Men, let’s cut to the chase. Do you still get morning wood? As men get older, their ability to get and maintain an erection diminishes – as well as the sensation and fulfillment of an orgasm. This is a serious matter that most don’t talk about with their friends – let alone their doctors. It is our manhood, after all. The result is unnecessary, self-inflicted shame.
Erectile dysfunction, aka ED, creeps up on men slowly. Most guys brush off the one-time occurrences until it becomes a regular thing and erectile dysfunction treatment can no longer be avoided. (Erectile dysfunction is found in women, as well, but we’ll focus on men here.)
Concerns About Erectile Dysfunction Symptoms and Treatment
Even though Erectile Dysfunction is a medical issue, it carries a major emotional impact. Shame and embarrassment are, unfortunately, part of the experience. Talk about it, and suddenly it becomes all too real! It’s easier to brush it under the rug and not deal with the feeling of shame.
However, ED affects your partner, too. As you struggle to perform, they’re not satisfied, either. Even worse, they may think that they’re the reason. Untreated Erectile Dysfunction can ruin a relationship. Intimacy with your partner is essential to building closeness.
Since our articles are about introducing you to solutions, this is where you’re going to learn something positive: There are physical causes for this insidious issue – and there’s help available.
You’ve probably heard about any number of natural treatment options, as well as some of the widely advertised pharmaceutical offerings. These are everywhere – or seem to be when you’re preoccupied with your own ED. Let’s run through the list.
The Little Blue Pill
Most men who experience Erectile Dysfunction think it’s just a part of aging – and that there’s nothing that can be done beyond taking the “Little Blue Pill.” These are the PDE5 inhibitors, and the three brand names you’ll know are Viagra (sildenafil), Cialis (tadalafil), and Levitra (vardenafil). These work to increase the production of nitric oxide (NO), which creates vasodilation. While the “LBP” is the most common treatment option, as far as the advertisements tell you, the pounding headache that’s a side effect of this drug class is enough to dissuade many.
This is an injection of 3 medications directly into the penis before sex. This option isn’t as well-known to anyone exploring treatments for the first time, but there are Erectile Dysfunction clinics that specialize in only Tri-Mix to help men with their erections. The biggest disadvantages are in the act of injecting yourself into your penis directly – honestly, that’s enough to scare most men away – and that this can cause an EMERGENCY with an erection lasting more than 4 hours. We’ll be brief here – to treat this emergency, the blood has to be drained directly from the affected area, with other drugs injected into your swollen member. Enough said – there are so many other options besides this radical and dangerous option!
The Natural Treatment Options
With natural treatments, there are no drugs here and a variety of ways to address the problem. You may have stumbled upon some of these options as you’ve been researching help for your ED on your own.
Nitric Oxide Precursors
As we mentioned above, nitric oxide (NO) increases vasodilation. Arginine and Citrulline are amino acids that can be found in our body’s natural nitric oxide production. The theory: By increasing your daily intake of these amino acids, it raises the chances of getting it up.
“Use it or lose it” is a philosophy that definitely applies with mechanical assists. The benefit is there are no medications involved. A penis pump will help by engorging the penis with blood, and a cockring can help keep the blood flow there for use. The disadvantage? These can be cumbersome when you want to be spontaneous.
Meditation & Stress Management
AKA: “It’s all in your head.” For those of you who are classic Type A men who never clock out of work…CLOCK OUT! This is important – please address this! Focus on the task before you and put aside the mental “To-Do” list for later. Here’s something else to think about: are you scheduling intimate time with your partner? Anticipatory anxiety is real – but there are tools to help you. Seek out a counselor or a doctor who knows how to work through these issues. Having a safe and trusted relationship with a professional who knows evidence-based treatments is essential!
Guys, this is an essential component of all things male. Ensuring that your hormones are in the optimal parameters is not just important for your erections. It’s also essential to your muscle, brain, bone, and heart health. Functional medicine is entering a new stage in evolution, called personalized medicine or health optimization. Knowing your hormone levels is as important as awareness of your blood pressure and blood sugar. Hormone replacement therapy is incredible but always has to be tailored to the individual. This is a controlled substance, and the dosing and supply are best left to the care of the physician who oversees your health. There are clinics out there that swindle guys of hard-earned money just for testosterone – so buyer beware!
The Latest Erectile Dysfunction Therapies
Now, let’s discuss the nerdy and specialized treatments you’re looking for. As part of our Regenerative Medicine services at Source of Health, we work with some fantastic new erectile dysfunction treatment options.
PRP stands for Platelet Rich Plasma – a concentrated and distilled potion made from your very own blood. You may have heard of PRP treatments used for healing joints and tendons in the orthopedic world or in the news about your sportsmen like Tiger Woods or Rafael Nadal. Or, you may have heard of PRP helping with hair restoration or skin rejuvenation. Add to that list… yes…Erectile Dysfunction!
One of the main reasons men have ED is poor blood flow from atherosclerosis (clogging of the arteries). Your penis has two arteries – about as thin as a cocktail straw – that can become clogged up just like the coronary arteries in the heart. PRP improves blood vessels and grows new capillaries for increased perfusion.
PRP also restores nerve endings – which helps to improve sensation. And lastly, there are real benefits to increasing collagen production in the penis. No, it really won’t make it much longer, but it can definitely increase girth by about ½” in circumference.
Acoustic Shockwave Therapy
A rock star in the world of safe and effective, drug-free ED treatments is Acoustic Shockwave Therapy. These are 30-minute treatments performed in our clinic over an average of 6 visits. The device we use creates a shockwave, like a jackhammer, to create micro-traumas to blood vessels and collagen. In turn, the body responds, and much like the results we see from PRP, new blood vessels grow, restoring flow. The treatments are a little noisy, but the effects are seen quickly afterward. As of 2020, a device that may help maintain results after office treatments was approved for at-home use by selected individuals.
Prescription Peptides PT-141
For anyone wanting to make the most of biohacking, peptides are helpful. They can safely offer that extra edge without harsh side effects. PT-141 is a short-acting peptide that binds to the MSH receptor. Originally part of a larger peptide that allows tanning, this peptide caused erections as well as that sun-kissed tan. How’s that for versatility?
PT-141 is injected just underneath the skin of the abdomen with a small insulin needle – practically painless with the right technique – or administered via a nasal puff.
This is one of the best-kept secrets in precision medicine – now the secret is out of the bag.
What to Expect from ED Treatment
A sensitive subject like Erectile Dysfunction deserves some information about what’s involved in the treatment process. Here’s a case study that illustrates the process we use at Source of Health.
A 48-year old man presents with a 25-year history of erectile dysfunction. He’s in a loving relationship, eats well, and exercises regularly. Previously, he has been to several doctors focused on balancing hormones related to the thyroid and adrenals, and testosterone. However, this isn’t a typical case of solving low testosterone sending him out with erections. After previous treatments, this private, soft-spoken man still had issues – and it was hard on his mental health.
We optimized his hormones and began adding only a few supplements for daily use, none of which were libido booster or erection pills. After taking time to rule out everything else in his blood work, he was ready to talk about peptides. Acoustic Shock Wave Therapy and PT-141 were the miracle combo for him. While there may be deeper issues as to why his ED began in his 20s, the solution for him was delivered in a comprehensive and customized treatment program built just for him. He took a practical approach – and it worked.
All about Aftercare and Post-Treatment Outcomes
It’s no surprise that all our patients have concerns about aftercare. Some common questions: Will it hurt? Will there be bruising? When can I start using it? When will I see results?
The answer to all these, if we’re honest – it depends! Just like any of our treatments here at Source of Health, we always aim to keep your visits and aftercare as painless and hassle-free as possible. If you receive an injection, you can expect a bit of soreness and swelling at the injection site. For PRP shots into the penis, it’s advisable to wait about a week before you take it for a spin. It’s your body – give it time. Most treatment plans last from 60-90 days. Within that time frame, your body is healing and recalibrating. Rejuvenation and regeneration are not instantaneous.
And the last thing that we haven’t mentioned is anesthesia: We always use a numbing cream for about 20 minutes before the PRP injection. We combine the numbing cream with the ultrasound gel we use prior to acoustic shockwave therapy to help with any discomfort.
If you would like to find out more about the Erectile Dysfunction treatments we offer at Source of Health, we invite you to contact us to schedule a Discovery Session. Our comprehensive approach to Regenerative Medicine is becoming the new standard model of health treatment.