Ways to treat erectile dysfunction

The most common type of treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED) is medication, such as Viagra. You can usually get this by speaking to a pharmacist or talking to your GP.

Taking tablets to treat ED might not be the best option for you. There are other treatments available that can help improve the symptoms of ED. Other types of treatment include:

  • Vacuum pump

  • Injections

  • Pellets

  • Cream.

Talk to your GP about the different options available. They might refer you to a nurse who specialises in helping people with ED.

What if the treatment I try doesn’t work for me?

You might need to try a few different treatments, or a combination of treatments, before you find something that works well for you. Everybody is different, and what’s right for one person, might not be right for another.

If you’re feeling stressed, tired or have depression or anxiety, this may affect your libido (desire for sex), which can cause ED[1]. It may help to talk to a health professional about how you’re feeling. Your GP may be able to refer you to a psychologist or counsellor, or you can refer yourself through the NHS. Psychologists and counsellors are health professionals who are trained to listen.

If you’ve been diagnosed with depression, you might be prescribed antidepressant medication, which could help improve your mood and improve your libido (desire for sex).

If you have a partner, you may also find it helpful to talk to them about how you’re feeling. They might be dealing with some of their own feelings too and talking together about them could be helpful. Read more about how partners can be supported.


December 2020

Next review

December 2021

Reviewed by

Gill Stone MRPharmS


Our pharmacists are here to help you decide which treatment is best for you.

Gill Stone - MRPharmS

Where can I get further support and information?

As well as talking to your GP for information and support, there are also a number of organisations and charities offering support and information.

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Further reading on erectile dysfunction

What can cause erectile dysfunction?

Information about some of the common possible causes of erectile dysfunction.

Cancer treatment and erectile dysfunction

Information and support for people experiencing erectile dysfunction in relation to cancer treatment.

Erectile dysfunction in young men

Support and resources for young men experiencing erectile dysfunction.


  1. 1.

    Erectile dysfunction (impotence) | nhs.uk | Published November 13, 2017 | Accessed September 4, 2020.