Natural, Not Invasive, Preferred
Most men want an erectile dysfunction treatment which is natural and not invasive.
The planning required for some of the more invasive forms of treatment like penis pumps and penis injections is a big turn off for many men.
Even the time delay for some erectile dysfunction drugs like Viagra – where you need to take it an hour before sex and reduce fatty foods before use – reduces spontaneity and feels invasive to some couples.
Research shows one reason men stop using ED drugs like Viagra is because they inhibit spontaneity.
Erection drugs are only moderately invasive, while the least invasive erectile dysfunction treatment is an herbal supplement which is included daily like a vitamin or mineral pill.
Most Invasive ED Treatments
The most invasive treatments are often discontinued or rejected by many men because of the way they interfere with sexual intimacy.
For this reason, penile implants – the surgical implanting of rods in the penis – or vascular surgery – where tiny blood vessels are opened up to increase blood flow to the genitals – are very much a last option for most men seeking erectile dysfunction treatment.
There is a high risk of complications with these operations, which rank at the top of the list in terms of invasive treatments.
Penile Implants for ED Treatment
Penile implants come in two types – either permanently rigid or more commonly inflatable – that are surgically inserted into the penis.
The semi-rigid rod type is always partly erect, is harder to conceal and is the most invasive and least natural. Most men prefer the inflatable device, which uses a pump which sits in the scrotal sac between the testicles to make it function.
Although there are still risks that the device won’t work or of infection after surgery, new materials, designs and procedures have greatly improved results.
Some doctors even predict penile implants will become as common as replacement knees in the future.
Risks and Rewards of Penile Implants
Most couples using them say they are satisfied with the results, and the men say they would have the operation again. Sex feels normal, orgasms and ejaculation are not affected, but a penile implant does usually destroy the natural erection reflex. If the implant is removed, the man may never again have natural erections.
A penile implant is generally only recommended when there is a clear medical cause for erectile dysfunction – for example when disease has caused the penis to curve (Peyronie’s disease) and other treatments are not likely to be successful.
Risks from penile implants include the possibility of infection, the device breaking down and needing repair or replacement or internal erosion, where the implant wears away the skin on the inside.
A full guide to penile implants to help you choose the right one for you can be found at Penile Implants Best For Young.
Vascular Surgery for Erectile Dysfunction
Vascular surgery is performed to remove blockages to penis blood supply, but it is expensive, has had disappointing results, and is only rarely recommended.
It is most successful for young men with a slightly damaged blood vessel caused by accident or injury. But it is not suitable for older men suffering from erectile dysfunction due to other factors.
Vascular surgery has reported generally disappointing results (1 in 20 successful over the long term for overall patients, although 50 per cent for the youngest patients with minor damage.)
Penile Stents for Erectile Dysfunction
Penile stents may be the breaking edge for erectile dysfunction treatments in the future.
US trials in putting tiny rice grain sized mini mesh cage into tiny vessels in the penis. The results are still awaited, but it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that this will become a standard treatment within 20 years.
Less Invasive Forms of ED Treatments
Vacuum Devices and Erectile Injections
Vacuum Devices, (also known as penis pumps – where a plastic tube fits over the penis attached to a battery powered pump) or erectile dysfunction injections (self-injection with a very fine needle loaded with a drug solution) probably rank next in unacceptability for most men because of their invasive nature.
Both penis pumps and penile injections can be tricky to use and can result in a range of unwanted side effects. Many men find setting them up inhibits their sex drive and disrupts the intimacy of the encounter, although both are effective at creating an erection sufficient for intercourse and are suitable for men who cannot use other forms of erectile treatment.
High Drop Out Rates for Pumps and Injections
Penis Pumps are available in a wide range of models and price levels, and between 56% and 67% of men report them effective, but the drop out rate from their use is high. Most men choose less invasive treatments.
There is also a high drop out rate (between 50 and 80 per cent) amongst men using erectile injections, even though they also are effective and the risk of negative side effects is quite low.
The reasons men gave for discontinuing use of erectile dysfunction injections included declining sexual interest, inconvenience, cost and preference for a less invasive form of treatment.
Erection Drugs and Herbal Supplements
The least invasive forms of erectile dysfunction treatment involve the PDE-5 inhibitor drugs and herbal supplements. Both have their advantages. Depending on the drug, it can work from 15 to 60 minutes, depending on whether taken on a full or empty stomach.
Herbal supplements sometimes need to be taken for a week to ten days before effects are noticed – although that depends on the individual and some men notice a difference within 24 hours – but once the body has begun responding spontaneous natural sex is possible without having to consciously do anything. That’s because herbal supplements treat the whole body and so disconnect the idea that “you have to take a pill to perform.”