Approach to Treatment
The cause of impotence dictates the mode of treatment. The first step is to define the cause, if possible, and then try the simplest and least-risky solution.
Before a certain treatment is prescribed, the following factors should be considered:
Any pre-existing illnesses and medications.
The degree of comfort with the treatment method.
Partner satisfaction, and safety profiles need to be considered. Experts strongly recommend that the patient’s partner be involved to help with any necessary sexual adjustment.
No matter what the treatment, embarking on a healthy lifestyle is the first and critical step for maintaining and restoring erectile function.
Psychotherapies. Some form of psychological, behavioral, sexual, or combination therapy is often recommended for individuals suffering from impotence, regardless of cause.
Medical and Surgical Treatments. Sildenafil (Viagra), the first effective oral agent for erectile dysfunction, is currently the treatment of choice for many men.
Those who cannot or choose not to take the drug still have many other options, including the following:
Medications inserted or injected into the penis.
Intracavernosal injection therapy.
Invasive procedures, such as penile implants or surgery (limited to those for whom other treatments haven’t worked and who have been carefully screened.)
Ultimately, how successful the medical treatment is and how well it is accepted depends, in large part, on the man’s expectations and how he and his partner both adapt to the procedure.
American Urological Association
Revision date: July 4, 2011
Last revised: by Andrew G. Epstein, M.D.