Erectile dysfunction (ED), or impotence, refers to the inability to have an erection. Some men may experience temporary erectile dysfunction, while for others it is a long-term problem. If you have erectile dysfunction and what to know how to do a penile injection, talk to your doctor about treatment options. One method of treating erectile dysfunction is the use of penile injections. A penile injection will deliver a dose of medication directly to your penis via a needle. Talk to your doctor about the potential benefits and drawbacks, including side effects like tissue scarring, of each available medication for penile injections.
What is a penile injection
Penile injections typically produce an erection within five to 10 minutes. The erections typically last about 30 to 60 minutes. However, this is dependent upon a number of factors, including general health, sexual stimuli, and whether the injection was properly administered.
Administering a penile injection properly is also critical for safety reasons. Using the medication in strict accordance with your doctor’s instructions will help prevent medical complications like an infection and scarring of the tissues. Prostate.net urges you to take other safety precautions as well, such as carrying a wallet card that informs emergency medical personnel that you are using penile injections.
Preparing for a penile injection
It’s normal to be a little nervous before you use a penile injection for the first time. The best way that you can prepare for it is to ask your doctor to demonstrate exactly what to do. The first injection should be administered by your doctor so that he can gauge your response to the drug and adjust the dosage if need be. Following that, you should also perform an injection yourself as the doctor observes.
Before administering a penile injection, select an appropriate injection site. Your doctor will likely recommend that you alternate injection sites. The medication may be injected into either lateral side along the penis, preferably at the 3 or 9 o’clock position. Avoid injecting into an area with a clearly visible blood vessel.
How to do a penile injection
After you have chosen an appropriate injection site, draw the correct dosage of medication into the syringe. Penile injections are also available in pre-filled syringes. Once the syringe is ready, remove the cap and place it on a sterile surface, such as a piece of sterile gauze.
Swab the area with alcohol as directed by your doctor. This helps prevent infection. You may find that standing for the injection helps the medication to work faster because it allows for better blood circulation. However, if you feel more comfortable sitting down, by all means go ahead and do so.
Hold your penis along one leg while injecting. Some men may find that they need to pull the whole penis. Position the needle at a 45-degree angle. Gently press the needle through the skin and inject the medication. Withdraw the needle.
What to do after a penile injection
Immediately after withdrawing the needle, press your finger or a piece of sterile gauze to the injection site. Maintain pressure for at least five minutes. If you are taking any blood thinners, such as warfarin, maintain pressure for at least 10 minutes. This is necessary to prevent bruising. As well, wipe the injection site with another alcohol swab after the injection.
If you experience any side effects or difficulty using penile injections, contact your doctor. If you experience priapism, which is an erection that lasts for four hours or longer, go to the emergency room.
Read more in our Erectile Dysfunction Health Center.