Treatments for
erectile dysfunction

Oral treatments (medicine taken by mouth)

Oral treatments for ED symptoms work by temporarily relaxing blood vessels in the penis. Relaxing these blood vessels helps increase blood flow, so an erection can happen.

Vacuum pumps

Vacuum pumps work by a man putting his penis inside a plastic tube and then pumping the air out of it. This creates a vacuum that makes the penis fill with blood and become erect. Putting a rubber ring around the base of the penis keeps the blood in place, so an erection can be kept for around 30 minutes.

Injectable treatments

Injectable treatments are available on prescription. A nurse or doctor would demonstrate how to inject directly into the penis, or would place a small pellet inside the urethra (the tube that goes from the bladder all the way to the tip of the penis). An erection normally occurs within 5–15 minutes after application. How long the erection is kept depends on the dose.

Hormone therapy

If a man’s ED symptoms are caused by conditions related to hormones, such as low levels of testosterone, they will be referred to an endocrinologist by their doctor who may prescribe hormone replacement therapy to restore normal levels.

Penile implants

If all other treatments fail to help with ED symptoms, a doctor may recommend surgery for a penile implant.