Will I Take ED Meds Forever?

Man sipping water before taking medication with pills in his hand

If you are beginning to experience erectile dysfunction due to reduced blood flow to the penis, and you want to enjoy your sex life for a long time, you may wonder if you will be dependent on medications over the longer term. In this article, we will talk a bit more about the usefulness of medications, whether medications will be your only option for the rest of your life, and what you have to be hopeful for in the future.

The short answer to whether medications will be a part of your sex life if you start now is yes, they most likely will be, at least for the foreseeable future. This is because age-related erectile dysfunction (due to the natural blood flow limitations of an older body) is irreversible, and even if you currently take them, medications are, at their core, a patch for a worsening problem. With any luck, your progression will be relatively slow, meaning that medications will be effective for years. For most, the slow progression of age will eventually get the best of medication, and additional therapies will be necessary.

The Good News About ED Meds

It is essential to understand that every man will experience some decline in their sexual health with age, but the good news is that by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including minimizing drinking, quitting smoking, losing weight, and exercising, we can slow the progression of erectile dysfunction to a crawl. Anything that helps circulation around the body ultimately helps with erections.

With that said, if you require medication to achieve and maintain an erection, both sildenafil, the generic version of Viagra, and tadalafil, the generic Cialis, are relatively safe with few serious side effects. They can be taken as needed and, if they don’t cause severe side effects, are appropriate to help you perform sexually.

More Good News

While there will be a point where ED medications no longer offer the benefits they once did, even at the maximum dose, the good news is that a continuum of therapies is available, and it is not as bad as it may seem at first glance. Most men can benefit from penile injections that can be performed discreetly at home, ultimately allowing patients to achieve a firm erection for sexual activity. After some training, injecting oneself becomes straightforward and minimally uncomfortable.

For those with intractable ED that does not respond to medication or injections, a penile implant is an elegant solution to the problem. While surgery may be daunting, penile implants are straightforward and highly successful in the hands of an experienced urologic surgeon like Dr. Natale. Once the penile implant has been placed, most patients report excellent function and quickly return to a sex life they may not have experienced for years or even decades.

The Bottom Line

While it may be disappointing and frustrating to know that you will need medication to achieve the erectile function you expect, hopefully, we have allayed any fears that you may not have viable and discreet options to help you achieve an erection. While ED is a common and disruptive concern for most men, it is also one for which we have a treatment at any point in the spectrum of severity.

The first and most crucial step is to eliminate thoughts of shame or embarrassment and realize you are not alone. About 50% of men over 60 are in the same boat. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Natale and take a step that may open a world of possibilities for you to take advantage of.

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