When lifestyle changes and medication fail, the team at ZestED has other options to help you treat ED. Our holistic approach leads us to pursue the least invasive treatments possible for your erectile dysfunction. However, each patient is unique, and some men respond less to lifestyle changes, supplements and medications than others. At ZestED, our specialized team of physicians and clinical care coordinators can offer a number of non-surgical interventions as a next step in your treatment plan. Using our simple, streamlined and convenient telehealth system, you can communicate with your care coordinator and decide which option is right for you, all from the comfort of your home.
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When beginning your erectile dysfunction treatment, non-surgical intervention is rarely the front line. At ZestED, we recommend lifestyle changes, supplements and sensate therapy at first, adding prescription medications to your plan if necessary. However, every patient has a different set of circumstances. In some cases, erectile dysfunction medications simply fail to treat the condition, requiring non-surgical intervention as a next step. Certain underlying conditions can also make the risk factors of you taking ED medication too severe, including heart disease and low blood pressure (hypotension).
The team at ZestED recommends two types of non-surgical ED interventions for our patients opting out of medication. These treatment options include:
Vacuum-Assisted Erection Devices. These devices work by creating pressure and allowing blood to flow into the penis while preventing it from leaving. The device comes in three parts: a ring, a cylinder, and a pump. To use it, place the ring at the base of the shaft, add the cylinder, and then pump. 60-70% of patients state that they were able to achieve an erection this way. We generally recommend vacuum-assisted devices first, as they are the least invasive and least expensive option for our patients.
Self-Insertion. The FDA has approved one medication - Prostaglandin E1 - for direct insertion into the penis to treat ED. This medication causes the blood vessels to dilate by blocking the part of your nervous system that constricts them. This compresses the veins in your penis, allowing you to maintain a stable erection. This process involves inserting Prostaglandin E1 yourself through your urethra, and is less invasive than injections. However, results are also less consistent than those of injections.
There is a third option available to patients in the form of penile injections. This involves using a needle to inject the same medication (Prostaglandin E1) into your penis, which you can do yourself after careful instruction from your doctor. While we at ZestED do not offer or prescribe penile injection, we’re happy to refer you to a trusted physician as part of your telehealth appointment if you believe this is the right option for you.
While any ED treatment prescribed by your doctor will be perfectly safe, there are a number of side-effects associated with each non-surgical treatment. Many patients using the vacuum-assisted device report difficulty ejaculating externally, though this should never be an obstacle to achieving a normal orgasm. Additionally, both self-insertion and injection of Prostaglandin E1 can result in penile pain and aching, which can be attributed more to the medication itself than to the administration method.