Lesson 5
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Erectile Dysfunction Treatment

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30 November, 2022
How Is ED Treated?
Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile Dysfunction Treatment

The treatment for Erectile Dysfunction is dependent on an holistic evaluation and accurate diagnosis. A health care professional has to keep both physical and psychological health in mind as they determine a treatment plan that is best suited to address your specific concerns. Treatments for ED isn’t a one-size-fit-all kind of deal – in fact, it is based on the diagnosis of sexual dysfunction, its severity, its duration and its impact on the overall health of the individual.

Contrary to popular opinion, penile implants or surgery isn’t the only treatment option for ED, nor is it considered as the first or second line treatment in most cases. Due to the fact that erectile function is associated with various different factors – the treatment approach chosen for the patient needs to address those specific factors. In other words, the ideal treatment plan directly treats the cause(s) of the patient’s Erectile Dysfunction symptoms.

Many often turn to alternative medications, home or herbal remedies or influencer popularised methods to treat their erectile concerns. It’s important to understand that science-backed solutions based on a holistic care foundation is the most appropriate way for effectively treating sexual dysfunctions or disorders.

Here are the most common treatment approaches that are prescribed to help ease ED symptoms. Erectile Dysfunction is a very common disorder, and whether one or a couple of these treatments are part of your treatment plan – treating your concerns is possible.

Lifestyle Modifications For Erectile Dysfunction

Calm man meditating in the window for saving mental health

Alterations in lifestyle significantly improve health — both psychological and physical. They can help in regaining the ability to sustain an erection. Through smoking cessation, alcohol reduction, exercising, and a healthier diet, men can slowly see improvements in their abilities to perform sexual intercourse and other sexual activities.

Making lifestyle changes or modifications can be challenging for some, if they have to do it alone. Support goes a long way when making major changes. We encourage you to reach out to family or friends or anyone that can help you slowly implement good lifestyle habits.

Medical Treatment For Erectile Dysfunction

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Medicative intervention includes both oral consumption of medications or possible surgeries. This is often the first-line of treatment options for those that have physical or biological factors as the cause of the Erectile Dysfunction symptoms.

Oral tablets


Multiple oral medications are used and are widely available in India for the treatment of ED. These medications are often taken once — several hours before sexual activity — to help a man sustain an erection.


These should only be taken after a medical consultation.


As with all medicines, those used to treat ED may cause certain side effects. If you experience any unpleasant side effects from a particular medication, you can speak to your doctor for an alternative.

Medication Updation

One of the causes of Erectile Dysfunction can be side-effects of certain classes of medications such as anti-depressants or hypertension (high blood pressure) medications. If the cause of your ED symptoms are the prescribed drugs or medications you’re taking, your doctor may follow the following steps to help you.
  1. Review your medications and their dosage
  2. Change medications if it poses no risk to your overall health
  3. Change medication dosage if it poses no risk to your overall health
It’s important that you make no changes to your prescription drugs schedule before consulting with a medical or health care professional.

Oral Therapy or Medications


  • Phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors (PDE-5 inhibitors): When used in combination with sexual stimulation, the drug aids in the increase of blood flow to the blood vessels in the penis blood flow resulting in sustained erections. The medications have a particular prescription dosage range and should be taken following the advice of a medical professional.

In cases where an individual also has Premature Ejaculation, the following is considered.

  • Topical Anaesthetics Doctors may recommend the use of aesthetic sprays and creams.

The medications for ED help in smooth muscle relaxation which in turn helps increase the blood flow sent to the penis during sexual intercourse, stimulation or activity.

Treating Underlying Medical Conditions


Due to the fact that Erectile Dysfunction can be caused by multiple factors: biological, physical, and psychological, there are many medication conditions that can lead to its symptoms. Some medical conditions that can lead to ED symptoms and that should be treated are:


  1. Cardiovascular disease or heart disease
  2. Diabetes
  3. Hypertension
  4. Depression
  5. Anxiety and OCD
  6. Any surgery related complications such as from prostate surgery (or any reproductive surgery)
  7. Any hormonal conditions such as low androgen or testosterone levels
  8. Any reproductive or spinal cord injuries

Vacuum Erection Device (VEDs)


The use of vacuum devices or “cock-rings” is a non-invasive method of helping a man sustain an erection. It works by pulling blood in your penis allowing for a better erection. If prescribed, VEDs can take some practice to use well. It’s important to use this only if prescribed and under medical guidance. In most cases, this treatment option should not affect sexual desire, pleasure or orgasms.

Hormone Therapy


Men who are deficient in testosterone can benefit from hormone treatment to correct the imbalance.



Although the thought of injecting medications into your penis is not pleasant, there are self-injecting therapies available for those who wish to have that option.



If none of the conventional methods above work, men can opt for surgery to restore penile function – it is most commonly that last resort in ED treatment. Urologists or Andrologists perform surgeries related to physical reproductive organs.

Surgery can involve:


  1. The insertion of implanted devices or prostheses such as:
    • The insertion of inflatable implants – elongates the penis and wider via pump in the scrotum
    • The insertion of malleable implants – rods that help in the manual adjustment of the penis
  2. Artery reconstruction
    • This is done to heal or repair any arteries that are causing blood restriction or blood circulation problems.

Psychological Therapy For Erectile Dysfunction

Set of depressed sitting woman. Online Psychological Therapy For Erectile Dysfunction

Many patients experiencing ED often have psychological causes behind their ED symptoms – such as anxiety disorders (OCD) depression, stress, sexual pain disorders, etc. Psychological therapy first determines the psychological cause before treating the mental health condition appropriately.

Anxiety disorders

Symptoms such as high heart rate, fatigue, disrupted breathing patterns, and fear which are indicative of anxiety can directly affect sexual performance.

Performance anxiety is another subtext of this condition, where men feel insecure about their ability to please their partner, or are insecure about their body image. 1 in 5 people with anxiety disorders experiences erectile dysfunction. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), a form of anxiety disorder, can also result in sexual dysfunction.

The treatment for OCD includes:

  1. Therapy: CBT, Aversion therapy, exposure and response therapy, psychotherapy, and systematic desensitisation.
  2. Medications: SSRIs, Anxiolytics, and Antidepressants


Symptoms of depression can affect sexual desire and function. The treatment for depression includes

  • Therapy: CBT, BT, and psychotherapy
  • Medications: SSRIs, Anxiolytics, and Antidepressants


Stress can interrupt or disrupt how the brain sends important signals to the penis to allow for additional blood flow which results in an erection.

Furthermore, relationship issues, a history of sexual abuse, and/or sexual inexperience can cause psychological distress that can lead to sexual dysfunction in males. Psychological conditions are very common and can be effectively treated with the guidance of a psychologist.

Sex therapy For Erectile Dysfunction

Individual or couple sex therapy allows for patients to undergo counselling for their ED

Coping With Erectile Dysfunction Treatment

It can be challenging and overwhelming for some when they are undergoing treatment for a sexual disorder. Most often, due to the stigma associated with sexual health, support from closed ones can be scarce. However, there are ways to healthily cope with any uncomfortable situation, here are some things you can consider:

  1. Ask for help: if you feel like you are experiencing panic, anxiety, or fear associated with your treatment, its progress or results, speak to your doctor. Oftentimes, something as simple as clearing your doubts can bring great relief. 
  2. Communicate: There is nothing to be embarrassed about when undergoing treatment for sexual dysfunction. It’s courageous and you are taking the right measures to make sure your sexual health is in check. If you have a partner, be honest and speak to them about it – it can not only help you with support but you can also feel calm and collected knowing you’re not alone.
  3. Drop the assumptions: your treatment plan and progress is unique to you – comparing your progress and results with anyone isn’t recommended. 
  4. Be attentive: During your course of treatment, pay attention to how you feel both physically and psychologically. Don’t ignore signs of discomfort, pain, anxiety or any other concerns – make sure you always follow-up with your doctor.

Key Takeaways

The prevalence of Erectile Dysfunction is astounding, and if not treated can lead to various complications and symptoms. One of the biggest concerns with not treating ED is the possibility of infertility or impotence. Clinical studies have proven that erection trouble, besides being a result of blood supply concerns, can be a result and cause of psychological and interpersonal relationship concerns. Addressing these concerns is very important in anyone’s journey for effective treatment.


Underlying conditions affecting sexual health isn’t very underestimated. Your overall health matters when it comes to sexual health – therefore understanding the medical conditions (such as coronary artery disease or diabetes or increased blood sugar) you have or the risk factors you may be exposed to can help you in addressing your ED concerns appropriately and with ease and greatly improve your quality of life.


Your sex life matters and you can take control of it by educating yourself on what your options are and how to better approach your sexual health – whether through prescription medications or psychological therapy or even chronic health condition treatment. We encourage you prioritise your sexual health as you do your physical health.

Frequently Asked Questions

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(1) How can I begin treating my erectile dysfunction?

Approaching a sexual health expert is the best way to begin your sexual wellness journey. Treating the underlying cause behind your Erectile Dysfunction is imperative – the cause can only be determined after a through evaluation. We know that choosing the right treatment for yourself can be hard, but sexual health is as important as physical and mental health. In most cases, one consultation can go a long way. Personalised, discreet, and judgement-free treatment at your fingertips – book an online consultation with one of Allo’s leading healthcare professionals.


(2) How can I improve erectile function through lifestyle changes?

Lifestyle factors can greatly affect your sexual health and in turn, your erectile health as well. Here are some things you can consider implementing to improve your lifestyle habits.

  1. Quit smoking nicotine and tobacco
  2. Limit your alcohol intake to a healthy amount
  3. Have a healthy balance of physical activity and being idle
  4. Maintain a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI)
  5. Quit consumption or usage of illegal drugs such as cocaine and weed


(3) What can I expect for Erectile Dysfunction therapy sessions or counselling?

Psychological therapy or counselling isn’t as scary as it is usually portrayed in the entertainment business. Mental health care professionals are trained to understand your sexual health concerns, and should there be a psychological factor affecting your sexual health, they will be able to help you cope with it. They will help you learn some exercises/ techniques that would be helpful in improving your sexual experience. 

A therapist or counsellor will help you with tools on how to cope with your symptoms – such as anxiety, intrusive thoughts, or depressive episodes. Understanding and working through your emotions will help you deal with your psychological health being better informed and armed with the right ways to help relieve your symptoms. As you continue to work to improve your psychological health, you will be able to see improvements in your sexual wellness as well – especially if the cause of your ED symptoms were psychological in nature.


(4) What medications can interact with Erectile Dysfunction medications?

Two of the most common interaction with ED medications are:

  1. Nitrates: Most commonly taken for heart conditions, nitrates can cause a sudden drop in blood pressure when taken with ED medications. This is because it causes your blood vessels to widen and relax.
  2. Alpha-blockers: Most commonly prescribed for the treatment of prostate enlargement, it could also cause a sudden drop in blood pressure in combination with ED medications.


(5) What are the side effects Erectile Dysfunction medications?

Common side effects:

  1. Headaches: This can be improved or helped by resting in a quiet and dark room along with consuming a small amount of caffeine. Ibuprofen, a painkiller, can help as well.
  2. Flushing: This can be improved or helped by cleansing the area with soap and water, taking antihistamines, and applying calamine lotions.
  3. Blurred Vision: If this side effect does not resolve within a few hours, seek medical aid as soon as possible.
  4. Stuffy Nose: This can be improved or helped by rinsing the inside of the nose with saline solution. Please do it carefully, do not add pressure to the nose.

Rare side effects:

  1. Dizziness
  2. Chest pain
  3. Seizures
  4. Skin reactions
  5. Priapism: A abnormal lasting erection (if an erection lasts for about 3-4 hours, please consult with a doctor immediately).


(6) How will side effects of erectile dysfunction medicines affect me?
Most commonly the side effects of erectile dysfunction medicines shouldn’t affect you negatively – unless of course you are allergic to any of the medications and their ingredients. However, doctors can’t predict if a reaction will take place, so it is important to keep note of any symptoms to may have and visit a professional if you feel ill or have an unexpected reaction.


(7) What if natural ED treatments don’t work?
There are no ‘natural’ treatment for ED per say – erectile dysfunction is treated based on medical history and sexual dysfunction symptoms. Therefore, the cause of the ED symptoms is what is being treated directly – if lifestyle is the cause, then professional look at how to implement a balanced diet and physical activity.

Screening Call with our in-house expert

Understand your concerns better, talk to sexual health expert directly.

Sexual health is as important as physical and mental health. In most cases, one consultation can go a long way. Personalised, discreet, and judgement-free treatment at your fingertips – book an online consultation with one of Allo’s leading experts.
Tags: Erectile Dysfunction