Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is one of the most common male sexual dysfunction. It prevents men from achieving and maintaining firm erections, which last for carrying out sexual activity.
Currently, several treatments are available, but not all of them prove to be effective for everyone. Some people avoid using them because of some underlying health condition or risk of developing side effects.
Here, in this blog, you’ll come across the latest treatments for erectile dysfunction that have shown promising results and could be the future of ED treatments. You’ll also come across some of the treatments that are safe, effective, and widely in use today.
Latest Treatments For Erectile Dysfunction
Stem Cell Therapy
It involves injecting the patient’s own stem cells – drawn out of abdominal fat cells – into the erectile tissue of the penis.
Multiple studies involving both animals and humans have shown promising results for the use of stem cell therapy in ED treatment. Studies in humans suggest that it could be quite a safe and effective treatment for ED.
But, is it safe and effective in the long term? Well, more investigations are required to call stem cell therapy anything more than experimental treatment.
Though it is a promising therapy, it isn’t approved yet.
As coronary stents help treat heart disease, it makes sense to hope that vascular stents could help treat erectile dysfunction. Some recent trials have shown positive outcomes, but more extensive trials are required to be certain about its safe and long-term effectiveness.
Although there have been some successful penis transplants, the first total penis and scrotum transplant was carried out at Johns Hopkins in 2018.
A severely injured soldier, who was an ED patient, was expected to retrieve normal urinary and sexual functions. With each transplant, healthcare providers are gaining more insight into long-term efficacy and safety.
What are platelets? They are the cell fragments found in your blood that aid in healing wounds faster and developing new blood vessels.
There have been tons of pre-clinical and clinical trials on platelet-rich plasma therapy for erectile dysfunction. Many of them showed positive outcomes, while some of them exhibited adverse reactions.
In a recent review, investigators wrote that PRP therapy possesses the potential for managing the symptoms of a male sexual dysfunction called erectile dysfunction.
However, the study was conducted on a small sample size with a short follow-up duration and insufficient control groups.
The treatment is available now; however, it’s considered no more than an experimental therapeutic procedure. Therefore, be cautious while planning to undergo this particular treatment.
Over the past few years, penile shockwave therapy, or low-intensity extracorporeal shockwave therapy, has acquired much attention.
Investigators have been looking at it as a prospective treatment for erectile dysfunction that is caused by vascular disease. This therapy involves passing low-intensity sound waves through erectile tissue.
The main objective is to enhance blood function and help new blood vessels to develop.
A Glimpse At Current ED Treatments
In case your ED has been developed due to some other serious illnesses such as diabetes, the best thing you can do is maintain your overall health.
For this, you may apply slight changes in your lifestyle, including:
- Reducing or giving up alcohol or drug use
- Smoking cessation
- Regular exercising
- Eating a healthy diet
- Maintaining a healthy body weight
Various oral medications which belong to the class of Phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors are considered the first-line treatment.
Some of the most popular medicines for ED are listed below:
- sildenafil (Revatio, Viagra)
- vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn)
- tadalafil (Adcirca, Cialis)
Some other ED medicines available on the market are:
- avanafil (Stendra)
- mirodenafil (Mvix)
- lodenafil (Helleva)
- udenafil (Zydena)
However, the last three medications mentioned on the list are not FDA-approved and, therefore, need to be used with caution.
Most of these medications are safe, effective, and well-tolerated, although some people may develop certain side effects after taking them. These side effects may include:
- Nasal congestion
These side effects usually go away within 48 hours of administration. If they persist or worsen with time, talk to your healthcare provider, and take the necessary steps.
For some men, self-injected drug therapy works similar to or even better than oral medications.
It is a little more invasive, although it has caused you to develop fewer side effects, including:
- Prolonged erection
- Soreness of the injection site
Following are some of the effective injection therapy drugs:
Remember, none of these drugs are FDA-approved.
For some men, the doctors may prescribe using a penis pump. It involves positioning a hollow tube over the penis and then utilizing a hand- or battery-operated pump.
It creates a vacuum, and this improves the blood flow to the penis. A tension ring at the base of the penis helps men to maintain their erections.
Doctors usually prescribe testosterone replacement therapy for those patients who have inadequate levels of testosterone.
However, if your testosterone levels are good, this treatment alternative may not prove effective for you.
Alprostadil suppositories or cream
Alprostadil comes in both forms: suppositories and cream. However, you may not find Alprostadil in every pharmaceutical store. Alprostadil urethral suppositories are implanted into the urethra with a unique applicator.
It could cause certain side effects, including pain and mild bleeding.
If all the above treatment proves ineffective or inappropriate for you, the doctor may recommend undergoing surgery. Following are some of the surgical alternatives for erectile dysfunction:
- A surgeon would repair arteries to produce better blood flow.
- You may have an inflatable implant placed in your penis. The implant could be expanded with a pump, making your penis broader and longer.
- Malleable implants can also be inserted into your penis. You will be able to change the position of your penis as needed manually.
Sometimes, men experience ED due to physiological causes, including stress, anxiety, depression, relationship conflict, etc. In such a case, counseling with a mental health specialist may be required.
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