The treatment may depend what is causing the problem and how healthy you are. Your doctor can talk with you about the best treatment for you.
For many men, lifestyle changes can help. These include getting exercise, eating a healthy diet, losing extra weight, and sleeping well.
If you and your partner have trouble talking about your relationship, it may cause problems with sex. Counseling can help both you and your partner.
Lifestyle changes alone may not be enough. There are many treatment options:
- Pills you take by mouth, such as sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra), and tadalafil (Cialis). They work only when you are sexually aroused. They usually start to work in 15 to 45 minutes.
- Medicine inserted into the urethra or injected into the penis to improve blood flow. Very small needles are used and don't cause any pain.
- Surgery to place implants in the penis. The implants may be inflatable or semi-rigid.
- A vacuum device: This is used to pull blood into the penis. A special rubber band is then used to keep the erection during intercourse.
- Testosterone replacement if your testosterone level is low. This comes in skin patches, gel, or injections into the muscle.
ED pills you take by mouth (Viagra, Levitra, or Cialis) can have side effects. These can range from muscle pain and flushing to heart attack. Do not use these drugs with nitroglycerin. The combination can cause your blood pressure to drop.
You may not be able to use these drugs if you have any of the following conditions:
- Recent stroke or heart attack
- Severe heart disease, such as unstable angina or irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)
- Severe heart failure
- Uncontrolled high blood pressure
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Very low blood pressure
Other treatments also have possible side effects and complications. Ask your doctor to explain the risks and benefits of each treatment.
You may see many herbs and supplements that claim to help sexual performance or desire. However, none have been proven to successfully treat ED. Plus, they may not always be safe. Do not take anything without talking with your doctor.