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Erectile Dysfunction: Erectile Aids and Other Treatments

If you have erectile dysfunction (ED), treatment can help. Certain treatments work directly on your penis. Talk to your healthcare provider about the pros and cons of each. And be sure to learn the correct technique. 

Vacuum pump

  • You slip a tube over your penis. A simple pump then creates a vacuum that pulls blood into your penis. This causes an erection. You then put a tension ring around the base of your penis to hold in the blood. You then remove the tube. The tension ring must not stay on for more than 30 minutes.

  • Risks and complications may include pain in your penis or scrotum. The penis may also feel cool or change color during your erection. 

Tension ring

  • A tension ring is usually used along with another type of treatment. Once enough blood has flowed into your penis to cause an erection, the tension ring will keep the blood from flowing out again. This maintains the erection. The ring must not stay on for more than 30 minutes. A tension ring is also called a constriction ring or venous flow controller.

  • Risks and complications may include pinched, bruised, or irritated skin. If you have an allergic reaction to latex rings, try a silicone ring. 

Self-injections

  • You inject a special drug into your penis. The drug relaxes blood vessels so they can fill with blood. Within about 10 minutes, your penis can become rigid enough for sexual intercourse. A tension ring is not needed to maintain your erection. Your healthcare provider can explain the injection process to you.

  • Risks and complications may include pain, bleeding, bruising, or scarring. Get medical help right away if you have an erection that lasts for longer than 4 hours. 

Transurethral medicine

  • You insert the end of a small applicator into your urethra to place a tiny, soft medicine pellet. The medicine is absorbed into your penis. The drugs relax blood vessels so they can fill with blood. Within about 10 minutes, your penis can become rigid enough for sexual intercourse. To keep your erection, you may need to use a tension ring.

  • Risks and complications may include pain and irritation of your urethra. Get medical help right away if you have an erection that lasts for longer than 4 hours. 

Closeup of hand holding cylinder over penis with ring at base of penis.
A vacuum pump draws blood into the penis, causing an erection.

Closeup of penis with tension ring at base.
A tension ring keeps blood from flowing out of the erect penis.
   

Closeup of hands injecting medicine in side of penis. Safe injection area is highlighted.
Medicine injected into the side of the penis causes an erection.

Closeup of hand inserting applicator in urethra in penis. Other hand holds penis steady.
A medicated pellet put into the urethra causes an erection.

Author: StayWell Custom Communications
Last Annual Review Date: 7/1/2019
Copyright © The StayWell Company, LLC. except where otherwise noted.
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