Sexual Function - Treatment
Most men are well aware of the medication developed to help with this problem. They all work in more or less the same fashion by improving blood flow to the penis. There are two major considerations in deciding whether or not to use such medications. The first is whether the physcial exertion from the sex itself is likely to be dangerous. Any man who can carry on moderate physical activity without chest pain or excessive shortness of breath can safely engage in sexual activity. Indeed, the physical exertion involved in most of their previous unsuccessful attempts is probably a good indication of what they can safely do. The second consideration of course is the safety of the medications themselves. These drugs should not be used in any man who uses Nitroglycerin or might possibly require Nitroglycerin. Any man who has had a recent heart attack, stroke or suffers abnormally low blood pressure should also consult their physician before using any of the oral medications to help with erections.
For those men in who the medications of themselves are not felt to be safe, or who have tried these medications without success, there are other solutions.
There are available different medications which can be used as part of "injection therapy". This involves the injection of tiny amounts of medication directly into the penis using a needle similar to what is used to give Insulin. These are very powerful blood vessel dilators but they do not go outside the penis and thus can safely be used even in patients using Nitroglycerin as long as their excercise tolerance is good.
Another solution is a "vacuum constrictor device". This involves placing a cylinder over the penis and then evacuating the air to create a vacuum. This causes the penis to expand and therefore draw blood into itself and become erect. The blood is then trapped by placing a ring around the base of the penis so that when the cylinder is removed the erection is maintained by the ring.
Both of these are very good solutions for many men in whom oral medications don't work or aren't well tolerated.
Other solutions include penile implants and at The Urology Resource Centre we have information about that option as well.