So now that men are willing to admit there is a problem, what are the ED treatment options? The options range from prescription pills, such as Viagra to non prescription pills commonly referred to as natural treatments or supplements such as horny goat weed. In addition, there is a wide variety of non pill based options including diet and exercise (no surprise here), lifestyle changes to reduce stress (affects 20% of men) , acupuncture, pumps and even penile injections.
No matter what treatment options you are considering, it is always important to see you doctor about ED as it can be a symptom of a more serious health problem. Diseases like diabetes or cardiovascular disease, nerve disorders or Peyronie’s disease (a bend in the penis that affects erection) require a physicians diagnosis and attention.
With that said, some of the common background causes for ED include:
- Lack of exercise
- Lack of Sleep
Of course, the simple solution here is to do the obvious:
- Eat a better diet and watch your calories.
- Get some exercise – any form of rigorous activity will help here.
- Quit smoking.
- Get a good night’s rest.
- Make changes in your life that reduce stress, starting with the four items above.
Not only is this a good foundation for treating ED, it’s a great foundation for a healthy life. All athletes know that a good run, a vigorous bike ride or other form of intense activity (skiing, soccer, swimming, hiking, etc) is a big boost to the libido and sexual energy.
But what if you are already doing these things and want to take it to the next level or are just looking for better results? For the non ingestion solutions (i.e. no pills), there are vacuum erection devices or penis pumps, penile suppositories (injections), surgically implanted prostheses, or acupuncture.
Penis Pumps are exactly as they are described, pumps that draw blood into the penis and then hold it there by an elastic band at the base. It works, but it’s hardly romantic. Most men abandon it for other treatments. The proper pumps are prescribed through a doctor and not at your local sex shop.
Penile injections increase blood flow. They are self-administered near the base of the penis. Suppositories, the size of a grain of rice, are inserted through the head of the penis and increase blood flow as well. For many men, the thought of penile injections or suppositories is a show stopper. That, coupled with a burning sensation in the penis, make this alternative an unpopular option.
The surgically implanted prostheses, a sure guarantee of an erection, comes with the standard risks of surgery and high costs. However, it is a one time cost, and not something most men want to undertake unless there are serious issues and on advice from a physician.
Last of the non pill based treatments is acupuncture. This may be better classified as a natural treatment for ED. The needles are targeted at your energy pathways which run along your entire body. Needles are placed in you back, abdomen, or extremities (not locally by the penis). Acupuncture seems to be most effective in treating psychologically based ED.
For prescription pills, there many options, the most popular being Viagra. The downside of prescription ED pills has been the cost per pill and most importantly, the possible side effects. Some of the side effects of Viagra can include the following:
- non irregular heartbeat
- penis erection that is painful or lasts 4 hours or longer
- swelling in your ankles, hands or feet
- fainting or feeling light-headed
- sudden hearing loss or ringing in your ears
- shortness of breath
- nausea, sweating, general ill feeling, chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder
- sudden vision loss or changes
Natural ED Treatment
Natural treatments have been prescribed for ED for centuries, with most of the traditions coming from Asian or Native American heritage.
The list of natural ingredients include:
- Withania Somnifera
- Tribulus terrestris
- Mucuna pruriens
- Orchis mascula
- Hygrophila spinosa
- Myristica fragrans
- Quercus incana
Each of these natural ingredients can effect a potential cause of ED, such as blood flow (i.e. Withania Somnifera ) or stress (i.e. Tribulus terrestris ). Other ingredients are great for free radical removal of antioxidants (i.e. Mucuna pruriens) and increased libido (i.e. Orchis mascula).