Wednesday, April 4, 2018
He was joined by Anne from County Down and Midlands based Chris, who shared their very personal experiences with erectile dysfunction (ED) and the positive impact which ED medication has had on their mental wellbeing and relationships.
You can listen again here.
Stuart explained that it is a common problem that can have a huge impact if left untreated: “Often men who suffer from ED can get stuck in a spiral of fear of failure. This level of anxiety is disastrous for sex. We speak to many men who tell us that just knowing that they have the tablets in the house can give them the confidence they need to perform."
This anecdote was echoed by Chris, who agreed that often having access to the right medication can make all the difference.
Stuart continued: “ED can be a sign of a more serious underlying medical problem such as diabetes, heart problems or high cholesterol, so it is important to discuss your symptoms with a medical professional, either a doctor or a pharmacist.
“If this isn’t something you wish to discuss face to face, or in a public setting such as your local pharmacy, a legitimate online pharmacy can offer an excellent alternative. Prices can also be a lot more reasonable. Viagra, the branded medication, will cost around £4.30 per tablet over the counter, through an online pharmacy with a prescription you would look to pay around £1.12 per tablet. It is also important for men to realise that Viagra and Cialis are brand names, the same medication can be purchased in its generic cheaper form under the names Sildenafil and Tadalafil.”
When a man is aroused, the brain sends signals to the blood vessels in the penis, relaxing the arteries and allowing blood to flow in. The veins then close to trap the blood, causing the penis to expand and harden. If this process is interrupted, either physically or psychologically, ED can occur. Medication to treat the condition works by inhibiting an enzyme known as PDE5 which is associated with muscle contraction in penile tissue. ED medication allows blood vessels to relax and expand, leading to increased blood flow into the penis.
Physical factors which cause ED can include weight problems, lack of exercise, smoking, excessive alcohol intake, high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol. In turn, psychological causes may include relationship problems, stress or depression.
ED is indeed more common in men over the age of 60, however, the condition occurs amongst men of all ages. Lifestyle factors such as not getting enough exercise and poor diet have a greater impact on erection problems than age.
Smoking, drinking and leading a generally unhealthy lifestyle may affect your ability to get and maintain an erection. Both smoking and drinking alcohol could damage blood vessels, impeding blood flow.
There are many ways to treat ED. Oral medication is the most common option and it works well for many men, but there are also alternatives including a cream (Vitaros), which can be applied directly to the urinary meatus or ‘hole’, little pellets also inserted into the urethra (Muse) and injections (Caverject or Viridal) which can be administered directly to the penis.