The treatment of erectile dysfunction has made significant progress in last couple of years. The following are used:
1. Medications: Medications that belong to a group, called, Phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors (PDE-5 inhibitors) are routinely used. These medications cause the dilatation of blood vessels and hence improve the blood flow in penis. At times, these medications are used just before sex to enhance the performance, however this practise must be discouraged. These medicines should be prescribed only after careful evaluation, as in certain cases, they may cause significant side effects.
2. Nutraceuticals: Use of medicinal plants has become increasingly mainstream in the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Medicinal plants like tribulus terrestris and ginkgo biloba are often the constituents of the nutraceutical pills. Again, caution must be taken before using these nutraceuticals, as they may not be appropriate for all patients
3. Psychotherapy: Understanding the psychological factors involved in the development of erectile dysfunction and resolution of them is as important as the medical treatment.
4. Shock wave therapy: A new therapy uses low energy shockwaves (sound waves) to induce new blood vessel formation in penis. This treatment modality is being increasingly used, alt-hough the high cost involved in treatment, is a deterrent for its wide spread use.
Apart from these, few other modalities of treatment include use of penile injections, vacuum devic-es and penile implants, however either these are inconvenient to use or change the structure of penis permanently, hence are not preferred by treatment.
It can be summarised that many newer and effective treatment methods are available for the man-agement of erectile dysfunction and early use of treatment improves the results of treatment.