When it comes down to treating erectile dysfunction (ED), there are several options available. A doctor will recommend the treatment that best suits you after answering some questions and, in some cases, undergoing a physical examination. But before you even pay a visit to a doctor, it is important to learn about the different treatment options available. This will enable you to help the doctor determine an option that you will be comfortable with. You will learn everything you need to know in this guide.

Intracavernosal (ICI) and Urethra (IU) Therapies

Intracavernosal therapy involves injecting medication effective in improving ED directly into the penis. Some doctors recommend it to individuals who do not respond to Viagra and other ED medications due to an injury or poor vascular health. The treatment option has been in use since 1983 and has proven to be safe once issued correctly. However, it is contraindicated in individuals with uncontrolled high blood pressure and some other underlying health conditions [1].

Penis Pumps, Surgery, and Implants

Penis pumps are a common option for improving ED. Doctors typically recommend it to individuals who do not like the idea of taking ED drugs. The pumps are basically plastic cylinder that is placed over the penis. To achieve an erection, the user pumps air out of the cylinder, which in turn causes blood to flow into the penis and ultimately causes an erection. Then an elastic ring is rolled over the base of the penis to hold the blood in and help maintain the erection.

It is worth noting that the ring may cause weak ejaculation and bruising. It is also necessary to remove the ring after 30 minutes to prevent genital incarceration.

What’s more, implants can be inserted into the penis via surgery. This treatment option is often recommended to individuals when ED is unlikely to resolve naturally or if other treatment options prove effective. It involves implanting a tube or a pump into the penis. The tube is manually filled with fluid to give rise to an erection when needed. Although the treatment works, infection and mechanical breakdown are possible risks. 

Shock Wave Therapy

Shock wave therapy involves using low-energy shock waves to regrow blood vessels via a process called revascularization. Although it shows promising results, it is not an approved treatment option for ED, as there are limited controlled studies to back up its safety and effectiveness in patients. 

Oral Medications

Doctors typically recommend oral medication for ED because they are effective for the most common type of ED — those caused by abnormalities in the vein, penile arteries, or both. The available meds for ED include Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, and Stendra; they all belong to a class of drugs called phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors. They work by relaxing the smooth muscles lining the penile arteries, allowing blood to flow into the penis. The drugs have proven to be successful for about 80% of men [2].

These drugs can be quite expensive, with a single pill costing up to, especially considering the fact that they have to be taken for a longer period of time. Many men even cut Сialis pill in half, as well as the pills of other brands, to save money. Others simply source the pills from online pharmacies such as ModafinilXL.com and HighStreetPhama, which sell at an affordable price. 

Lifestyle Changes

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is often caused by issues related to the heart and blood vessels as they partly determine blood flow to the penis. Consequently, engaging in lifestyle practices that improve the health of both body parts can ultimately help prevent ED.

Diet & Weight Loss

The popular saying “you are what you eat” holds true even when it boils down to sexual function. Eating healthily can help prevent ED and even improve erectile function. Several studies have revealed that men who incorporate vegetables, fish, fruits, nuts, and legumes into their meals and consume less processed food and meat are likely to have a lower chance of suffering from ED [3][4].

What’s more, it is worth noting that the negative effects associated with being overweight (diabetes, cholesterol, and high blood pressure) have been found to be linked to ED. This simply means that shedding some weight (obese individuals) can help prevent ED [5].

Sleep & Sport

Engaging in sports or exercising may help protect against a decline in sexual function or full-blown ED. This is especially true in people whose ED is related to inactivity, cardiovascular diseases, or obesity. Exercises such as cycling, running, swimming, or even brisk walking will do.

Poor sleep negatively impacts sexual health in men, a 2018 study found. It is the reason why ED is common among men who work odd shifts. The good news is that exercise improves sleep quality. This not only translates to an improvement in sexual function but also in overall health [6][7]

Herbal Supplements

Many people prefer herbal supplements to actual medicine. It is a common belief that ginkgo biloba and some other herbal supplements are effective treatment options for ED. However, it is not exactly a great idea to take them, as they are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Also, doctors do not recommend them as they are unregulated and can contain harmful substances that could cause severe adverse effects. If you decide to take any supplement to treat ED, be sure to consult your doctor. 


Most of the treatment options we listed in this article are commonly recommended by doctors to treat ED and improve sex life. Now that you have a basic understanding of what each of them involves, you will be able to work with your doctor to choose an effective treatment that you will be comfortable with.

What can a man take to help erectile dysfunction” is a question we get very often. So, if you have the same question, you’re not alone. Remember that healthy lifestyle changes go a long way in preventing and even improving ED. You can start by making positive lifestyle changes such as exercising, getting quality sleep, and eating healthily. Also, remember to consult your doctor for advice and guidance.


  1. Intracavernosal Injection (ICI) Therapy for Erectile Dysfunction. Retrieved: November 15, 2022. Uuaurology.com.
  2. Erectile Dysfunction. Retrieved: November 15, 2022. Hopkinsmedicine.org.
  3. Association of Diet With Erectile Dysfunction Among Men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. By Scott R. Bauer, MD, ScM; Benjamin N. Breyer, MD, MAS; Meir J. Stampfer, MD, DrPH; et al. Retrieved: November 15, 2022. Jamanetwork.com.
  4. Sexual Dysfunction Among Young Men: Overview of Dietary Components Associated With Erectile Dysfunction. By Ioannis Mykoniatis MD, Maria G. Grammatikopoulou PhD. et al. Retrieved: November 15, 2022. Sciencedirect.com.
  5. Weight and Ed: How Obesity Can Affect Your Erection. Written by Editorial Team. Medically reviewed by Mary Lucas, RN. Retrieved: November 15, 2022. Forhims.com.
  6. Sleep, Sleep Disorders, and Sexual Dysfunction. By Jae Wook Cho, and Jeanne F. Duffy. Retrieved: November 15, 2022. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.
  7. Exercising for Better Sleep. Retrieved: November 15, 2022. Hopkinsmedicine.org.

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