One of the most common sexual problems for men, erectile dysfunction is the inability to achieve or maintain an erect penis adequate for sexual function. This can occur when any part of the process involving psychological impulses from the brain, adequate levels of the male sex hormone testosterone, a functioning nervous system, and adequate and healthy vascular tissue in the penis breaks down. This can be caused by low testosterone levels, common as men age, drug or alcohol abuse, or illnesses such as high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, high cholesterol levels and cardiovascular disease.
Oral medications known as phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors (PDE-5), such as Sildenafil Citrate, Vardenafil HCl or Tadalafil, are often prescribed in uncomplicated cases to boost the body's natural signals during sex. For those who don't respond to oral medication, Alprostadil may be injected into the side of the penis or taken as a transurethral suppository.
A vacuum erection device is a drug-free option that has shown promising results. And for severe cases, a surgical implant or penile prosthesis may be necessary to restore erectile health.