Erectile Dysfunction Treatments

Erectile dysfunction is a medical condition that prevents a man from having an erection firm enough for sex and can be either psychogenic and organic. While counseling is the best option for psychogenic impotence, there are a variety of erectile dysfunction treatment options for men dealing with organic impotence.

Non-Surgical Procedures

Your physician can help you decide which erectile dysfunction treatment is best for you. There are several medication and medical device options to consider that do not involve surgery.


Doctors can prescribe medications that are taken orally or that are injected through the penis.

Oral Medications

Oral medications that may help a man with an erection include sildenafil, vardenafil, tadalafil, and avanafil. In general, these medications relax muscles and increase blood flow to the penis when a man is sexually stimulated.

Injectable Medications

Many men get stronger erections by injecting medicine directly into the penis. Alprostadil is the most common injectable medication. It widens blood vessels to help a man achieve an erection.

Some men who produce lower amounts of testosterone, called hypogonadism or low-T, are prescribed testosterone replacement therapy. Testosterone therapy can be either in the form of biweekly injections or patches which are applied to the skin.

In recent years, the profile of low-T has been raised and some clinics specialize in it. It’s important to remember that, as with any condition, men with low-T should talk with a physician to determine the treatment that is best for their individual condition and the anticipated results.

Medical Devices

Vacuum erection devices can produce erections that are safe. Generally, vacuum erection devices are plastic cylinders placed over the penis temporarily while a small pump is used to create negative pressure. They typically come with tension rings in various sizes and a small hand pump. When the air is pumped out, suction is created to draw blood into the penis and produce an erection. The tension ring around the penis acts as a tourniquet to keep the erection.

Other mechanical devices use rings attached to a rod. They are applied externally to provide length to the shaft of the penis, and are worn during sex. The devices can be customized to the patient’s penis length. Non-surgical penis casts available in various sizes may also serve as a more economical option than penile implants.

Surgical Procedures

It is recommended that men who suffer from erectile dysfunction talk with a physician and get recommendations for erectile dysfunction treatments. For some men, surgery is preferred, or even necessary, to achieve an erection healthy enough for sex.

Penile Implant

One surgical option is a penile implant. There are two common types of penile implants, semi-rigid and inflatable.

Although both semi-rigid and inflatable devices are available, most men choose an inflatable prosthesis because it results in a much more normal looking penis in both the flaccid and the erect state.

An inflatable implant works by squeezing a pump surgically placed in the scrotum to inflate two cylinders surgically inserted into the penis. Fluid from a reservoir implanted in the lower abdomen is pumped to the cylinders. When the cylinders expand, there is an erection.

With a semi-rigid or malleable rod implant, cylinders are implanted into the penis. The implant is strong enough for sexual penetration.

Locations and Urologists