You have ED. So what?
What comes to your mind when you think of erectile dysfunction (ED) and its treatment? Viagra, Cialis? But those are just temporary solutions to a chronic problem, and they do not treat underlying disorders and thus do not help get rid of ED.
Viagra or sildenafil has become the most successful drug for treating ED in human history. It is the first drug that could give a hard erection after 30 minutes of intake. It did a great job, but it also created a severe problem.
With time, ED continues to worsen, and time comes when even the highest dosage of these drugs stops working. During this stage, people start seeking medical treatment. However, by then, much damage has occurred. There is a reason why these medications are prescription drugs.
Medications like Viagra or Sildenafil are an excellent and temporary solution but not a cure or treatment in a real way. These drugs are not going to treat underlying chronic ailments or promote healing.
ED treatment options
There is no single treatment that would work for all. Thus, doctors would generally choose treatment by considering several things. First, one can use sildenafil or tadalafil for better sex, but the therapies mentioned below will ensure that a person does not develop resistance to these medications. Moreover, these treatments may help get a hard erection without pills like Viagra or Cialis.
Manage mental distress
A doctor can help identify the cause of mental distress and help overcome it with the help of medications, lifestyle interventions, and various non-pharmacological therapies. For example, most people have unsatisfactory sex as they are just too stressed out to have normal sex.
However, lack of sex is only going to make things worse. People living with ED start avoiding sexual intercourse, which results in low self-esteem and frustration.
Further, researchers warn that sexual dysfunction may be the first sign of falling mental health in many instances.
Managing chronic ailments
Most middle-aged men live with chronic health issues like diabetes, neurodegenerative disorders, high blood pressure, various cardiovascular disorders, and much more.
These diseases might be the cause of ED. Vasculopathies caused by obesity, atherosclerosis, and diabetes is emerging as the number one cause of ED. Doctors can help manage these conditions with the help of medications and non-pharmacological means.
Here it’s also vital to share information about ED with the treating doctors, as many medications used to treat chronic disorders may cause ED. Thus, drugs like beta-blockers and some diuretics like spironolactone are not good for erectile function. Similarly, medicines used to treat prostate issues are bad for erectile function.
Improving hormonal health
There are many ways to improve hormonal health. Testosterone replacement therapy is one of the options, but it is uncommonly used due to the issues in the availability of testosterone. Thus, people are more likely to use natural means and nutritional therapy to boost testosterone levels.
The next thing that doctors would generally look into is the lifestyle issues. ED is often associated with obesity and a sedentary lifestyle. Another significant cause is alcohol abuse. Thus, doctors would help patients make lifestyle changes to boost sexual health.
Physical and physiotherapy
Physical and physiotherapy are essential parts of every ED treatment plan. Physical therapy is an exercise program. One may do exercises independently but in consultation with doctors. Some exercises like Kegels can help quite well in ED.
Physiotherapy is another option. There are many options from acupressure, prostate massage, and physiotherapy through various equipment.
Extracorporeal shock wave therapy
In recent years low-intensity extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) has gained lots of attention in boosting blood flow to various organs and enhancing local regenerative processes. In addition, this kind of therapy may help stagnant organs by stimulating local metabolism, increasing mitochondrial energy production, increasing the release of growth factors, and much more.
Studies show that ESWT could be one of the effective non-pharmacological means of treating ED. Randomized controlled trials show that the therapy works. It is especially good for ED due to vascular diseases. Since most cases of ED are due to poor penile blood flow due to vascular disease, ESWT can help in the majority of cases.
To conclude, Viagra or Cialis may help with symptomatic relief of ED, but they do not cure the condition. Hence, an approach to ED treatment should be multi-dimensional using different therapies, including nutritional, physical, physio, and use of devices.