Treatment and home remedies for ED

Erectile dysfunction is a concerning health condition, especially when it affects a sexually active person. But it can be treated using medication, therapy, and home remedies.

A couple consulting a doctor

Key takeaways:

  • Erectile dysfunction is a medical condition that makes it difficult for a person to get or keep a strong erection for sexual intercourse.
  • Different things can cause erectile dysfunction, including stress and medical conditions like high blood pressure and prostate diseases.
  • Erectile dysfunction can be treated using medications like Viagra, psychological therapy, testosterone replacement therapy, and penis prosthesis surgery. Doctors may also recommend home remedies that involve reducing stress, engaging in physical activities, and losing some weight (if necessary) to treat treat this condition.

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is when a person cannot get or keep an erection strong enough to have sexual intercourse. It is the frequent inability to get the penis hard, even when trying to initiate sex.

Some people find it difficult to get their penis erect when tired, stressed, angry, or emotionally down. It is normal (for both genders) not to want sex at such points. However, it becomes an issue that calls for concerns when low sex drive and inability to get the penis hard become a constant occurrence and happen even when you want sex.

ED may be a symptom of another underlying problem. For instance, medical conditions like chronic kidney diseases, prostate diseases, and high blood pressure can cause ED. Studies have also shown that STDs can also cause ED. Such health conditions can interfere with sexual intercourse, causing problems with ejaculation and orgasm.

Erectile dysfunction can be treated, but some people with this condition tend to shy away from seeking medical care for their condition. Due to their medical condition, they feel stigmatized. It is often best to talk to a doctor, particularly a urologist, who will help diagnose and give them the proper treatment.

This article will discuss erectile dysfunction, its diagnosis, medical treatment, and home remedies that will help treat and manage the condition.

Diagnosis of erectile dysfunction

Different things can cause erectile dysfunction. Therefore, doctors will often examine their patients physically and then ask them questions about their condition and medical history to determine a possible cause.

Doctors may ask questions regarding when the symptoms started, which medications the patient is using, whether they are emotionally stressed, if they have a physical trauma around their pelvic region, and the frequency and duration of the erections they have had in the past.

After the physical examination and question section, the doctors may order some tests for further diagnosis, including:

  • Blood tests: The aim of the blood tests, in this case, is to check for signs of underlying conditions that may cause erectile dysfunction, such as diabetes, heart disease, and low testosterone levels.
  • Thyroid function test: The thyroid gland is an important organ that plays a role in regulating the production of sex hormones. This test may be carried out to determine if the thyroid is functioning properly, as a deficiency of sex hormones can cause ED.
  • Urine tests: These tests are similar to blood tests and may be carried out to ascertain if there are other underlying health conditions, such as diabetes. This test can provide useful information on blood sugar, protein, and testosterone levels.
  • Penile biothesiometry: Neurological conditions too may cause erectile dysfunction, so doctors sometimes order a penile biothesiometry test to determine if the nerve is functioning properly. The test involves using electromagnetic vibration to check the sensitivity level of the nerve. Low sensitivity to the vibrations may indicate nerve damage.
  • Ultrasound: A radiographer may perform an ultrasound to check for blood flow to the penis. This process will involve holding a transducer over the blood vessels that supply the penis to see if a person has blood flow problems.
  • Kidney and liver function tests: These are tests carried out to evaluate if the liver and kidneys are functioning properly. Problems with these organs can cause ED.

Treatment of erectile dysfunction

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk on Pexels

The type of health specialist that will treat your ED depends on the underlying cause of the problem. A urologist will most likely treat you if urinary tract issues are the root cause. However, initial diagnosis and treatment often start with a general practitioner.

The different treatment options for erectile dysfunction include:

1. Oral medications

Some common oral medications for treating erectile dysfunction include sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), avanafil (Stendra), and vardenafil (Levitra). These medications help with getting the penis erect. They act by enhancing nitric oxide effects.

Nitric oxide is a chemical released by the body which helps relax the muscles of the penis. Relaxation of the muscles increases blood flow to the penis, thereby allowing you to get and sustain an erection.

2. Alprostadil therapy

Alprostadil can be administered as an injection or as a urethral suppository. If you are taking the injection option, your doctor will instruct you on how to inject it into the side or base of your penis.

Sometimes, alprostadil may be combined with other medications, such as phentolamine. Doctors usually prescribe a dose that will create an erection that will last for about an hour.

For the alprostadil intraurethral therapy, a tiny alprostadil suppository will be placed inside your penile urethra. This can initiate an erection within 10 minutes. The erection can last for 30–60 minutes. It is best to discuss these options with your doctor to know the pros and cons before using any.

3. Psychological therapies

Often, psychological issues contribute to erectile dysfunction. A person battling extreme fear, anxiety, low self-esteem, or guilt may have a low sex drive and find it challenging to have or sustain an erection. Seeing a psychologist or sex therapist may help a couple with this sexual issue. 

4. Penis prosthesis surgery

In some cases, inflatable penile prostheses may be implanted in the erection chambers of the penis. The prostheses become part of a man’s body and enable the penis to get erect whenever it is sexually stimulated.

Two small incisions that are not easily noticeable will be made on the man’s penis to implant the prostheses. Because the incisions are usually hidden, other people may not notice the implant.

5. Hormone therapy

Low testosterone levels can complicate or contribute to ED. Testosterone replacement therapy may be given alongside medications or other treatment strategies for people with ED who have low testosterone.

Lifestyle and home remedies for erectile dysfunction

Diet and lifestyle habits can impact your sexual performance

Certain lifestyle choices and habits can worsen ED or increase the risk of developing the condition. Making healthy lifestyle choices will help treat and lower the chances of ED. Some simple home remedies that will help resolve erection issues include:

  • Physical activity: Being physically active and exercising can help deal with the underlying issues that predispose a person to erectile dysfunction. Exercise can help you lose weight (which can help increase your self-esteem), reduce stress, and increase blood flow.
  • Avoid smoking: Smoking may worsen ED. Avoiding or quitting smoking often helps you live a healthy life. Quitting smoking may be challenging. But, you can talk to your doctor about prescription medications or programs that can help you stop.
  • Lose some weight: If your BMI says you are overweight, losing some weight may help with ED treatment.
  • Reduce stress: Both mental and physical stress can affect the normal functioning of organs like the penis. Stress can also cause hormonal fluctuations, which can all contribute to ED. Check if your work environment is conducive, and try to smoothen things out with your partner if you have relationship issues.
  • Watch what you eat: A recent 2020 study found that people who strictly followed the Alternative Healthy Eating Index 2010 or Mediterranean diet had a lower chance of developing ED. Meals they eat primarily contain nuts, legumes, vegetables, fish, and fruits. 

Prevalence of ED

Approximately 10% of people with penises between the ages of 40 and 70 have complete or severe erectile dysfunction, according to the Boston University School of Medicine.

The report also stated that ED issues account for about 30,000 hospital admissions and 400,000 outpatient medical care visits.

Studies also indicate that ED is more common in older adults than younger ones. The prevalence of ED goes from 2% in people below 40 years and increases to 86% in people up to 80 years, a 2016 population-based study shows.

There have not been many recent studies on the prevalence of erectile dysfunction across different races. However, an older 2007 study reported that the prevalence of ED was 24.4% in Black people, 21.9% in whites, and 19.9% in Hispanics.

The outlook (prognosis) of erectile dysfunction

The outlook for erectile dysfunction looks good because, in most cases, symptoms can be improved. There are also different effective medications and treatment options available for treating ED.

ED is a common condition. It is not fatal, and it cannot be transmitted. Discussing the problem on time with a healthcare professional will ensure that a person gets immediate care. It also helps identify an underlying health condition (if any is causing the ED). 


Erectile dysfunction is a sexual issue that poses concerns for many sexually active people. It is characterized by an inability to get and keep an erection. 

Many people with this condition find it difficult to talk about it because of the purported stigma attached to it. It is best to seek medical help if you find it difficult to achieve an erection regularly.

Your doctor will give you the proper treatment for ED after the diagnosis. Treatment for ED will range from medications to implants and therapies.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can erectile dysfunction be cured?

Erectile dysfunction is treatable and can usually be reversed using medications, lifestyle changes, therapy, or surgery.

What is the best treatment for erectile dysfunction?

There is no one best treatment for all cases of erectile dysfunction. All treatments are personalized and will depend on the underlying cause of the condition.