Doctors diagnose erectile dysfunction by performing a physical exam after going through a few questions with the patient. These queries often revolve around the patient’s past medical history in a bit to narrow down on the specific diagnosis (1).
The physician may proceed to establish that you might be suffering from an underlying medical issue, in which case they could recommend additional testing. To verify if you have any underlying issues, the doctor might suggest:
- A full physical exam of your penile structures to determine nerve sensitivity
- A urine analysis to test for conditions such as diabetes
- A blood test for determination of testosterone levels or symptoms of heart problems
- An ultrasound to verify whether there are any instances of inhibited blood flow.
- A psychological session to try and determine any mental strain that could result in erectile dysfunction
Mechanical Treatment Options and Choices for ED
Choice of Treatment
As a first step, your physician has to ensure that any underlying conditions are attended to and treated. This way, any possible strain causing erectile dysfunction is eliminated. The health issue influences your situation’s gravity, which ultimately determines what treatment option works best for you. The physician will then proceed to educate you on the various risks involved in each option.
One method would be to recommend oral meds that work to increase blood flow to the penile region to help with restoring erectile function. However, the focus here is on the other option that entails the use of mechanical devices. This option is employed after all other treatments stop working as they should (2). Furthermore, mechanical treatment options involve the use of penile prostheses and penis pumps, which are discussed below.
The treatment entails surgical placement of the prosthesis on the two sides of your penis. Generally, your doctor may advise against going for penile implant surgery as the first option. Thus, it is mostly the last resort after all other ED remedies have been explored. Furthermore, men who have experimented and failed with more-traditional techniques have reported a high level of satisfaction with penile prosthesis options (3).
As with all surgeries, there is always a risk of emerging complications, including infections. Your physician will caution against undergoing penile prosthesis surgery if you are suffering from a urinary tract infection.
A penile pump is a vacuum erection device with a hollow tube that runs manually or with a battery. When you have an erection, a tension ring goes around the penis base to reserve the blood and maintain its firmness. After this, you remove the penile pump. Naturally, the erection goes on long enough for you and your partner to have sex. After intercourse, you can disconnect the tension ring.
The band limits ejaculation, and at the time, the penis may be bruised. If a penile pump is the ideal treatment option, your physician could prescribe or recommend a specific model (4). By doing so, you are sure it comes from a reliable manufacturer and suitable for your needs.
Pros of Mechanical Treatment Options
Such devices have malleable or inflatable rods. An inflatable prosthesis gives you control over the time and length of your erection. The bendable (malleable) rods ensure your penis remains firm.
Links to Sources Used:
- Diagnosis of Erectile Dysfunction https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/erectile-dysfunction/diagnosis
- Penile Prosthesis https://med.virginia.edu/urology/for-patients-and-visitors/penile-urethral-reconstruction-at-uva/penile-prosthesis/
- Clinical Outcome: Patient and Partner Satisfaction after Penile Implant Surgery https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6872984/
- External Penile Rigidity Devices https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/external-penile-rigidity-devices-class-ii-special-controls-guidance-document-industry-and-fda-staff