Is surgery the only option for ED | ed drugs

Is surgery the only option for ED? Here’s how ED drugs help

Last Updated: February 25, 2023By

ED is a common condition that can affect your confidence, relationship, and quality of life. The most effective treatment depends on the severity of your condition. While treating ED, most often, men are prescribed ED drugs as the first line of treatment. However, if medication doesn’t successfully treat erectile dysfunction, your doctor may recommend surgery or the use of a penile device. Surgery may be the last resort for men with severe erectile dysfunction due to physical trauma, prior surgery in the pelvis, or a medical condition, such as cancer. 

Surgery is typically recommended after other treatments for ED fail. But everyone is not comfortable with surgery. Before choosing surgery, make sure to study other alternatives for ED. Mild to moderate ED can be successfully treated with a range of treatments. 

Treating ED

If you routinely experience erectile dysfunction or stress around maintaining your erection, it is time to consult your doctor. To get a better understanding of your situation, your doctor will ask about your sexual history. It is absolutely important to be open and honest with your doctor. This will help them provide you with the best solutions. Your doctor may examine your heart health or run a couple of neurological tests to understand if it’s a biological or psychological problem. Some blood tests and physical exams might also be conducted. Your doctor will be more properly equipped to treat your condition with a full understanding of your concerns and your desired outcome.

Treatment Options Beyond Surgery 

There are several ways to address the problem; here is a list of a few options that can treat ED without surgery. 


If you face ED due to nutritional deficiencies, your doctor may prescribe supplements to overcome it. Blood circulation plays an important part in treating ED. Your diet might lack important nutrients that help in blood circulation. Paying close attention to what you eat and including foods rich in proteins, zinc, and antioxidants improves ED conditions. When you lack specific vitamins and nutrients that help blood circulation, this may result in ED. Good sexual health begins with a healthy diet. A healthy, well-balanced diet with adequate hydration is closely related to having a good sex life.

Foods that increase blood circulation are:

  • Onions and garlic: These foods can help your blood circulation, so make sure to add them to your diet.
  • Bananas: Apart from being rich in antioxidants, this potassium-rich fruit can help lower your blood pressure. It helps to boost the production of testosterone and improve libido.
  • Chilies and peppers: Naturally spicy foods help blood flow by reducing hypertension and inflammation.
  • Omega-3: Foods rich in omega-3, like seafood, lower your chance of harmful cholesterol, increase blood flow, protect your heart, and prevent inflammation. Salmon, oysters, and sardines are excellent choices with more than enough omega-3 fatty acids.

Oral medications 

ED is a common condition, so various reliable medications are available with fewer side effects. When suffering from ED, oral medications are the first course of treatment followed; they are effective and safe. Common oral medications include active ingredients like sildenafil, vardenafil, tadalafil, and avanafil. These have a similar mechanism of action and work by enhancing blood circulation in the penis. The increased blood flow in the penis helps you get a firm erection. 

There are four main active ingredients that most ED medications have, namely, sildenafil (Cenforce), vardenafil (Vilitra), tadalafil (Vidalista), and avanafil (Super Avana). Although these active ingredients work similarly, they have slightly different chemical structures.  

Consult your doctor for the best option for you. Since these medications work in a similar way, it comes down to availability, price, how long it lasts, and dosage. Generic medications with these ingredients are also available.  

Penis pump

It is a device that helps you attain an erection by creating a vacuum that pulls all the blood into your penis. Once you successfully get an erection, place a tension ring around your penis to hold the blood and remove the device. If this is a suitable device, your doctor recommends it and prescribes a specific model.

Testosterone replacement therapy 

Sometimes ED is caused due to low levels of the hormone testosterone. In this case, testosterone replacement therapy could be recommended. This can be done through intramuscular injections, testosterone patches, or testosterone gels. Pellets can also be implanted every two months. Injections are usually given every 10-14 days, while patches and gels can be applied every day. Be careful while using gels so as not to transfer them to your partner. 

Penile injections

Penile injections, also known as intracavernous injections, are a medical treatment for erectile dysfunction. Penile injections involve a medicine that improves penile blood flow much better than oral alternatives. The medicine is injected at the base of the penis using a very small needle. This is a self-injection, your doctor will teach you the proper technique for the first injection in the clinic. These are typically reserved for men who have not responded to other treatments for erectile dysfunction, such as oral medications.

Penile implant

A penile implant involves a 30 to 45 minutes surgical procedure that places a water-based device into the erection chambers of the penis, which enables you to reliably control exactly when and how long an erection lasts. It is important for men considering a penile implant to discuss the risks and benefits with their doctor and to have a thorough evaluation to determine if this treatment option is appropriate for them.

 Sex therapy or Counseling

Psychological reasons can also cause ED in some cases. When this happens, your doctor may suggest sex therapy. A sex therapist can help you get to the root of your problem and overcome it. The process involves addressing any emotional issues or trauma causing the condition coupled with medication. 

If ED is caused due to stress or anxiety, or some condition that is creating tension, your doctor might recommend you or you and your partner start Counseling.


Having ED is not necessarily a problem. Study and discuss the above treatment options with your doctor. If any of these do not work for you, it is recommended to consider surgery for an appropriate treatment course.