Erectile Dysfunction Management: Oral Medicines or Penile Injections?

Erectile Dysfunction treatment

Erectile dysfunction, i.e. the inability to get a strong erection and to keep it until the end of sexual intercourse, is the problem that affects almost every man at some stage of his life. Most people associate this disorder with senior age, but, in practice, it may manifest itself much earlier. So, about 50% of men face this problem before or at the age of 50. But there is good news as well ― as of now, doctors have a good selection of solutions to offer. The two most common options are oral medications and penile injections.

Oral Medicines

If a man starts noticing the first signs of Erectile dysfunction, a doctor is likely to recommend trying an oral medication in the overwhelming majority of cases. Today, on the market, there is a wide selection of such medications, the most well-known are Viagra, Stendra, Levitra, and Cialis. They contain different active substances, but still act identically ― they relax the muscles in the blood vessels and increase the blood flow in the penis in such a way, which makes erections firmer and longer. Besides, a man reaches strong erections easier and faster.

Such medications help to reach an erection naturally – their effect manifests itself only after a man gets sexually aroused. So, a man can easily keep his erectile problems secret from his partner. Besides, the use of such medicines does not interfere with intercourse itself: a man takes a pill well in advance – 15–60 minutes before sex or even earlier. And the effect lasts about 4–5 hours, so there is an opportunity to have sex several times. More to the point, if a patient uses Cialis, he will feel its therapeutic effect up to 36 hours.

Many men turning to Rockwoodclinic.com ask the same question – does ED medication work just because one takes it? So, this detail is worth mentioning as a separate point: such medications should not be used every day – only before sex.

How to choose a suitable oral medicine for treating ED? First of all, one should highlight that, in most countries, they are distributed on prescription. A patient does not have to make a choice on his own, his doctor will prescribe a product, taking into account his needs and concurrent health problems. However, a patient can tell a specialist about his preferences, for example, about those concerning the duration of an effect or the speed of absorption.

Here are the key pros and cons of this treatment option, compared to penile injections. They will help you form a realistic opinion.

Pros:

  • Oral medications are easier to take.
  • It is easier to keep the use of such medications secret.

Cons:

  • In some cases, oral ED medications fail to provide a sufficient result.
  • In the case of oral tablets, there is a higher risk of such side effects as headaches, feeling dizzy, flashes, digestive problems, and others (however, switching to a lower dose or a different medication often helps).

Penile Injections

As a rule, they are used as second-line therapy, i.e. after a patient has already tried oral pills, but they turned out to be ineffective for him. One more reason why doctors decide to prescribe penile injections – oral medicines caused side effects that severely affected the quality of a man’s life.

The most frequently-used active substances for penile injections are Papaverine, Phentolamine, Prostaglandin (or Alprostadil). They can be sold under different brand names. Such ED drugs can be used both independently and in the combinations. They work similar to oral ED medications ― they open the blood vessels in the penis, and that makes erections stronger and longer.

The effect of such an injection manifests itself in about 15 minutes and can last up to several hours.

Patients make injections on their own after getting detailed instructions. In most cases, men are recommended to make the first two injections under the supervision of their doctors. ED medications are injected with the help of a syringe into the shaft of the penis. Certainly, at first, a man can feel slight pain or discomfort during and after injections, but, over time, the situation will improve. In addition, one can apply a topical anesthetic to solve that problem.

Pros of penile injections:

  • They are effective in those cases when oral ED drugs cannot help.
  • A man can make injections at home without any external help.
  • They start working in about 15 minutes (for comparison, the effect of ED pills usually comes in 30–60 minutes after an intake).

Cons:

  • For many men, it may turn out to be too hard to make such injections, due to psychological reasons.
  • Making penile injections is difficult enough and requires certain skills.
  • There is a risk of bleeding, bruising, and scarring (still, it is minimal if the procedure is performed correctly).
  • There is also a risk of other unpleasant side effects, like pains or burning.
  • Frankly speaking, it is difficult to keep the use of such injections secret from a partner since there will be certain traces left, although they will not attract too much attention.

Oral and Injectable ED Medications: Which Option Is Cheaper?

First, medicines for treating ED are usually not covered with insurance, so a patient should get ready for regular expenses. Unfortunately, as of now, this disorder cannot be fully healed. All the available drugs, both oral and injectable ones, provide a temporary effect only. If a man suffers from ED, he needs to take medicines for as long as he wants to lead a sexual life.

As for prices, they differ, depending on the product and manufacturer. Some experts claim that penile injections are more affordable, but one should take into account that there are no generic alternatives in many cases. While, in the case of oral ED pills, there is a huge selection of generics, which are several times cheaper than brand-name products.

To sum up, erectile dysfunction is a health problem, which can be effectively and quickly taken under control with the help of medications. So, if you notice any difficulties in getting and keeping erections, do not postpone consultation with a doctor.