Penile Injections and Urethral Suppositories for Erectile Dysfunction

Penile injections and urethral suppositories are self-administered treatments for erectile dysfunction. While they are an option for some men with erectile dysfunction, success and satisfaction rates for these treatments tend to be lower than with other ED treatments, and they are often discontinued after a short period of use.

Penile Injections/ED Shots

ED injections are self-administered directly into the corpus cavernosa, the chambers that run along the side of the penis. These chambers are filled with spongy tissue that fills up with blood during an erection. An erection usually occurs within five to 20 minutes after administering the injection. Alprostadil and Trimix are two brands of ED shot therapy.

Penile injection therapy can be effective for some men. But others find the injections to be a bother. According to the Journal of Urology and Andrology, studies show that somewhere between 20% and 60% of men were satisfied with injections and continued using them. Side effects of ED shots may include:

  • Pain
  • Scar tissue or fibrosis
  • Prolonged erection
  • Bruising at the injection site

Common reasons for discontinuing ED shots include pain, unsatisfactory erections, and dislike of penile injections.

Urethral Suppositories

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 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.


Men’s Health: Erectile Dysfunction, AMS Men’s Health

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