There are a variety of methods to treat erectile dysfunction. Some of them include medications, exercise, diet and sexual therapy.
The first step is to identify the underlying cause of your problem. This can be done by asking questions during a physical exam, talking to your doctor or doing urine tests.
Medication is one of the most effective methods for treating erectile dysfunction. It can help improve a man’s sexual performance and self-esteem by helping him achieve and maintain an erection.
ED medications work by increasing blood flow to the penis. They inhibit the effects of a specific enzyme called PDE5.
While all ED medications are similar in their ability to increase blood flow to your penis, the dose you need for an erection will vary based on your health and sexual preferences.
Often, the medication is used in conjunction with other therapy to address underlying health conditions that might be contributing to your ED. Your doctor can recommend a combination of medications that are right for you and your partner’s needs.
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Exercise is a good way to improve your overall health and lower your risk of developing erectile dysfunction. It can also boost your mood and improve your sex life.
While there are many methods that can be used to treat ED, exercise is one of the most effective. This is because it can help to maintain proper blood flow and circulation to the groin, which is vital for erections.
Specifically, pelvic floor exercises, or Kegels, can be very helpful. These strengthen the bulbospongiosus and ischiocavernosus muscles in the pelvic area that are active during an erection.
These exercises should be performed several times a day and are simple to perform. The key is to squeeze these muscles as if you were trying to stop a bowel movement and hold them for five seconds, then release. Repeat ten to 20 times, two or three times a day.
While the right medications can treat ED, dietary choices can also help men improve their sexual performance and increase erection strength. This includes avoiding processed foods and alcohol, losing weight, and getting plenty of exercise.
Diets high in fruits and vegetables can also boost vascular health. Watermelon, for example, contains L-citrulline which can stimulate blood flow.
Other nutrient-rich plant foods include spinach, arugula, Swiss chard and cilantro. These greens are rich in nitrate, which can be converted to nitric oxide that helps dilate blood vessels.
Dark chocolate is also a good source of flavonoids which can also improve circulation. This can make a big difference for erectile dysfunction that has to do with poor blood flow to the penis.
4. Sex Therapy
Sex therapy, which is a form of counseling, can be very helpful for treating erectile dysfunction. It focuses on addressing underlying psychological factors that may be contributing to sexual dysfunction.
It can help you understand why your sex life isn’t working for you and learn new ways to approach it. Therapists also teach you how to improve your relationships with your partner and yourself.
Some therapists also use education methods to educate clients about the anatomy of sexual activity, how the body works during sex, and communication strategies.
Sessions are usually conducted in the therapist’s office and last from a few months to a few years. The number of sessions you need will depend on your goals.
When medication and lifestyle changes have not been enough to treat ED, doctors may recommend surgery. Penile implants are the most common type of ED surgery.
Doctors may also recommend a procedure called vascular reconstruction, which restores blood flow to the penis by reconstructing any damaged arteries. This is mainly for young males who have experienced physical trauma or congenital conditions that lead to erectile dysfunction.
The surgery is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure. Most people experience some pain and discomfort for a few weeks after the surgery.
Men should talk with their surgeon about the risk of infection after this surgery. If you are taking blood thinners or antibiotics, it’s best to stop them for the time of your surgery and healing. You should also make sure your health insurance and Medicare cover the cost of this surgery.