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What are the Different Types of Impotence Treatments?

Lainie Petersen
By Lainie Petersen
Updated May 17, 2024
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Impotence, also known as sexual or erectile dysfunction, makes it difficult for a man to maintain an erection. Since a healthy sex life is important to many people, many men with this condition seek out impotence treatments. Different types of impotence treatments include psychotherapy, lifestyle changes, and drugs. Equipment such as penis pumps and implants as well as surgery are also sometimes used to treat this condition.

For some men, erectile dysfunction has a psychological or emotional component. These men may find psychotherapy or counseling helpful in addressing their problem. In some cases, simple lifestyle changes can have a significant impact on erectile dysfunction. Exercise, weight loss, and quitting smoking and cutting down on alcohol consumption can help improve a man's sexual functioning. Some medications can also cause erectile dysfunction, so it's a good idea for men to speak to their doctors about their general health and any prescription drugs they are currently taking. Doing so can help a man and his doctor discover any underlying conditions causing erectile dysfunction and to develop a plan that can restore a man's sexual functioning without the use of more invasive impotence treatments.

There are several pharmaceutical treatments for male sexual dysfunction. These treatments do not automatically cause sexual arousal, but allow a man to maintain his erection during times of intimacy. Men can take these drugs anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour prior to sexual activity, depending on the type of drug used. While these drugs are considered effective, they are not for everyone, as their side effects can be dangerous to some men. Other pharmaceutical impotence treatments include penile suppositories and drugs that are injected into the penis for the purpose of increasing blood flow to the organ. Another option is hormone treatment for increasing and maintaining testosterone levels.

If medications or hormone balancing treatments are not an option, other impotence treatments, such as the use of a vacuum pump, a penile implant, or other types of surgery, might be recommended. A vacuum pump, sometimes known as a penis pump, is used to draw blood into the penis and cause an erection. After the penis is erect, the man or his partner can slip a rubber ring onto the base of the penis to maintain the erection. In severe cases of impotency, a surgeon can insert an implant into the penis. Penis implants can be inflated by use of a small pump, or they can simply keep the penis semi-rigid at all times. Finally, if a man's impotence appears to be caused by a circulatory problem, surgery addressing the poor circulation may be able to restore sexual functioning.

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