What is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is more common than you might think. The good news is that it’s treatable. Read more about erectile dysfunction


1. NIH Publication No. 09-3923. June 2009.

2. NIH Consens Statement 1992 Dec 7-9;10(4):1-31.

You are not alone. Approximately 30 million men are affected by ED (1). ED is the inability to develop or maintain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse. There are varying degrees of severity ranging from a total inability to have an erection to a tendency to only maintain brief erections. The condition can be distressing, but it’s important to remember that it can be overcome.

Some facts about ED

  • Approximately 30 million men are affected by ED (1)
  • Most men with ED still have the ability to have an orgasm and father a child, but often have difficulty doing these things because they can’t get or keep an erection
  • Contrary to what you may have been told, ED is not normal, and you should not accept it as an inevitable consequence of aging
  • Most men are unable to get or keep an erection at some point during in their life. This is normal and does not indicate a problem. However, millions of men of all ages experience this inability as an on-going problem.
  • In most cases, ED can be overcome
  • Nearly a quarter of all men over 65 will experience some degree of erectile dysfunction (2). Younger men often struggle with ED as well.

Your treatment options

There are many different treatments available, including pills, injections and vacuum pumps. One highly effective and satisfying option is a penile implant. Because it involves surgery your doctor may recommend less invasive options first. However, once you’ve had it done, having and maintaining an erection is almost as easy as flipping a switch – without interrupting intimacy.


Signs and causes

What causes erectile dysfunction (ED)?

What causes erectile dysfunction (ED)?

ED can have many causes but is most commonly physical in origin. ED causes

The majority of men experiencing ED can trace its origin to a physical problem or disorder. For most men, the cause can be easily identified and, with the proper treatment, a satisfying sex life can easily be resumed.

Physical causes of ED

  • An injury (for instance to the brain or spinal cord)
  • A disease (for instance diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol)
  • An operation (for instance prostate gland removal)
  • Substance use (for instance tobacco, drugs, alcohol or some medications)
Signs of erectile dysfunction

Signs of erectile dysfunction

Think you might have erectile dysfunction? Take this questionnaire and find out. Take the ED questionnaire

This questionnaire is designed to help identify whether ED is affecting your sex life. Answer the questions, then share this page with your doctor.

Over the past 6 months:

1. How do you rate your
confidence that you could get and keep an erection?

  Very low Low Moderate
High Very high
    1 2 3 4 5

2. When you had erections
with sexual stimulation, how often were your erections hard enough for penetration
(entering your partner)?

No sexual
Almost never
or never 
A few times
(much less than half the time)
Sometimes (about half the time) Most times (much more than half the time) Almost always or always
  0 1 2 3 4 5

3. During sexual intercourse,
how often were you able to maintain your erection after you
had penetrated (entered
your partner)?

Did not attempt intercourse Almost never
or never
 A few times
(much less than half the time)
Sometimes (about half the time) Most times (much more than half the time) Almost always or always
  0 1 2 3 4 5

4. During sexual intercourse,
how difficult was it to maintain your erection to completion

of intercourse?

Did not attempt intercourse Extremely difficult Very difficult Difficult Slightly difficult Not difficult
  0 1 2 3 4 5
5. When you attempted sexual

intercourse, how often was it
satisfactory for you? 

Did not attempt intercourse  Almost never
or never
 A few times
(much less than half the time)
Sometimes (about half the time) Most times (much more than half the time) Almost always or always
  0 1 2 3 4 5

Download the questionnaire (Pdf)


Treatment options

What are my non-surgical treatment options?

Understanding your treatment options is the first step in overcoming erectile dysfunction (ED). Non-surgical treatment options

ED can be successfully treated in a number of ways, but it’s highly important to discuss your options with your doctor. They will help you weigh up the pros and cons of each treatment and can advise you accordingly.


The various treatment options

  • Making lifestyle changes such as stopping smoking, losing weight and eating healthier
  • Taking oral medications such as VIAGRA®, CIALIS® or LEVITRA®
  • Injecting medication directly into the penis
  • Intraurethral suppositories (i.e., MUSE®)
  • Vacuum devices

It may be that the treatment options listed above are not suitable for you due to a medical condition, your lifestyle, or simply personal preference. In this case, a penile implant might be your best option.


What are my surgical treatment options?

Many men find that non-surgical treatment options are not the answer for them. In that case, a penile implant may well be your best option. Surgical treatment options

A penile implant is a device that is placed in your body and is designed to help you get and maintain an erection. Following the routine outpatient procedure, a four-to-eight-week recovery period is necessary before you can use the implant. Your doctor will explain the recovery process in more detail.

Two types of implant options are available

Coloplast offers two types of implant options, the Genesis® and the Titan® OTR penile implants. Both give men with ED a satisfactory erection that makes it possible to experience the joy of sex again. The Genesis has a flexible rod implant that produces a permanently firm penis, while the Titan OTR uses an inflatable implant that produces a controlled, more natural erection.


Genesis - penile implantTitan - penile implant


Coloplast Titan® Penile Implant

The Titan implant is designed to look and perform just like a natural erection. It is concealed entirely within the body and is not visible to the naked eye. Penile implant


1. Fancisco Dubocq, Marcos V. Tefilli, Edward L. Gheiler, Haikun Li, and C.B. Dhabuwala. Long-Term Mechanical Reliability of Multi-component Inflatable Penile Prosthesis:Comparison of Device Survival. J Urol. August 1998;52(2):277-281.

2. Steven K. Wilson, Mario A Cleves, John R. Delk. Comparison of Mechanical Reliability of Original and Enhanced Mentor* Alpha 1 Penile Prosthesis. J. Urol.September 1999;162(3):715-718.

*MRI conditional - The Titan device is MRI conditional and can be used as indicated in the instructions for use.  Check with your physician for more details. 

A product of advanced engineering and medical research, the Coloplast Titan inflatable penile implant gives men a reliable way to enjoy sex once more. It’s a good option for men who may have tried a number of other treatments without success.

The Titan is a self-contained, fluid-filled system made from Bioflex®, which is a supple, durable biopolymer material, and silicone. It includes a reservoir placed in the abdomen, two cylinders placed in the penis, and a pump placed in the scrotum. Each part is connected by silicone tubing. It is MRI conditional*.

Titan penile implant

Some facts about Coloplast’s penile implants

Patient satisfaction rates

Patient satisfaction rates of 98% have been demonstrated for the Titan and its predecessor, the Alpha 1®, in published journal articles (1).

Mechanical reliability rates

Recent studies show the Coloplast Alpha 1 and Titan to have mechanical reliability rates of 97.5%after five years of usage (2).


When implanted, the Coloplast Titan penile implant is not visibly noticeable. The penis appears relaxed and normal when flaccid.

10-year replacement policy

Coloplast provides a 10-year replacement policy with all of its penile implants. Coloplast will replace the inflatable implant, or any component, for any reason during the 10-year time period.

Click here to find a physician near you.


What happens before, during and after surgery?

What to expect

What to expect

As with any surgical procedure, there is a lot to consider. Be sure to discuss the possible effects with your doctor. Keep reading to learn more about what to expect.

Before surgery:

It is important to diagnose your erectile dysfunction correctly to ensure the appropriate treatment option is selected. Your doctor will want a complete medical and surgical history. Together, you will be able to determine if a penile implant is appropriate for you. 


After surgery:

It is not uncommon to experience pain at the incision site after surgery. Your doctor may prescribe medication to help address your pain. Post-operative pain should resolve within a few weeks. If your pain persists or should you experience increased redness or swelling at the incision site or an increase in body temperature, please contact your doctor immediately.

Typical recovery is between 4–6 weeks. It is important to follow the recommendations that your physician gives to you to ensure the best outcome. 

Talk about it with one of our Patient Educators

Talk about it with one of our Patient Educators

Our Patient educators are men like you who have treated their ED successfully with a Coloplast penile implant. And they’re on hand to talk you through your options and to answer any questions you might have. Read about our Patient educators

Life with ED can be tough. You may feel sad, depressed, anxious, angry and ashamed. You may have questions or concerns that you feel too embarrassed about to discuss. Or, you may just wish you could talk to someone who has been there and come out the other side.

That’s why Coloplast developed the Patient Educator Program.

Talk to someone who’s been there

Because our Patient Educators are real men who once suffered from ED themselves, you can be sure you’ll be talking to someone who understands how you’re feeling.

All our Patient Educators now lead healthy, active sex lives after having a penile implant.

If you decide to move forward with a penile implant, you can contact your local Patient Educator at any time. He will be happy to answer your questions, fill you in on what he experienced before and after surgery, or just listen without judgment.

To get in contact with a Patient Educator go to our Talk to a Patient tool.

Partners’ corner

Partners’ corner

Dealing with erectile dysfunction can be difficult for a man. But it can also be tough for you as a partner. Keep reading for some practical advice on how to support him in everyday life Read more about Partners' corner

The first thing to say is that it’s important not to blame yourself. It’s not uncommon for partners to blame themselves and believe, mistakenly, that it’s their fault, and that maybe their partner is no longer attracted to them. In fact, more often than not, your partner’s ED will have a medical cause. Conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol, or early-stage heart conditions can all contribute to ED. Even certain medications can play a role. The quicker you realize that this is a medical condition affecting your partner’s body, the quicker you can move forward as a couple.

Stay positive

A man with ED will often experience deep feelings of shame, loneliness, anxiety and depression. He will often say that the inability to have an erection makes him feel like less of a man. In fact, he may be afraid to kiss or cuddle you because he is embarrassed about where it might lead. Confronting him with feelings of hurt or anger may make him withdraw even further.

Open the lines of communication

Have a conversation with your partner – but not in the bedroom. Put some time and space between your conversation and your last sexual encounter. Make your partner aware of the health conditions that can cause ED, and gently suggest he see his doctor. Some men may ask you to join them at their appointment, while others may prefer to have a private conversation with their physician. Let him decide.

Don’t tell him that his ED doesn’t matter

Some partners think they are being helpful by saying their partner’s ED isn’t a big deal. It matters deeply to him, and suggesting otherwise sends the message that you don’t miss intimate, sexual contact with him, which can be very hurtful.


Frequently asked questions about penile dysfunctions

Having a penile implant is a big decision. It’s natural that you’ll have a lot of questions. Here are some of the most common. FAQ for erectile dysfunction

Q. Can I have an orgasm with a penile implant?

A. You should be able to have an orgasm with a penile implant if you were able to have one before your procedure. Consult your doctor about your expected outcome.


Q. What is the recovery time?

A. Each individual is different and their recovery will be different as well. Typical recovery is between 4 and 6 weeks. Your doctor will determine what you can and cannot do during this time. It is important to follow the recommendations that your doctor gives to you to ensure the best outcome.


Q. Will I lose any length after getting a penile implant?

A. Each penile implant is custom-fitted to your anatomy. Depending on your medical history, it may not be unusual to lose 1-2 cm. Discuss this in greater detail with your doctor.


Q. Will anyone notice that I have an implant?

A. Since the implant is completely placed inside your body, no one will see the implant. In fact, no one will know unless you tell them.


Q. Will I be able to have spontaneous erections with a penile implant?

A. If you are still able to have erections on your own which are satisfactory for intercourse, you should consider very carefully whether or not an implant is right for you. However, if you cannot have erections, or if they are not satisfactory for intercourse, then an implant will be able to provide you with a more “instant” erection compared to pills or vacuum devices.


Q. How do the Genesis® and the Titan® OTR differ?

A. Both implants provide you with the capability to have an erection that is sufficient for intercourse. The main difference is that the Genesis penile implant is a malleable implant consisting of two soft pliable rods that are placed in two chambers of the penis shaft known as the corpora cavernosa. There are no further parts to this implant. To have an erection, you only need to hold the penis and move it into the desired position. When you are finished, you return the penis to the previous position. With the Titan OTR penile implant, you inflate the cylinders by pressing the pump bulb in the scrotum. You can control the firmness by pumping until you are satisfied with the erection. Discuss the options with your doctor to ensure you make the right choice. 


Q. Are there risks associated with the penile implant?

A. Penile implants are surgical solutions requiring a healing period that have risks associated with surgery such as pain, anesthesia reactions, repeat surgery due to infections, or mechanical problems with the device. The implant eliminates the possibility of a natural erection. This treatment is prescribed by your physician. Discuss the treatment options with your physician to understand the risks and benefits of the various options to determine if a penile implant is right for you. 


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