We have witnessed an unprecedented expansion and popularity of the treatment of male erectile disorder during the last decade. Our society, though still quite prudish and hypocritical about sexual issues, is becoming more open and interested in the treatment of male erectile disorder. Men with erectile dysfunction are approaching health professionals with an even higher frequency than 5 years ago (Schiavi 1995). The greatest progress in the treatment of male erectile disorder has been achieved in the biological modalities. Unfortunately, we see less research of psychological treatment modalities and almost no solid research of the combination of biological and psychological treatment modalities. The short-term efficacy and satisfaction rates for most types of treatment for male erectile disorder are fairly high. However, long-term efficacy studies show decreased efficacy rates with most of the older treatment methods. The long-term efficacy rates of some of the newer treatment modalities (sildenafil, phentolamine, apomorphine) have not yet been properly studied. The long-term efficacy rates of combination biological and psychological treatments are unknown.
It is prudent to conclude that treatment of male erectile disorder could be quite successful and that many successful and well-tolerated treatments for erectile dysfunction are available. Treatment of male erectile disorder should be individualized to the patient’s needs, should be comprehensive, should be stepwise, and should integrate biological and psychological treatment modalities.
Revision date: June 21, 2011
Last revised: by Janet A. Staessen, MD, PhD