Libido depletion is as gradual and inevitable as old age. But when erections become difficult to maintain or achieve altogether, then it could indicate a possible case of erectile dysfunction or ED. Previously believed to be incurable, there are a wide variety of medicinal and natural options now available to help get you maintain a healthy penile function.
With the most effective being Viagra (sildenafil) since its introduction in 1998, erectile dysfunction-specific medications work to inhibit the Phosphodiesterase Type 5 (PDE-5) enzyme, which deactivates the molecule required for relaxing constricted penal blood vessels; a prime ED contributor. Despite being a majorly effective erectile dysfunction treatment, oral PDE-5 inhibitors can induce indigestion, sinus congestion, headaches, blue-tinted vision, and, if combined with nitroglycerine pills for chest pain, cause major hypotension. Other popular PDE-5 inhibitors include tadalafil, vardenafil, and avanafil.
In case oral medications are ineffective, certain ED-specific drugs can also be injected directly into the side or base of the penis for successfully achieving an erection. Alprostadil, Papaverine, and Phentolamine, the flag-bearers of injectable medications, can also be combined with one another to maximise effectiveness. Patients can also learn to self-inject these medications from their doctors.
Surgically inserted into both sides of the penis, penile implants can either be inflatable or semi-rigid. While inflatable implants are activated by pumping saline solution from a reservoir in the abdomen via a pump inserted into the scrotum, malleable implants made of braided stainless-steel wires or articulated plastic disks are manipulated manually to achieve an erection for as long as required. However, the rigid nature of these implants may cause some discomfort.
4-MUSE (Medicated Urethral System for Erection):
Composed of the prostaglandin (hormone-like compound) PGE-1 responsible for penile muscle relaxation, these suppositories are inserted into the urethra or the penis’ opening to induce an erection. However, it must be inserted 10 minutes prior to an erection which only lasts for an hour, and causes aching, burning, redness and minor bleeding.
These inexpensive OTC solutions increase penile blood flow by forcing blood into the erectile tissue via a vacuum pump and tube inserted into the penis. Once an erection is achieved, a constriction ring may be placed over the base of the penis to maintain it.
Famed as the herbal version of Viagra, panax or red ginseng is obtained by steaming and drying the ginseng root and is available as a supplemental pill, paste, or powder. Recommended thrice daily between 600-100 mg, the ginsenosides present in red ginseng target inflammation, and reduced lung function and blood flow to improve ED.
As a naturally occurring amino acid, high-dose supplementation with L-arginine contributes towards successful erections by facilitating nitric oxide production; a compound required for blood vessel relaxation. However, it may cause cramps, diarrhea, and nausea, along with other negative reactions when combined with blood pressure medication.
Regular moderate-to-intense walking helps promote blood flow to the genitals, and reduce body fat, a common cause of ED, hence making it the perfect accompaniment to both Erectile-Dysfunction medication and supplements. Moreover, incorporating Kegels and other pelvic exercises into one’s fitness routine helps strengthen the bulbocavernosus muscle responsible for increasing penile blood flow and ejaculation.
Oftentimes, chronic stress, anxiety, depression, and mental blocks can either manifest as or further aggravate ED. In such cases, psychotherapy and counselling may be the only thing required to overcome the condition. If relationship problems are the cause, resolving such issues with one’s partner through conversation can also help.
Failure to perform may not always be the result Erectile-Dysfunction. So instead of self-diagnosis and treatment, consult with your doctor for an accurate diagnosis if erections are consistently difficult to achieve.
You can also book and appointment with a top Urologist in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad through oladoc.com, or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT Doctor for your sexual health concerns.
About the Writer:
Yashfa Marrium is a freelance writer and health enthusiast. You can reach her at [email protected].