If you're experiencing erectile dysfunction, you may want to consider penile injection therapy. This treatment can be effective in solving the problem. To learn more about this option, click here.

Penile Injection Therapy for Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to get or keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. It can happen at any age, but is more common in men older than 65. ED affects as many as 30 million men in the United States. There are several causes of ED, including: – Physical problems, such as injury to the nerves that control erections, or diseases such as diabetes or atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries). – Psychological problems, such as anxiety, depression, or stress. – Use of certain medications, such as antidepressants, antihistamines, or blood pressure medications. Penile injection therapy is a treatment for ED. It works by injecting a medication into the penis to increase blood flow and cause an erection. The medication used for penile injection therapy is alprostadil (Caverject, Edex, MUSE). Alprostadil is a synthetic version of prostaglandin E. prostaglandin E is a naturally occurring substance in the body that helps to increase blood flow to the penis. Penile injection therapy is usually given by a healthcare provider in his or her office. The injection is usually given in the side of the penis. Before the injection, the healthcare provider will clean the area with an antiseptic solution. He or she will then inject the medication into the side of the penis. The injection may cause a brief burning sensation. After the injection, the healthcare provider will apply a dressing to the injection site. He or she will also give you a written list of instructions on how to care for the injection site. You should not have sex for at least 24 hours after the injection. This is to allow the medication to be absorbed into the body. You should not have more than 3 injections in a 7-day period. Penile injection therapy is effective in about 80% of men who use it. Side effects of penile injection therapy include: – Pain at the injection site – Bleeding from the injection site – bruising at the injection site – penile pain – priapism (an erection that lasts for more than 4 hours) If you experience priapism, you should seek medical attention immediately. Penile injection therapy is a safe and effective treatment for ED. However, it is not right for everyone. Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about all of your treatment options before you decide on penile injection therapy.
Part of the Prostate Cancer and Sexuality Series

Presented by

Dr. Ryan Flannigan, MD, FRCSC

Assistant Professor, UBC

Clinical Leader, PCSC, Sexual Medicine Module

Director, Reproductive & Sexual Medicine Research

Videos from this series:

Welcome to the PCSC Sexual Rehabilitation Clinic


Using PDE5 Inhibitor Pills for Erectile Dysfunction


Vacu Erection Devices: How Can they be Used to Assist in Erectile Dysfunction?


Treating Urinary Leakage with Sexual Activity


Penile Implant Surgery for Erectile Dysfunction


Penile Rehabilitation Following Treatment for Prostate Cancer


Setting Expectations: Sexual Function Changes Following Prostate Cancer Treatment


Managing Sexual Dysfunction Following Prostate Cancer Treatment: Overview


Penile Injection Therapy for Erectile Dysfunction