Known as impotence; this is a very common condition, which affects a lot of men at some point in their lives. Approximately up to 50% of men aged 40 – 70 suffer from erectile dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction (another term being, impotence) is the inability to get and maintain an erection firm enough for sexual activity.
Having erection trouble on an occasional basis isn’t necessarily a cause for concern. If, however, erectile dysfunction is an ongoing issue, it can lead to various indirect outcomes such as stress, affecting self-confidence, and potentially contribute to problems in relationships. Additionally, long-term problems associated with getting or maintaining an erection can also be due to underlying health conditions that need treatment and more so a risk factor for heart disease. Erectile dysfunction symptoms are simple to spot and persistently include, trouble getting an erection, trouble keeping an erection, and reduced sexual desire. With age, erections might take longer to develop and might not be as firm. Although there is a stigma attached to ED affecting older males, it is worth noting that ED does affect a certain proportion of younger males also. It is said that erectile dysfunction affects up to one in five men, the equivalent of 4.3 million men across the UK yet almost half of those surveyed (45%) who have experienced such problems have not sought any form of help.
There are various risk factors that can contribute to erectile dysfunction. These include:
- Certain medical conditions, particularly diabetes or heart conditions
- Certain medical treatments, such as radiation treatment
- Certain medications, including antidepressants, antihistamines, and blood pressure medications
- Smoking restricts blood flow to veins and arteries
- Being overweight, especially if you’re obese
- Psychological conditions, such as stress, anxiety, or depression
- Drug and alcohol use, especially if you’re a long-term drug user or heavy drinker
Treating an underlying condition might be enough to reverse erectile dysfunction but thankfully, in cases where direct treatment is required, there is a range of medications that can help and more importantly are clinically known to work. Our site, postmypills.co.uk provides these treatments in the convenience of your own home. To ensure the treatments are right for you, a short online consultation will need to be completed, after which our prescriber(s) will evaluate the feasibility of prescribing the medication for you. Once authorized, the medication will be posted to you without the need to physically visit a pharmacy. It’s as simple as that.
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The big questions
What is ED?
Erectile dysfunction (impotence), is the inability to get and keep an erection firm enough for intercourse. It can cause stress, affect your self-confidence and contribute to relationship problems. Unfortunately, many men are reluctant in treating ED despite how common it has become in recent years. However, it’s always best to find a solution to problems.
In order to achieve an erection, the brain will send signals to the nerves that are in the penis area. This will increase the penis blood flow, causing the penis to increase in size and harden ready for intercourse. Therefore, ED is caused by an interruption in this process. Whether it is physical, psychological or medical.
How can I treat ED?
ED can be easily treated with effective oral medications from our online pharmacy without interrupting your busy daily life schedule and keeping your information private. PDE5 inhibitors medicines, like Viagra or Cialis work by increasing the blood flow to the penis in order to achieve an erection for sex.
Alternative treatments to drugs include limiting or avoiding alcohol, stopping the use of illegal drugs as well as quitting smoking. Finally, regular exercise can help the most with blood circulation issues and mental health that can lead to ED.
Eractile Dysfunction treatments: what to expect
Most men occasionally fail to get or keep an erection. This is usually caused by stress, tiredness, anxiety or drinking too much alcohol, and it’s nothing to worry about. If it happens more often, it may be caused by physical health or emotional problems.
The occasional inability to achieve a satisfactory erection doesn’t normally constitute a problem.
Erectile dysfunction can be caused by physical factors or can also be emotionally related. In terms of physical causes, cardiovascular conditions such as hypertension (elevated blood pressure), atherosclerosis, high cholesterol and heart disease in general can cause disruption of blood flow to the penis. Diabetes is also a known cause as the disease can affect and damage nerves and blood vessels impacting on blood flow to the penis.
Most men will experience an erection problem at least once. This could be due to stress, exhaustion, too much alcohol or simply not feeling like sex.
Persistent erectile dysfunction (ED) is estimated to affect about 10% of men at any one time.
Although age itself isn’t a cause of erectile dysfunction (ED), the risk nevertheless increases as you get older: 18% of 50—59 year olds have trouble with their erections compared with 7% of 18—29 year olds.
There are two main causes of ED: physical and psychological. Most doctors agree that the majority of cases are physical but it’s also clear that many men with ED also quickly start to feel anxious, stressed or depressed. These feelings can easily make the symptoms of ED worse.
The main physical causes are:
Diabetes. Up to 25% of all diabetic men aged 30—34 are affected by ED, as are 75% of diabetic men aged 60—64.
Inadequate blood flow to the penis because arteries have got furred-up (a condition called atherosclerosis) or damaged. This causes about 40% of ED cases in men aged over 50. Smoking cigarettes, which is implicated in up to 80% of ED cases, constricts the blood vessels and is a major cause of damage to the arteries leading to the penis. One little-known cause of damage to key blood vessels is cycling.
Regular heavy drinking. Alcohol can damage the nerves leading to the penis, reduce testosterone levels and increase levels of the female hormone oestrogen.
The side-effects of prescribed drugs, particularly those used to treat high blood pressure, heart disease, depression, peptic ulcers and cancer. As many as 25% of ED cases may be caused by drugs taken to treat other conditions.
Spinal cord injury. Almost a quarter of men with spinal injury are affected by ED.
Prostate gland surgery (or other surgery around the pelvis). The risk of ED depends on the type of surgery, but up to 30% of men who have a radical prostatectomy (the complete removal of the gland affected by cancer) will experience ED.
The main psychological causes of ED are:
Stress and anxiety
Depression (90% of men affected by depression also have complete or moderate ED)
Unresolved sexual orientation
One rough-and-ready way of working out whether your ED has a physical cause is to see whether there any circumstances in which you get an erection. If you can produce one when masturbating but not with a partner, wake up with an erection, or have erections during the night, then there’s a good chance that your ED has psychological causes.
Have a healthy lifestyle. Quitting smoking and drinking alcohol in moderation will help. Regular aerobic exercise and a low-fat diet will also reduce the risks of atherosclerosis.
If you have diabetes, ensure it’s properly controlled.
Yes. Get help and advice as soon as you notice a problem. This isn’t only important in terms of getting treatment for your ED: it could also be a symptom of other potentially serious conditions (such as diabetes or heart disease).
One study of 50 men with ED who had sought prescriptions for Viagra found that although none of them had any symptoms of heart disease, six were found to have blockages in all three major heart arteries, seven had two arteries that showed narrowing and one artery was blocked in another seven. Overall, 40% of the men were at significant risk of angina or a heart attack.
If you are on treatment for a medical or psychiatric problem and you think that this treatment is affecting your sex life tell your doctor. Alternative treatments that may have less likelihood of affecting sexual function are often available.
If your doctor doesn’t take your problem seriously, ask to be referred to a specialist. Don’t let yourself be fobbed off with comments like “What do you expect at your age?”
A wide variety of treatments for ED are now available. Remember, however, that not all men are entitled to treatment through the NHS.
Oral drugs. These are by the far the most commonly used treatments. There are now a number of oral treatments available and most work by helping to relax the blood vessels in the penis, allowing blood to flow in. They don’t work unless you’re also sexually stimulated. The most common side-effects are headaches and facial flushing. These oral treatments must not be taken by men who are also using medicines containing nitrates (commonly prescribed for angina). There are a number of oral treatments available including Cialis, Levitra, Uprima and Viagra. There are pros and cons with each and it is important to discuss these with your doctor. More details can be found on this site.
Sex therapy. Whatever the cause or treatment of their ED, many men could benefit from counselling or therapy. In fact, the best treatment centres provide it as a matter of course. Sex therapy will be particularly necessary if the ED has psychological causes which can’t actually be “cured” with physical treatments. If a man has ED as a result of emotional conflict with a partner, for example, providing him with a drug that produces an erection isn’t going to resolve that conflict; in fact, it might even make it worse. Men whose ED has a physical cause may also have lost a great deal of self-esteem and sexual confidence which sex therapy could help restore. It usually makes sense to also involve any permanent partner in sex therapy since the loss, as well as the restoration, of a man’s erectile functioning will almost inevitably profoundly affect their relationship.
Less common treatments include:
Injection therapy. This is an effective and reliable way of producing an erection with drugs but, understandably, many men don’t like sticking a needle into their penis every time they have sex. When injected, the drug (most commonly alprostadil, commonly known as Caverject and Viridal), relaxes the blood vessels and muscles, allowing increased blood flow and producing an erection within 15 minutes.
MUSE (medicated urethral system for erection). This method also uses alprostadil, but this time it’s administered by means of a small pellet inserted into the urethra, the opening to ther penis, via a single-dose, disposable plastic applicator.
Vacuum pumps. The penis is inserted into a clear plastic cylinder and the air is pumped out, creating a vacuum. The penis fills with blood and, when it’s hard enough, a plastic constricting ring is placed around the base of the penis to trap the blood. There are few side-effects (apart from occasional slight bruising) and the devices work for more than 90% of men. Many men find the process too unnatural and intrusive, however, and prefer to try other methods of tackling ED.
Hormonal supplements. Testosterone can be given to men in the relatively few cases where low levels are the cause of ED, especially if they also have low sexual desire. Before taking testosterone, always insist that your doctor measures your testosterone level to confirm that it really is low.
Penile implants. Now that so many other effective treatments have become available, implants are only now used as a last resort. A mechanical device is surgically inserted into the penis. It can be either permanently rigid or have a hydraulic action, operated via a valve in the scrotum.
Share your worries. No, you don’t have to tell your work colleagues about your penis problems, but it will help enormously if you can talk to someone you trust. It’s particularly important to communicate with your partner. Some men try to deal with their ED by hiding it from their partner and make all sorts of excuses not to attempt sex. This can cause feelings of confusion and rejection as well as suspicions that you’re having an affair. You best bet is to be as open and honest as possible with your partner and ask for support.
Place less emphasis on intercourse and more on developing other forms of sexual intimacy. Spending time cuddling, kissing, licking and massaging can still be pleasurable and will help keep you emotionally close to your partner.
Don’t try and treat yourself by seeking out pornography, or by asking a partner to wear erotic clothing or act out your fantasies. This almost certainly won’t work and could leave you feeling even more upset.
Don’t be tempted to buy herbal supplements or so-called aphrodisiacs through the Internet or magazine advertisements. You can’t be sure what you’re getting and these remedies are very unlikely to work.
Don’t blame yourself for your ED. It’s a health problem and not a reflection of your masculinity. Don’t be tempted to blame your partner either.
There’s an excellent chance that your erections can be restored through one of the increasingly wide range of treatments now available but the psychological scars may take longer, and be more difficult, to heal.