What Treatments Are Available To Combat Male Impotence?

The Most Recent Advances in the Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction

Viagra tablets.
Tablets of Viagra. Peter Dazeley/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

Impotence is one of the most common forms of male sexual dysfunction. In fact, one in every 10 men has a problem achieving and/or sustaining an erection at some point or another. If you have struggled with this yourself, it's worth seeking out medical help. Due to advances in this area, there are multiple treatments available that you may find effective.

Psychosexual Therapy

It is estimated that up to 90 percent of erectile problems have a psychological cause.

This encompasses everything from relationships difficulties to performance anxiety even more complex psychological issues. An experienced counselor or therapist can help.

Vacuum Pump Treatments

A vacuum pump is a plastic, cylindrical device that is placed over the penis. Sucking out air from the tube creates pressure that causes blood to be forced into the penis. A ring can then be applied temporarily to the base of the penis to stop the blood from draining away too quickly, thereby sustaining the erection.

Medication Treatments

There are multiple medications that have been developed for the treatment of erectile dysfunction:

  • Viagra is one of the best-known medications for erectile dysfunction. It takes effect within an hour, and usually lasts for three to four hours.
  • Transurethral therapy (Muse) is a small pellet of a medication that is put directly into the urethra. The drug is then absorbed into the erectile tissue of the penis. It provides an erection within five to 10 minutes.
  • Cialis must be taken 30 minutes before sexual activity.
  • Levitra must be taken from 10 minutes to one hour prior to sexual activity. It can be effective for up to 12 hours.
  • Uprima is a pill taken under the tongue. It dissolves within about 15 minutes and is effective for up to two hours. Uprima will not work without sexual stimulation.
  • You can also inject a drug directly into the shaft of the penis whenever you want to have sex. The medication usually works within about 15 minutes.

Hormone Treatments

Hormonal problems are rarely the cause of impotence, though some find hormone replacement therapy to be effective. Hormone replacement therapy to boost your levels of testosterone should only be pursued after undergoing tests to confirm a deficiency.

Penile Prosthesis Treatments

You should not consider a penile prosthesis (implant) until other forms of treatment have been tried. There are two types of penile implants:

  • the semi-rigid penis implant: this implant keeps the penis rigid all the time. The penis can be bent downwards when you're not having sex.
  • the hydraulic penis implant: a pump is implanted into the scrotum.

Surgical Treatments

There are a number of surgical procedures that can be carried out if, for example, there are abnormalities in the blood flow in and out of your penis.

Again, if you are struggling with impotence, seek out help from a specialist in the field.


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­Grover, S. A., Lowensteyn, I., Kaouache, M., Marchand, S., Coupal, L., DeCarolis, E., Zoccoli, J., Defoy, I. (2006). The Prevalence of Erectile Dysfunction in the Primary Care Setting: Importance of Risk Factors for Diabetes and Vascular Disease. Arch Intern Med 166: 213-219

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