Image of a clear medicine vial and syringe against a peach-colored background
Getty Images/Anna Efetova

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a condition in which it’s difficult to get or keep an erection firm enough.

Penile injection therapy is one of the ways to treat ED.

Penile injections can be self-administered. They help treat ED by improving blood flow to the penis.

While the thought of injecting a needle into your penis may make you cringe, a 2019 review found that penile injection therapy is generally an effective and well-tolerated treatment for ED.

Erectile dysfunction injections come in a standard vial and the medication is extracted through a needle syringe. The syringe is then injected around the midpoint of the penis, which will maximize the medication’s effect and prevent interference with nerves or blood vessels.

The injection increases blood flow to the penis and an erection can be achieved in 15 minutes.

This is one of the fastest-acting ED medications. Viagra takes 30 to 60 minutes to achieve an erection.

Your doctor should be able to keep an eye on your injection. Your doctor will show you how to do the injections at home during the visit.

The first thing to do is wash your hands and assemble your supplies. You will need it.

  • 1 medication container.
  • 1 sterile needle.
  • 2 alcohol wipes.
  • 1 sharps container for used syringes. It’s best to use a container that’s been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). If you don’t have access to one, you can use a sturdy plastic container, such as an empty detergent bottle with a cap.

Pull the head of your penis out of your hand when the medication is in the bottle. Pull the foreskin back before grasping the head if you are not circumcision-free.

The injection can be performed on the right or left side of the penis. The injection must only be given on the sides of the shaft. The top of the shaft and the bottom of the shaft are not interfered with.

You can avoid developing scar tissue by alternating sides. Avoid the area with a visible blood vessel.

You can clean the area with an alcohol wipe. Pick up the needle with both hands after removing the head of your penis.

Make sure the dose is correct and there are no bubbles in the syringe by removing the cap from the syringe. With one hand, hold the needle between your thumb and index and middle fingers, as if you were about to throw a dart.

Pull the penis out of the way again using the other hand. You should not pull any skin along the shaft if you hold only the head.

Place the needle against the skin and then slide it into the shaft. The needle should be at a slight angle, with the plunger facing up. If you have a thumb or index finger, you can push the plunger.

The medication can be quickly released by pushing the plunger. Pull the needle out of the empty syringe. Use your thumb and index finger to apply gentle but firm pressure on the injection site. For 2 or 3 minutes, do this to avoid any bleeding.

The sharps container is the best place to dispose of the syringe.

An erection should be followed by an injection within 15 minutes. Some people need sexual stimulation to get an erection. The erection should last for about 30 to 60 minutes, but this can be affected by your health and other factors.

Some people say that injections affect their ability to ejaculate. The cause of ED may be the reason for the effects.

If you have issues with becoming erect, achieving enough stiffness for sex, or keeping an erection, penile injections are for you. Penile injections are a very effective treatment for people with ED and can work much faster than other alternatives.

Penile injections are not recommended for people with mild Erectile Functioning as the medication may be too strong for their needs. They are not recommended for people who will have difficulty performing the injection.

People who should avoid penile injections include:

  • This could cause issues with holding the needle or holding the penis for the injection for anyone with limited finger dexterity.
  • people using certain blood thinners
  • Someone with penile scarring might make locating a proper injection site difficult.
  • People are uncomfortable using or being around needles.

If you have seen limited results from other ED medications, penile injections are worth exploring. Since penile injections require a prescription, it is important to discuss your ED symptoms with your doctor so that they can decide if penile injections are right for you.

Penile injection therapy uses three main types of medications.

  • Papaverine is a vegetable.
  • phentolamine is a drug.
  • prostaglandin E1 or alprostadil is a drug.

Sometimes, only one medication is administered. But combinations of these medications are also widely used. Combination medications include BiMix, which is Papaverine is a vegetable. and phentolamine is a drug., and TriMix, which contains all three medications. Anyone who finds that TriMix is ineffective may be prescribed QuadMix, which combines Trimix and atropine.

The medications work by relaxing the muscles in your penis. This increases circulation and leads to an erection.

Penile injection therapy is considered an established and effective second-line therapy for ED. That means it’s generally prescribed only if first-line therapy — oral ED medications — are ineffective or not well tolerated.

Some people don’t like the side effects of oral ED drugs, which can include:

  • There is congestion.
  • There is a throbbing head.
  • upset stomach
  • There is a process of flushing.
  • Back pain.

Some people may also prefer injection therapy over other ED treatments, such as having penile implant surgery and the risks and potential side effects with that approach.

Overall, studies have shown that penile injections are very effective. In fact, a 2012 review showed that an estimated 89 percent of participants reported satisfying results from the injections. However, the review also noted a significant drop-off or cancellation rate among participants. This seems to indicate that while the injections were widely successful, a large number of participants didn’t choose to continue with the medication.

Additional studies also support the effectiveness of penile injections. A 2019 study of 105 males found that about 70 percent of males who relied on penile injection therapy for more than 8 years were satisfied with the results.

“There is strong evidence for the effectiveness of this medication, but it isn’t guaranteed to work for everyone. If you are not seeing the desired results, talk to your doctor to see if there are other options that are worth exploring.”

“ED injections are not completely risk-free. There is a slight risk of bleeding or bruised at the injection site. These problems can be avoided if you follow your doctor’s instructions.”

Proper placement of the needle can help avoid irritation.

Some users report mild pain after injecting.

In rare cases, priapism — a prolonged erection that occurs without, or long after, sexual stimulation — may occur. To treat priapism, try applying an ice pack to your penis. Taking a decongestant containing phenylephrine may help, too. However, if the erection lasts longer than 4 hours, seek immediate medical attention.

If you experience pain or bleeding that lasts more than a couple of minutes after the injection, you should see a doctor.

When to seek immediate care

  • You have an erection that lasts more than 4 hours.
  • There is pain or bleeding.

Penile injection therapy can be covered by insurance, but sometimes it is not. People who have had treatment for prostate cancer may be eligible for coverage. If you are covered, check with your insurance carrier.

Though some oral ED medications are now available in generic form, they can still cost $10 to $20 or more per dose, according to estimates on GoodRx. The cost of medications can certainly change from pharmacy to pharmacy and choosing a generic form over a brand name can also help bring down your overall cost.

You may save money in the long run by comparing a few different pharmacies, considering generic medications, and exploring websites like GoodRx that focus on discounting prescriptions.

Depending on the dosage your doctor recommends, injectable medication may be as little as $5 per dose, according to GoodRx. This means that injection therapy may be cheaper, if not somewhat riskier, than oral medications.

It is important to remember that this can happen to young people even if they have not experienced issues becoming erect or losing an erection.

If you are having these difficulties several times a week and over a period of weeks, it is time to see a doctor. Erectile function is a common condition that can be treated.

If you are currently using penile injections and aren’t seeing satisfying results, are experiencing an erection that lasts long past intercourse (known as priapism), or experiencing an erection lasting more than 4 hours, you should contact your doctor immediately as it may lead to large medical complications if left untreated.

“If you are considering changing your dose, you should contact your doctor. Increasing your dose without your doctor’s approval can cause unexpected side effects.”

After you receive an ED diagnosis, your doctor can write a prescription for you. Your doctor may have you try oral medications before trying injectables.

You can get your prescription filled at your local pharmacy or at a compounding pharmacy once you have a prescription. You can fill it online in some cases. It is important to know that buying any kind of medication over the internet carries some risks.

To be safe with this approach, check with your state board of pharmacy to see if the pharmacy you’re buying from is licensed. You should also make sure that you’re ordering FDA-approved drugs and that a licensed pharmacist is available to answer your questions.

A valid pharmacy will require a prescription to purchase drugs.

How long does Trimix last after an injection?

The Trimix brand of penile injections is one of the most popular brands and is expected to give you an erection for about an hour after the injection. This time can be anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours in some cases. It is important to note that an erection lasting over 4 hours may require medication attention after that time.

How long do erectile dysfunction injections last?

The length of time that you can maintain an erection after injection will vary from brand to brand and from person to person. erections can last for about 30 minutes to 2 hours If you are having an erection that lasts less than 30 minutes or longer than 2 hours, you should talk to your doctor about the amount of injections you should take.

Which erectile dysfunction injection is best?

The truth is, most erectile dysfunction injections have a very high success rate, so it can be tough to pick the best. Overall, most research tended to focus on the overall effectiveness of injections across several brands instead of focusing on just one brand. However, when specific brands were mentioned, Trimix appeared often with an approximate 70 percent success rate.

Are erection injections safe?

These injections are safe if they are performed correctly. It is important to talk with your doctor and read the instructions thoroughly before using. Injections at the wrong angle can cause a negative reaction. If you experience an erection that lasts over 4 hours, you should seek medical attention.

People of all ages use penile injection therapy to treat ED. It can be used for a long time, but you will want to change injection sites. This helps prevent scar tissue.

“To get the best results, learn as much as you can about the process from your doctor, and don’t hesitate to ask them questions about side effects, dose, or any other topic.”

Good results are possible if you put in the time and effort to get the right dose.