Erectile dysfunction is a very common experience with most men experiencing at least one episode of inability to achieve an erection. With or without medication, it can often be reversed.
Those affected may never be able to have or sustain an erection in severe cases.
Most cases of ED occur in men who were previously able to sustain an erection. The condition is usually reversible, but the likelihoods of completely curing ED depend on the primary cause.
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Can ED be reversed?
Erectile dysfunction can be reversed in many cases. A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found a remission rate of 29 percent after 5 years.
It is essential to note that even when ED cannot be cured, the right treatment can reduce or eliminate symptoms.
There are two major types of ED:
- Primary ED:This occurs when a man has never been able to have or sustain an erection. This is rare.
- Secondary ED:This occurs in people who once had regular erectile function. This is the most common type.
Secondary ED can be reversed and is often temporary. Primary ED may require more rigorous and medical-based treatments.
ED is usually treatable with medication or surgery. However, a person may be able to treat the original cause and reverse symptoms with no medication.
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The best treatment may depend on the person. For some people, surgery or medications are not effective. These men may have success using a penis pump, which draws blood into the penis and stimulates an erection.
Methods for reversing ED fall into three categories:
These treatments help with achieving or maintaining erections but do not address the underlying cause of erectile dysfunction. These treatments may help people with conditions such as diabetes and atherosclerosis to achieve erections. Medication like sildenafil (Viagra) increases blood flow to the penis, which can provide short-term relief from ED.
Addressing the underlying cause
Primary treatments address the issue that is causing ED. When blocked arteries are responsible, taking medication or engaging in frequent exercise can improve cardiovascular health. This may get rid of ED or reduce the frequency of occurrences.
The cause of ED may be psychological, and the condition itself may trigger anxiety. Psychological treatments can reduce anxiety, increase self-confidence, and improve relationships with sexual partner.
Also, these changes may increase the chances that other treatments are effective. For some men, intense anxiety about sex prevents certain treatments from working. Addressing anxiety can improve overall results.
Ways to reverse ED
Discuss with your doctor if you have any primary health issues. ED can be the first sign of diabetes-related nerve damage, cardiovascular disease, or a neurological problem.
The cause of ED may be physical, but the condition can still have psychological effects. It may lead to self-consciousness or anxiety, which can make it more problematic to acheive an erection. A treatment plan may include both physical and psychological methods. These include:
- Lifestyle changes
Some lifestyle changes can improve many issues that cause ED, such as diabetes and clogged arteries. Lifestyle changes that can help include:
- using relaxation exercises to manage ED-related stressand control blood pressure
- exercising to improve blood flow
- losing weight, when necessary, to lower blood pressure and improve cholesteroland testosterone levels
- changing the diet, which may especially benefit people with diabetes or cardiovascular disease
- Pelvic floor exercises
The pelvic floor muscles help men to urinate and ejaculate. Strengthening these muscles may also improve erectile function. Discuss pelvic floor physical therapy with a doctor to learn which exercises are most effective.
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Erectile dysfunction can negatively affect self-esteem. It is key to recognize and discuss the issue, especially when it causes depression or anxiety.
Individual counseling can help in uncovering the cause of the problem. A psychologist or psychiatrist can help an individual to manage their anxiety and resolve issues, which can eliminate ED and prevent it from returning.
- Herbal and alternative remedies
Alternative and complementary therapies, such as acupuncture may help some men with ED. Preliminary research suggests that some herbal supplements may also help.
A 2018 review discovered that ginseng preparations significantly improved symptoms of ED in the population studied. Preparations of maritime pine extract, Pinus pinaster, and maca, Lepidium meyenii, also showed promising results, but more research needs to be carried out.
Methods of alternative medicine are safest when used under the guidance of a doctor and in conjunction with other treatments.
A wide variety of medications can help with ED. The best-known are medicines, such as tadalafil (Cialis) and Viagra, which increase blood flow to the penis and help to get and maintain an erection.
These can be effective when that cause of ED is physical, and they also work well when the cause is unknown or related to anxiety.
If an underlying condition, such as diabetes, is causing ED, treating it will often reverse ED or prevent it from deteriorating.
- Medication changes
Some medications can make ED worse. Blood pressure medication, for example, may lower blood flow to the penis, making it harder to get an erection.
Anyone who suspects that ED is associated with a medication should tell a doctor. Alternative drugs are often available.
- Mechanical devices
Mechanical devices like penis pumps can draw blood into the penis and prompt an erection in most men, including those with severe nerve damage. When there is severe nerve or blood vessel damage, using a ring can help to keep blood in the penis.
Surgery may be the last option if other methods are unsuccessful, or when there is an anatomical cause of ED. The procedure involves implanting a device that enables immediate erections. Surgery is effective in most cases, and the rate of complications is less than 5 percent.
Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical doctor or healthcare professional.