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Treating Erectile Dysfunction

There are several treatments available to help treat ED. Discuss your options with your doctor.
Medical Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction
Treatment Advantages Disadvantages

PDE5 Inhibitors  (Cialis, Levitra, Staxyn, Viagra)
  • Success rate for full intercourse 40-60%
  • Minimally invasive (easy to take)
  • Maintain spontaneity
  • May not work
  • Cost
  • Can’t be taken with nitrate medications
  • Won’t work if erection nerves removed

Penile Injections
  • Success rates up to 85%
  • Can work even if erection nerves removed/damaged
  • Useful if can’t take PDE5 inhibitors
  • Penis discomfort
  • May not work
  • Cost
  • Risk of prolonged, inappropriate erection
  • Scar tissue in 10-15%, which can curve penis
  • Fainting (rare)

Medicated Urethral System for Erection
  • 57% success rate
  • No needle
  • Can work even if erection nerves removed/damaged
  • Useful if can’t take PDE5 inhibitors
  • Penis discomfort
  • May not work
  • Cost

Vacuum Constructive Devices
  • Success rates 85-92%
  • Do not require medication or surgery
  • Cost
  • Can cause bruising
  • Can’t be left on longer than 30 minutes
  • Can’t use with blood thinners
  • Penis may be cool to the touch so not a natural feel

Penile Prosthesis
  • 85% satisfaction rates reported
  • One-time surgery
  • Avoids risk of curved penis caused by penile injections
  • More relaxed foreplay with no change in skin sensation
  • Infection in approximately 2% of men, requiring removal of the prosthesis
  • 15% of implants fail, and surgery is required to repair/remove prosthesis; may be embarrassing with new partner
Source: Jamnicky, L., Nam, R. The Canadian Guide to Prostate Cancer, Second Edition. Mississauga: John Wiley & Sons Canada, Ltd. 2013. Page 196.

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