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Can erectile dysfunction be reversed?

By: Medically reviewed by Daniel Murrell, M.D. on June 10, 2018 — Written by Zawn Villines
Source: Medical News Today
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Erectile dysfunction is a very common experience. With or without medication, it can often be reversed. Lifestyle changes and natural remedies can help.

Most males experience at least one episode of being unable to achieve an erection when desired. In extreme cases, they may be unable ever to have or sustain an erection. Erectile dysfunction (ED) is very common, affecting an estimated 30 million men in America.

Most cases of ED occur in men who were previously able to sustain an erection. The condition is usually reversible, but the chances of completely curing ED depend on the underlying cause.

Read on to learn about natural and medicinal ways to reverse ED.


Can ED be reversed?

In many cases, yes, erectile dysfunction can be reversed. A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found a remission rate of 29 percent after 5 years.

It is important to note that even when ED cannot be cured, the right treatment can reduce or eliminate symptoms.

Doctors have identified two types of ED:

  • Primary ED occurs when a man has never been able to have or sustain an erection. This is rare.
  • Secondary ED occurs in people who once had regular erectile function. This is the most common type.

Secondary ED can be reversed and is often temporary. Primary ED may require more intensive and medical-based treatments.

ED is usually treatable with medication or surgery. However, a person may be able to treat the underlying cause and reverse symptoms with no medication.

The best treatment may depend on the person. Some find that traditional treatments, such as surgery or medication, do not work. These men may have success using a penis pump, which draws blood into the penis and induces an erection.

Methods for reversing ED fall into three categories:

Short-term treatments

These help with achieving or maintaining erections but do not address the underlying cause of ED. For example, sildenafil (Viagra) increases blood flow to the penis, which can provide short-term relief from ED. It may help people with conditions such as diabetes and atherosclerosis to get erections.

Addressing the underlying cause

Primary treatments address the issue that is causing ED. When clogged arteries are responsible, taking medication or exercising more frequently can improve cardiovascular health. This may eliminate ED or reduce the frequency of episodes.

Psychological treatments

Psychological treatments may help to reduce anxiety and increase self-confidence.

The cause of ED may be psychological, and the condition itself may lead to anxiety. Psychological treatments can reduce anxiety, increase self-confidence, and improve relationships with sexual partners.

Also, these changes may increase the odds that other treatments are effective.3

Some men find that intense anxiety about sex prevents certain treatments from working. Addressing this anxiety can improve overall results.


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