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    Erectile dysfunction treatments

    On this page
    1. Psychological treatment
    2. Physical treatment
    3. Prescription treatments

    Erectile dysfunction (ED) has many different underlying causes and as such, there are many different ways to treat it. In some cases ED may have more than one cause, and treatments may need to be combined to be of the most benefit.

    There are various medical conditions that may result in erectile dysfunction, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol. If you are suffering from one of these conditions, you must seek medical advice and treatment. If you are overweight or a smoker, it is also advised that you try to lose weight and stop smoking.

    Even if you are currently treating the underlying cause of your ED, however, you can also treat your ED itself simultaneously.

    Psychological treatment

    Sometimes ED is not caused by a physical symptom, but rather by stress, performance anxiety, or another underlying psychological condition. In these cases it is common for a person to undergo counselling in order to address the underlying issue. This may be combined with a medical regime that addresses the problem in the short-term. Once the counselling has resolved the issue, medical treatment can be ceased.

    Physical treatment

    Vacuum pumps

    A vacuum pump is placed over the penis, and then a bulb is gently squeezed to remove air from the pump. This gently “forces” the penis to become erect. These pumps have great success in some patients. A constriction ring (see below) can also be used in conjunction with a vacuum pump.

    Constriction rings

    If the problem is not initial arousal but rather a difficulty in maintaining an erection for any period of time, a constriction ring may be placed at the base of the penis. This traps blood in the aroused penis and makes it easier to maintain an erection.

    Prescription treatments

    We offer a range of prescription-only treatments through our online service:


    Viagra, which contains sildenafil citrate, is the best known treatment for ED. It is a blue diamond-shaped tablet which is taken prior to sex and treats ED by increasing blood flow to the penis. One of the disadvantages of Viagra is that users report it can feel slightly unnatural, and that after taking it, they sometimes become erect even if their desire to have sex has faded.


    Sildenafil contains the same active ingredient as Viagra (sildenafil citrate), and treats ED in exactly the same way.


    Cialis, which is the brand name of tadalafil, has been gaining market share ever since its launch. It is designed for regular use to treat ED, and has a longer-lasting effect than Viagra. Cialis remains active in the body for approximately 36 hours, whereas Viagra remains active for about four hours.


    Levitra, which is the brand name of vardenafil, is similar to Viagra in terms of length of effect.


    Spedra is more targeted than other ED treatments and may be quicker to take effect. It should be taken 30 minutes before sex.


    All prescription drug treatments are safe for the majority of men, though it is worth talking through your options with a medical professional. They all act in a similar (though not identical) manner on the body, and all of them have an excellent reputation for successfully alleviating the symptoms of ED.

    You can purchase all five erectile dysfunction medicines from our online clinic.

    For more information on ED see erectile dysfunction in young men and erectile dysfunction key facts.


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    LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor

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    LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor

    This service operates in the United Kingdom only

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