a combination of medication with sessions of psychotherapy brings better results.
    Medications that induce and/or enhance erection, either topic, injectable or orally administrated, should be used only with medical prescription and after a proper examination.
    Nevertheless there are new perspectives in the treatment of erectile dysfunction with the use of the Growth Hormone.
    In 1999 we started the optimization of the hormone environment which is related with the concentration of Testosterone and Estradiol Levels. We attested many positive results from this therapy in a significant number of patients, and in some of the cases we used it together with other pharmacological drugs.
    This is particularly favorable in Peyronie Disease and in all situations that imply atrophy and/or fibrosis of the cavernous body of the penis and/or the tunica albuginea.

    3. Penial auto-injection
    With the accelerated therapeutic evolution in 1999, penial prosthetics as well as other solutions presented in this page became much less recurrent.
    We used the letter “H” to signalize therapies we consider to fit in this historical classification, emphasising that in specific cases, some of them are still indicated.
    Penial auto-injection is an injectable solution administrated directly into the penis through a small needle in order to enlarge the arteries and the cavernous body of the penis. It is the patient himself that applies these treatments in the majority of cases and preferably before any sexual intercourse.
    In this type of treatment the relational component has a major role, so it is advisable that a pre-existing level of dialogue and intimacy is present among the elements of the couple.

    4. Vacuum erection devices or external prosthetics vacuum devices
    These instruments, either manual or electric, possess a system of vacuum that helps pulling the blood into the penis, which allows the erection. They are useful but only temporarily. They are an option to consider during the therapeutic phase of impotence (sometimes they are used in the treatment of the Peyronie Disease, together with Magneto-Laser Therapy), particularly whenever any other natural and more comfortable option is counter-indicated.

    5. Penile Prosthetic implant
    Penile implants are devices surgically introduced inside the penis. This process presents multiple choices for each particular case. It is relatively safe with low physical complications. It´s success rate is about 86%.
    Currently, implants are one of the most recommended procedures as a last resource for patients suffering from Peyronie Disease.
    They are also an option of treatment in lesions resulting from a Priapism crisis.

    6. Surgery
    Penile artery bypass surgery is done whenever the patient presents problems in the blood arteries that prevent erection. This procedure is dependent upon an increase of blood flow to the arteries.
    Vascular corrective surgery with an arterial bypass can help resolve the problem. When abnormal veins are identified with deficient blood drainage, this surgery can help stop the venous leak.
    This type of pathology has been detected in many young men with a satisfactory erection that is rapidly lost before they end their sexual intercourse.

    7. Mixt causes
    Erectile dysfunction can manifest in multiple ways. Some patients have difficulties obtaining an erection, while others have trouble in holding it. Additionally, in some patients we can find psychological and organic issues combined, thus, it is important that after the correct diagnose – and whenever necessary – treatment outcomes are engendered and optimized within a partnership between the Andrologist and the Psychologist.

    8. Treatment for mixed causes
    Physical treatments can never be separated from the patient´s emotional, psychological and relational worlds.
    The treatment that encompasses the couple is the one that brings best results. The psychologist´s or the sexuality specialist can help and allow the patient and its partner to overcome certain barriers, to recover their self-trust and to acknowledge the root of their problems as well as the possible steps toward a solution.

    9. Psychological causes of erectile function
    Erectile dysfunction can be caused by depression, stress and anxiety, three psychological conditions that undermine our relation with ourselves and the world, either in work, family or social contexts.
    Nevertheless, at the base of erectile dysfunction we may sometimes find hormonal imbalance or insufficiencies, conditions that can be amended by hormone therapy compensation or modulation.
    Erectile dysfunction can also generate a vicious circle: the inability to have an erection usually leads to proportional augmentation of stress levels. Consequently, the fear of failure is an anxiety provoking situation that will interfere with erection. The belief that impotence inevitably results from the aging process can further aggravate the situation by producing feelings of finitude and incapacity.
    Although certain sexual reactions may slow down with age, impotence is not an exclusive pathology of aging.

    10. Treatment of psychological causes
    In order to have a diagnosis, the physician needs to gather all the patient´s clinical history. After concluding the clinical evaluation, the psychotherapeutic treatment can become a very relevant tool.
    In principle, erectile dysfunctions are pathologies that concern any couple (when there is one). As so, it is of chief importance to have a communication between the partners of the couple that is as open as possible, something that can be enhanced by the intervention of a clinical psychologist.
    It is crucial to probe the way in which this problem affects the relation and the dialogue between the couple, in order to select the best treatment. The man shouldn´t feel at all responsible for the current situation, nor should he blame others.
    After all, this is a problem that affects millions of men throughout the world. Presently and with all the available treatments, there are no objective reasons for a man to hide in a corner.

    11.Erectile Dysfunction Treatments
    Once the cause is determined, it is time to prescribe the treatment.
    Normally, the best results are achieved when the Andrologist and the Psychologist work together in order to find the most effective solution.

    Glossary
    Historic – In this text the term “historic” refers to all the medical treatments that had the utmost importance during the past decades and were considered the best possible solutions during that respective period.
    The application of these respective treatments not only eased the life of many patients but it also enhanced the process of research and development of new solutions.
    Erectile dysfunction can affect men of any age with causes that are organic, psychological or mixed. There is a wide and effective variety of treatments available. Get acquainted with the main treatments available.