Injections for erectile dysfunction: Are they safe?

Nov 10, 2016 0 Comments in Male health by

In the past few years, there has been a proliferation of a variety of webpages aimed at people in search of solutions for a lack of erection or erectile dysfunction. These pages promise spectacular results by means of an injectable product which must be applied directly on the penis, to produce a firm and lasting erection.

Once the initial rejection has been overcome, (after all, inserting a needle into the penis is not everyone’s idea of fun!), the expectation of an immediate erection within minutes is without a doubt very tantalizing. That is why many people choose to buy them without a previous medical diagnosis.

We have treated hundreds of patients who have had bad experiences with this treatment, our purpose with this post is to clear up any doubts regarding the intracavernous injections, also known as “penile injections” and explain why no one should but them without a diagnosis.

What do they consist of and how do they work?

These injections contain a chemical substance that is delivered to the corpora cavernosa of the penis through a little syringe. They must be injected into the central zone of the shaft and never into the glans.

Most of them contain an active ingredient is called alprostadil with vasodilatation properties, which facilitate blood supply. However, internet purchases will not always guarantee approved substances, which is who they should be bought in licensed chemists.

Having an erection depends on the amount of blood that enters into the corpora cavernosa. Therefore, the effect of the drug is to relax the blood vessels as well as the muscles in the penis in order to hold enough blood in them to allow an erection to take place.

After the injection, is it necessary to previously stimulate the area or is the erection immediate?

The erection will be notable between 5 and 20 minutes after the injection is applied. It could last for approximately one hour, regardless of whether there has been erotic stimuli. For this reason, it is important to take into account that the partner may feel somewhat “left aside”, aloof or even ignored because the erection will occur whether or not not stimuli occurs.

Do these injections cure or reverse erectile dysfunction?

No. Intracavernous injections with alprostadil do not cure erectile dysfunction; they only cause an erection thanks to the chemical action induced by the drug. The root fo the problem is not addressed and the user of injections for impotence will be dependent on them for each and every sexual intercourse, for life. After all, they do not revert the reasons behind the lack of erection.

Are the injections for erectile dysfunction safe?

Alprostadil injections should be administered by prescription and strictly in accordance with doctor’s orders, regarding application instructions and the appropriate dosage for each patient.

Even if they are properly injected, there are a series of side effects that the patient will have to bear in mind.

Priapism: If the erection does withdraw and the penis does not go back to flaccidity within the following two hours post injection, expert help must be sought because it could be a case of priapism which can be serious if left untreated.

Which are the side effects of the injections for erectile dysfunction?

In the medium or long term, repeated punctures in the same area of the penis could lead to micro-injuries in the tissues that often result in fibrotic plaques (hardened tissue) within the corpora cavernosa. This, in turn, could lead to the appearance of a curvature in the penis, which is a pathology known as Peyronie’s disease.

From our clinics, we do not recommend these injections to people who have over 20 years of sexual life ahead because after several years using them, they could develop these undesired effects.

Additionally, one of the drawbacks of this treatment is the lack of spontaneity in the sexual relationships, because it is necessary to inject the alprostadil before initiating each intercourse. Sexual encounters can become awkward, interrupted and rather artificial.


Who can benefit from the intracavernous injections?

Even though it is an easy and immediate effect option, they are not indicated for everybody and as we have seen, they are not exempt from risks. An expert in male sexual dysfunction must prescribe this treatment and from our point of view; they should only be prescribed in a few very specific cases:

  • For elderly individuals who do not respond to oral drug treatments and do not wish to undergo a surgery due to medical contraindications or due to personal reasons.

  • For men with a very low frequency of sexual intercourse who are not worried about using an injection for each sexual relationship because they are rare.

If the lack of erection is the consequence of a venous leak, then a treatment based on these injections is not suitable because they will not have any effect in most cases. Recommending this treatment for a patient suffering from this pathology is a waste of both time and money and moreover, it will represent an unquantifiable emotional cost for a man who has false expectations of having found a solution for his problem.

In these cases, we recommend the surgical approach, which may consist of a reconstructive surgery with a penile prosthesis or a revascularization surgery. In our experience the most effective option and most satisfactory for the patient is the penile prosthesis implantation surgery.

We insist: no treatment should be pursued without a previous diagnosis. It is essential to trace the origin of this pathology in order to choose the most appropriate treatment for each patient. Erectile dysfunction has both physical as well as psychological causes; finding out which type affects you will be the key to resolving it in no time.

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