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Erectile Dysfunction Over The Counter

erectile dysfunction over the counter

Erectile Dysfunction Treatment

If you think you have ED, a good first step is to talk with your doctor. The treatment you need will depend on what’s causing it.

You may find that simple lifestyle changes will help, like losing weight, drinking less alcohol, or quitting smoking.

If a medication is causing your ED, your doctor may lower your dose or try a different drug altogether.

There are also other treatments. They include:

  • Counseling
  • Medications
  • Pumps
  • Surgery

Diagnosis

For many men, a physical exam and answering questions (medical history) are all that's needed for a doctor to diagnose erectile dysfunction and recommend a treatment. If you have chronic health conditions or your doctor suspects that an underlying condition might be involved, you might need further tests or a consultation with a specialist.

Tests for underlying conditions might include:

  • Physical exam. This might include careful examination of your penis and testicles and checking your nerves for sensation.
  • Blood tests. A sample of your blood might be sent to a lab to check for signs of heart disease, diabetes, low testosterone levels and other health conditions.
  • Urine tests (urinalysis). Like blood tests, urine tests are used to look for signs of diabetes and other underlying health conditions.

How well do ED pills work?

ED drugs produce an erection sufficient for intercourse in about 70% of men. But the results vary quite a bit from one individual to another. A man with nerves or arteries damaged by prostate surgery, diabetes, or cardiovascular disease will not respond as strongly to ED drugs. "There are some men in whom none of these drugs work," Dr. Liou says.

What are the side effects of ED pills?

The most common side effects of ED drugs, in order of most to least common are headache, flushing, upset stomach, nasal congestion, urinary tract infections, vision problems, diarrhea, dizziness, and rash. A man who has an erection that lasts four hours or more needs to get to a hospital or risk permanent damage.

None of the ED drugs is safe to take with cardiac drugs called nitrates because it could cause a dangerous drop in blood pressure. Drugs that many men take for urinary symptoms, called alpha blockers, can also lower blood pressure, so take them at least four hours apart from ED drugs. Your doctor may start you on a smaller dose of the ED drug if you already take an alpha blocker, or may recommend the alpha blocker tamsulosin (Flomax), which affects blood pressure less.

How to use ED pills

Dr. Liou says that some men come to him after getting a prescription from their primary care doctors, claiming that the drug doesn't work. Sometimes it's because they used it incorrectly. "The biggest misconception is that these drugs are an on/off switch for erections," Dr. Liou says. But the drugs don't work well without sexual stimulation. "During that time, you need to be with your partner and have foreplay," Dr. Liou says.

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