While you may be embarrassed by erectile dysfunction (ED), this is non an uncommon problem. According to a 2018 review, about a third of men affected by ED—possibly more. Mental and physical ailments can cause ED as a side effect, as well as some medications and certain lifestyle factors. Thankfully there are many ways to treat the problem. There are oral medications you can take, or you can opt for surgery, like silicone implantations or arterial revascularizations. Some men are hesitant about these invasive surgeries and may wonder if there are other minimally-invasive options besides oral tablets. Here are three minimally-invasive options you can consider.
Shockwave therapy sounds invasive, but it's not. During this treatment, your doctor will use a low-intensity ultrasound device to send sound waves through erectile tissue. The idea is that these waves will clear any plaque out of blood vessels that may be hindering circulation. This treatment also encourages the growth of new blood vessels.
Shockwave therapy is painless and there are minimal side effects. So what's the catch? There isn't a lot of research yet on shockwave therapy on ED compared to its usage on other medical conditions. While it's not approved yet by the FDA, some doctors use it off label; so, you'll want to consult with your doctor if this is an okay treatment for your needs.
There are different plastic vacuum pumps on the market, but the basic idea is that the device slips over the penis and makes a seal with your skin. When there is a change in air pressure in the vacuum, it should trigger an erection. This can be a great therapy for men who don't need or don't want medicated therapy or in-office treatments. The main downside of this treatment is that vacuum pumps are mainly used for men with mild ED, so men with more severe symptoms may need to try another treatment.
If oral medications have failed, you may want to try self-injection therapy. During this treatment, you will inject a medication directly into the side of the penis. The medications prescribed for this therapy dilate the arteries and increase blood flow. This therapy may sound painful, but the needles for these injections are small; and, your doctor will teach you how to safely use these injections at home so you can use them with confidence. Self-injection therapy is great for men who have other medical conditions since your doctor will tailor your dosages for your needs.
Reach out to a doctor in your area for more information on minimally-invasive erectile dysfunction procedures and treatments.