When the "little Blue Pill" Stops Working, Options for Treating Erectile Dysfunction

Published On: 05/28/2015


With some 30 million men in the United States living with erectile dysfunction (ED), being able to take a pill to get an erection is often a preferred option for many men with this common sexual condition. But, what happens when that little pill stops working?

One man, who had been living with ED for 14 years and spent hundreds of dollars a month on his prescription erectile dysfunction medication, found out that there is a sex life after common oral drugs for ED stop working. D.R.*, a patient of David Fenig, M.D. of Chesapeake Urology, had been taking a low dose of ED medication daily to manage his condition. But, over time, his condition worsened and he no longer responded to the medication.  That’s when he turned to Dr. Fenig for a penile prosthesis and he couldn’t be happier with the results.

“When I first saw D.R. for treatment of erectile dysfunction, the oral ED medications just weren’t effective for him anymore. I explained to him a number of other very good treatment options were fortunately available, including the penile prosthesis, that have proven highly successful for men in his same situation,” says Dr. David Fenig, one of Howard and Montgomery Counties’ leading urologists and men’s sexual health specialists. Dr. Fenig is one of only a few fellowship trained microsurgeons in the local and Mid-Atlantic region with experience performing complex, delicate urologic surgical procedures such as the penile implant. 

“There really is no comparison between the pills and the implant,” says D.R. “Some men worry that they’ll never be the man they used to be; however, with an implant you feel like you’re 20 years old again. After living with ED for 14 years, the penile implant has been unbelievable. You’re no longer dependent upon drugs and needles. It has changed my life.”

No One Size Fits All Approach When it Comes to Treating ED

Dr. Fenig and the ED specialists at Chesapeake Urology, work closely with men to find the best option for overcoming ED, helping to restore patients’ quality of life and sexual well-being. Dr. Fenig says that every patient is different and finding the underlying causes of a man’s erectile dysfunction, such as diabetes, high cholesterol or cardiovascular disease, is a very important first step to treating the condition.   

In addition, a new diagnosis of erectile dysfunction may indicate an underlying medical disorder that needs be evaluated.  A cardiovascular evaluation is recommended in all new patients with ED.  Lifestyle and diet changes need to be considered in all cases of ED.

Dr. Fenig explains that for the right candidates, oral ED medications are often a first line treatment for ED and many men go on to enjoy healthy sexual lives on the medications. But, when ED pills either become too costly or ineffective, men have other options to consider, including:


Patient and Partner Satisfaction Very High with Penile Implants

Studies have demonstrated that more than 300,000 men have benefited from penile implants, returning to an active and satisfying sex life for themselves, and their partners. Overall patient satisfaction is reportedly high with penile prosthesis, with more than 90% of patients satisfied with the outcomes as compared with 50% of patients satisfied with oral medications. Additionally, 96% of partners reported high satisfaction with the prosthetic device.

When it comes to the most successful outcomes, surgical experience matters. In fact, Chesapeake Urology surgeons are on the leading-edge of the most advanced surgical techniques and technology in penile implants and perform more than 1,500 penile prosthetic implant surgeries a year.

“Erectile dysfunction is common, but it’s certainly not a normal part of aging,” adds Dr. Fenig. “I know that ED is an emotional condition for men as much as it is a physical condition. Working with each patient, we find the right treatment option together, helping our patients regain sexual intimacy.”


Dr. David Fenig is Howard and Montgomery Counties’ leading fellowship trained urologist and men’s sexual health specialist, seeing patients in the Chesapeake Urology office in Maple Lawn/Columbia.  

To learn more about treatment options for erectile dysfunction, Chesapeake Urology's erectile dysfunction website or call Chesapeake Urology at 410-953-3111.

* Patient’s name is not used to protect confidentiality.