Injection Therapy and Urethral Suppositories
Penile injections and urethral suppositories are options for some men with erectile dysfunction; however, success and satisfaction rates for these treatments tend to be lower than with other ED treatments.
Injection therapy requires the man to use a small needle to inject medication directly into the penis. The medicine relaxes the blood vessels and allows for increased blood flow into the penis, creating an erection. Injections are effective, fast-acting treatments because the medicine is delivered directly into the penis.
The needle used is very fine, so pain from the injection site is usually minimal. It is very important that you receive these injections by a trained urologist. Penile injections not administered under the supervision of a urologist or other trained medical professional can result in serious side effects in some men. Most insurance plans will cover the cost of these injections when you are under the care of a urologist.
- Erection occurs in five to 20 minutes following injection and lasts up to one hour
- Can be used anytime
- Erection feels natural
- No surgery necessary
Disadvantages and Side Effects:
- Can be costly if not covered by insurance
- May cause bleeding and scarring at the injection site
- Can cause painful erections that last longer than two hours
- Lack of spontaneity
- May require surgery if erection is prolonged
- 75 percent of men stop using injections after one year
Urethral suppositories, also called intraurethral pellet therapy or medicated urethral system for erections (MUSE®), are a self-administered treatment for erectile dysfunction that may be effective for men who dislike penile injections or for whom oral medications are not effective. Alprostadil, a drug used for penile injection therapy, is also available as a small suppository that is placed directly into the urethra to achieve an erection, usually within five to 10 minutes.
Similar to injections, studies show that about half of men discontinue use of this treatment within six to eight months. Side effects can include pain, bleeding at the injection site, urethral pain or burning, low blood pressure, and dizziness.