Most patients seek to avoid surgical treatment for erectile disorders in favor of non-surgical treatments. The first line of defense against erectile disorders and impotence for most patients will involve some kind of oral medication. The most common form of oral medication is phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor (known as PDE-5).
Common PDE-5 drugs include vardenabfil HCI, tadalafil, and sildenafil. In most cases, doctors will advice the patient to take the prescribed medication before engaging in sexual activity. PDE-5 medications work by naturally boosting the signals and bodily processes that occur during sex. The erection is enhanced, improved and prolonged through the use of these medications. Most PDE-5 medications can be used safely and are known to be mostly effective. Doctors report that roughly 80 percent of their patients report improvement with the use of these classes of drugs.
Although most doctors and medical researchers agree that PDE-5 class drugs are safe and effective, some patients may be considered with side effects that may affect the heart or other vital organs. After several years of extensive testing, researchers have concluded that these medications are generally safe, although there can be complications when they are used in conjunction with other types of prescription drugs. For instance, sildenafil citrate has been found to have contraindications with another class of medications known as nitrates. Researchers have pinned down some possible side effects of taking PDE-5 class drugs. These include stuffy noses, muscle aches, flushing, and headaches. In rare cases, some of these drugs can cause serious side effects, including retina eye damage. However, most doctors stress that with caution and proper use, most of these drugs can be taken with no fear of potentially serious side effects.
There is another drug that is prescribed to men who do not respond to PDE-5 drugs. This drug does not come in the form of an oral medication, but rather as a series of injections that is applied directly to the penis. The drug is known as alprostadil. These are self-injections that the patient applies before engaging in sexual activity. The success rate of these alprostadil injections is relatively high at 85 percent. If the patient wishes to avoid the need for a shot, there is also the option of transurethral suppository. However, applying alprostadil via suppository is believed to reduce the effectiveness of the drug by a full 40 percent. Some of the most commonly reported side effects of alprostadil include feelings of a burning sensation, and overcorrection of erectile dysfunction, which may cause a prolonged erection that may last several hours.
Other non-surgical options include the application of an external vacuum device. This device uses a plastic cylinder device that is placed over the penis and made to seal the skin of the body. A pump attached to the cylinder applies pressure and acts as a vacuum. This allows the user to achieve an erection that lasts until the plastic cylinder is removed. Patients and doctors report a 75 percent success rate with the use of such non-surgical devices.