- By Ian Roth
Mayo Clinic Minute: Don’t get tricked into bogus erectile dysfunction treatments
Erectile dysfunction is more common than most men want to admit, but there are plenty of effective and affordable treatments. However, Dr. Tobias Kohler, a Mayo Clinic urologist and sexual health expert, says he sees patients all the time who have been tricked into paying lots of money for questionable treatments that don't work.
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Roughly 50 percent of men will experience it at some point, but zero percent of men want to talk about erectile dysfunction.
"The vast majority of men will experience problems with erection sometime in their lifetime," Dr. Kohler says. "[For] most of us, even in our young days – 20s, 30s – being nervous about getting erections is an erection killer. Adrenaline is the most powerful anti-erectile chemical that we have known to man. But as we get older the blood vessels get weaker, the heart gets weaker, etc."
Dr. Kohler says there are excellent, proven treatments available, but too often he sees patients waste hundreds or even thousands of dollars on so-called natural remedies or "magical" cures that do absolutely nothing to help the problem.
"Specific things that I'm asked about now are shockwave therapy to the penis, platelet-rich plasma, stem cell therapy," he says. "They all have kind of a magical sound to them kind of appeal. These are unproven treatments for which men are being asked to pay a thousand dollars for, which don't help them."
Instead, Dr. Kohler says just talk to your health care provider who can give you a scientifically proven treatment that may even be covered by insurance and who can also help treat whatever is causing erectile dysfunction.
"It's often a sign of underlying medical problems – heart disease, depression, diabetes, etc. – but excellent treatments exist," he says.