WHAT IS ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION?
Erection starts in the brain. When a man is sexually excited, the brain sends chemical messages to the muscles in the penis; this provides increased blood flow to the penis, filling two chambers inside. As blood fills these chambers, veins in the penis close up, allowing the penis to expand and become ‘hard’.
The erection ends when the muscles begin to contract, pushing the blood out through the penile veins.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) or ‘impotence’ is a health condition affecting men. It is characterised by a difficulty in achieving or maintaining an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse.
Occasional erectile dysfunction is common, especially during times of stress. Frequent ED, however, may suggest some underlying health problems that need to be addressed. Erectile problems can also be a sign of relationship or emotional problems.
Erectile dysfunction is not the same as premature ejaculation. The latter occurs when a man can sustain an erection but frequently reaches orgasm in as little as two minutes during sexual intercourse.
Unresolved erectile problems can cause stress, lower your self-esteem, and affect your relationship with your spouse or partner. However, luckily, us here at Express Pharmacy are on hand to help - we have a range of specialised erectile dysfunction treatments that can be delivered to your door.
HOW COMMON IS ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION?
Erectile dysfunction is much more common than most people realise. Around half of men in the UK will experience erectile dysfunction symptoms at some point in their lives, and one in ten will experience it for a prolonged or significant period.
The majority of men affected by erectile dysfunction are older adults. 70% of men over 70 experience impotence, whilst around 50% of men over 40 experience erectile dysfunction on a regular basis. Yet, although age is a factor in erectile dysfunction, almost a quarter of enquiries made about erectile dysfunction treatment are made by men under the age of 40.
WHAT CAUSES ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION?
Erectile dysfunction can be caused by an array of factors, as the process of achieving an erection is complicated. These cases involve both physical and mental factors, or sometimes a combination of the two. In younger men, the underlying cause is often psychological.
Physical erectile dysfunction causes can include:
- Diabetes (75% of men with diabetes aged 60-64 are affected by impotence, whilst 25% of male diabetes sufferers aged 30-34 are affected)
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Kidney disease
- Hormone imbalances or low testosterone levels
- Alcohol (consumption of alcohol can damage the nerves leading to the penis, reducing testosterone levels and increasing oestrogen levels)
- Sleep disorders
- Tobacco/drug use
- Damage to the pelvic area due to injury
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Peyronie's disease (scar tissues inside the penis)
- Enlarged prostate
Psychological causes of erectile dysfunction can include:
- Depression and other mental health issues
- Stress and anxiety
- Anxiety specifically related to sexual performance
- Relationship issues
- Confused sexual orientation
Complications from erectile problems can include:
- Low self-esteem, embarrassment
- Problems with your partner/spouse
- Unsatisfactory sex life
- Can’t get your partner pregnant
HOW DO YOU TREAT ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION?
Erectile dysfunction treatment depends largely on the underlying cause of the condition. Psychological causes of impotence such as anxiety and depression may require treatment in the form of sexual therapy, whilst specific performance-related anxiety may simply require at-home aphrodisiacs.
If the cause of erectile dysfunction is physical, then treating an underlying condition such as diabetes can improve symptoms. Lifestyle changes such as a reduction in alcohol consumption and improved diet and exercise can also help to improve the condition in conjunction with erectile dysfunction medication.
Express Pharmacy stocks several erectile dysfunction treatments that can treat ED problems swiftly. Check out your options below:
Viagra is one of the common erectile dysfunction treatments available. Developed in the UK and brought to the market by Pfizer, Viagra is a brand name of sildenafil citrate - an active ingredient used to treat ED.
Viagra works by relaxing the muscles in the walls of blood vessels. It increases the blood flow to the penis so you can get an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. When used in moderation, Viagra is completely safe. It can be taken orally and may take up to two hours to work.
Viagra’s effect depends on your dosage, level of sexual stimulation, and metabolism. Usually, it lasts up to 3 hours. But it can be longer.
Common side effects of Viagra include:
- Nasal congestion
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light
Sildenafil is another popular ED treatment. It’s the main active ingredient in popular brands like Viagra and Revatio. Sildenafil can come as an oral tablet, liquid suspension, or as an injection which can only be given by doctors.
This erectile dysfunction treatment helps to increase blood flow to the penis so you can have an erection firm enough for intercourse. But it only works when you are already sexually aroused.
For best effects, Sildenafil must be taken 1 hour before any sexual activity. Your dosage will depend on several factors (your medical conditions, other medications you are taking, response to treatment, etc) and must be determined by your doctor.
Known side effects of Sildenafil include:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Flushing (reddening of the face)
- Upset stomach
These side effects are often mild and should go away within a few days or weeks. Contact your doctor if they persist.
Cialis is a brand on par with Viagra. Its active ingredient, tadalafil, works by increasing blood flow to the penis so you can achieve an erection. Cialis comes in yellow, film-coated tablets of varying doses (5, 10 and 20 mg). It can be taken as needed but not more than once every 24 hours. Like most erectile dysfunction drugs, you must be sexually aroused for Cialis to work.
Portions of Cialis remain in the body for at least 24 hours. That’s why a daily dose of 10 to 20 mg is highly discouraged. If you are sexually active, a daily dose of 5 mg (which can be reduced by 2.5 mg depending on your body’s response) is recommended.
Some side effects of Cialis include:
- Back pain
- Upper respiratory tract infection
- Nasal congestion
Spedra is the brand name for Avanafil - another drug used to treat erectile dysfunction problems. It works by helping blood vessels in the penis relax, facilitating an increased blood flow which leads to an erection.
Like other treatments mentioned above, Spedra only works when you are sexually aroused. This means you and your partner need to use foreplay - just as you would without taking the medicine.
The recommended dose for Spedra is a 100mg tablet taken once every 24 hours, as needed. Your doctor may adjust your dosage higher or lower, depending on your condition. Spedra must be taken 15 to 30 minutes before sexual intercourse.
Possible side effects of Spedra includes:
- Nasal congestion
TALK TO OUR EXPERTS
Erectile dysfunction can be very damaging to a man’s self-confidence. But that should not be the case. Warwick Pharmacy stocks high-quality erectile dysfunction treatments that are proven effective and safe if taken according to specific requirements.