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Treatments for ED

There is no need for men with ED to suffer in silence. Dr Rajesh says: “ED may be curable, with treatment options ranging from medications to lifestyle changes to professional counselling.”

Ultimately, the treatment of ED will depend on its cause. Some treatment options include:

  • Oral medications: These include sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra) or tadalafil (Cialis). However, these cannot be combined with certain antihypertensive medications and nitrates, and may have side effects like flushing, nasal congestion, headaches and visual changes.
  • Hormone replacement therapy: For men with low testosterone levels, testosterone replacement therapy may be necessary.
  • Psychological counselling: Seeing a counsellor or a psychologist is likely to be helpful for men suffering from performance anxiety and other mental health issues like depression and stress.

Dr Rajesh adds: “If the patient sees us for fertility issues, options include sperm collection and insemination by intra-uterine insemination or, if necessary, in vitro fertilisation.”

Making certain lifestyle improvements may be beneficial too. “Exercise is helpful, as physically active men are 30 per cent less likely to have ED,” says Dr Rajesh. “Also, do not smoke. For those who are obese, try to lose weight. Eating more vegetables, fruits and nuts can potentially reduce the risks for ED.”

Tongkat ali, anyone?

There are men who resort to potentially dangerous ways to treat their ED or enhance their sexual performance. But remember: all ED medications should be dispensed by qualified doctors.

Dr Rajesh explains: “Men with ED are at a higher risk of having cardiac problems. Self-medication with over-the-counter products can be dangerous, especially in the presence of associated medical problems. Seeing a doctor would ensure that these concerns can be addressed.”

Will taking nutritional supplements help?

Some nutritional supplements have been found to benefit certain patients through enhancement of nitric oxide levels (an internal chemical that can improve blood flow). These supplements -- propionyl-L-carnitine, L-arginine and niacin -- have also been tried in combination with prescription drugs. Dr Rajesh says: “Whilst there is no definitive scientific evidence, L-arginine supplements and fish intake are popular for ED.”

Ref: T12​​