What is Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction (ED), otherwise known as impotence, is the inability to achieve and maintain an erection for sexual performance. It is common, especially in men over the age of 40, and can be treated simply and effectively with treatments such as Viagra (Sildenafil) and Cialis.
What causes Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction can occur as a result of several factors and it is important to address the root cause, which can be anything from a physical injury to a psychological issue or an unhealthy lifestyle choice that narrows the arteries. Upon arousal, the brain signals are transmitted to the nerves, allowing the penis muscles to relax and the blood vessels dilate. Blood flows into the penis to erect it and is trapped there. When there is an interference with the blood circulation or the trigger from the brain signal transmissions, this causes erectile dysfunction.
- Conditions affecting the blood circulation and blood flow to the penis such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure or diabetes
- Conditions affecting the nervous system (eg: Parkinson’s Disease, MS)
- Tissue damage or injury to the penis
- Depression and stress
- Unhealthy lifestyle including smoking, drinking excessively and obesity
- Decreased libido
- Conditions affecting the hormonal levels of testosterone (this is rare)
What are the treatments and how do they work?
Even though there are several drugs on the market for ED, the ones that are licensed in the UK all work in a similar way. Anti-impotence drugs Cialis, Viagra, Sildenafil, Levitra, and Spedra all increase the blood flow to the penis but will only work in combination with sexual stimulation.
They are all prescription only medication and you will need a prescription from our doctor to receive them.
Are there any alternatives to these medications?
Be sure to read the information leaflet given with the medication and avoid harm by taking ED treatment drugs in combination with alcohol, grapefruit and its juice, and other ED medication.
Each drug has its side-effects so if the “blue pill” is not an option for you, there are some alternatives that you could try. These include injections into the penis, a vacuum pump, tablets inserted into the penis and sex therapy for the psychological concerns.