First, take a deep breath; millions of Canadian guys experience erectile dysfunction. You’re in good company, and there are lots of treatments available. Think about why you might be experiencing ED. For some guys, it’s a vicious cycle: the stress or embarrassment of erectile dysfunction can cause more erectile dysfunction. Talk with your partner about ED. If you’re stressed out or depressed, consider talking to a therapist or counsellor.
If erectile dysfunction is consistently impacting your sex life, talk to your doctor. Some guys opt to take oral medicines to treat ED (like Viagra®, Levitra® and Cialis®). Each of these can be prescribed by a doctor, and each has side effects that can include headaches, nasal congestion or sudden temporary hearing loss. In some cases, guys on these drugs have even experienced heart attacks and strokes – especially if mixing with other drugs (like cocaine and especially poppers).
If oral medication isn’t your thing, you have other options:
Vacuum therapy is a pretty simple premise: you insert your penis into a special vacuum constriction device, pump out all the air, and wear a constriction band or cock ring around the base of your penis while you’re having sex. Remember: it can be dangerous to cut the blood flow to your penis for too long, so make sure you learn how to do this safely.
Some guys opt for penile self-injection therapy (it’s exactly what it sounds like), which involves injecting a mixture of drugs directly into the penis with a needle. Another treatment is transurethral therapy, which involves inserting a suppository into the tip of the penis. Finally, some men opt for penile implant surgery – which carries risks and is irreversible.
Talk to your doctor about the therapy that will work best for you. Remember: your doctor is a professional, and they look at lots of penises, in various states of length, shape, size, and hardness. When you speak to your doctor, they will likely order some blood tests (to scan for blood vessel damage and hormone levels). They may even suggest a referral to a specialist for any number of reasons. Some men experience something called hypogonadism, which is an inadequate level of testosterone in the body; this can be treated easily.
Between oral medicines, counselling, and lifestyle changes, almost all erectile dysfunction is treatable. If you try to reduce or quit smoking, drink alcohol in moderation, get more exercise, eat healthy food, and reduce your stress, you might just find that your ED problems improve (and your dick could be back to its old self in no time!).