Impotence (erectile dysfunction) is an embarrassing and demeaning condition. It’s a condition that approximately 52% of men suffer from. Scores of men are suffering silently without reaching out for help because of the fear of stigma and ridicule.
Many marriages often end because of this ugly bedroom monster. But what is erectile dysfunction? Put, this is a condition whereby a man is unable to get and maintain a firm erection enabling him to engage in sexual intercourse. It is essential to point out that a problem with erection once in a while may not be a cause for great concern.
However, when the status quo seems to be persistent, it may be an indicator of an underlying health issue. Should be the situation, it is advisable to consult with your doctor. In some instances, erectile dysfunction is reversible when underlying conditions are treated. The product “Massive Male Plus” is recommended in the treatment of erectile dysfunction.
But before you even think of visiting a doctor or consider any form of medication, how do you tell that you could have erectile dysfunction.
An individual suffering from erectile dysfunction may present with some or all of these persistent symptoms: Low sexual desire, trouble getting an erection, and difficulty in keeping an erection. A visit to the doctor is also essential if one is experiencing a delayed or premature ejaculation, or is suffering from health conditions linked to erectile dysfunction like heart disease, diabetes, or presenting with other disease symptoms alongside erectile dysfunction.
The process of sexual arousal is rather complicated. It involves the brain, nerves, blood vessels, hormones, muscles, and emotions. Because of this, the causes can be diverse.
Erectile dysfunction can be caused, or probably worsened, by mental health and stress-related issues.
Psychological and physical issues are the culprit in some instances.
The psychological causes may include stress, depression, anxiety, mental health conditions, and relationship related problems.
Physical causes include diabetes, tobacco smoking, scar tissue inside the penis, obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, Multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, alcohol, and substance abuse; clogged blood vessels, Metabolic syndrome, some prescription medicines, sleep disorders, enlarged prostate or treatment of prostate cancer, and injuries or surgeries that affect the spinal cord and pelvic area.
How do ED drugs work?
Firstly before trying to understand the role of ED drugs and how they work, it is essential to explain briefly how an erection process takes place.
The penis is made up of muscular tissue with blood vessels networking through it. As a living organ, it needs a supply of oxygenated blood, which enables it to perform its essential functions. For an erection to occur, the penis is filled with blood, creating pressure, which in turn keeps blood locked in. Because of this, the penis expands, straightens and becomes hard. Blood circulation is, therefore, essential in this process.
Much as the risk factors for erectile dysfunction can be diverse. Often the underlying issue zeroes down to blood circulation problems. For this reason, ED drugs are primarily formulated to address and resolve vascular issues to restore the normal flow of blood to the penis. These drugs are phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors.
When taken, they increase levels of nitric oxide in the body. Nitric acid joins forces with other substances in the body to open up blood vessels and increase the flow of blood to the penis. When this is done, a good firm erection is often inevitable when one is aroused.
Mistakes men usually make when taking ED drugs
ED drugs are formulated to treat erectile dysfunction. However not all men experience any improvement after starting on prescription medication. It was revealed in one particular study that almost 70% of men taking ED drugs like Cialis and Viagra continued to suffer from erectile dysfunction.
This percentage could most likely be even higher, as some evidence seems to indicate. Also, according to an article published in February 2013 by Harvard Health Publishing, it is stated that ED drugs fail to work in 30% of men who take them (1).
Below are some reasons why ED drugs may not work:
- Wrong dosage. Every drug has a prescribed therapeutic dose that is required to produce expected results. However, the challenge is that some men do not like the idea of swallowing medicine or are ignorant of which particular dose to take. It is essential to reach your doctor about the right treatment that is recommended. Sometimes it is advisable to take a higher dose if at all, there is no change.
- Thinking it will just happen. Most men just expect a miracle after taking ED drugs. But this is not the way it works. Much as these drugs are intended to increase blood circulation to the penis, one still needs to be aroused for an erection to be triggered.
- I was eating a lot of food. This is one common mistake men often make. It is important to note that food hinders the absorption and uptake of ED drugs. The medicine should, therefore, be taken on an empty stomach or 2 to 3 hours after eating food.
- They are trying one type of drug. An individual may respond differently to a particular kind of medicine. The problem is that some men try only one option of drug and give up entirely if no positive change is noticed. It is advisable to reach the doctor to zero down on a medication that will work for you effectively. Remember, what works well for another individual may not work for you.
- They are failing to wait long enough. Every drug, when taken, must be given time to work. It is not any different for ED drugs. They will not give you a magical instant erection. Doctors recommend a waiting period of at least one hour before the effects of the ED drug can be experienced. But for some particular drugs like Cialis, waiting should be for approximately 2 to 3 hours.
- You are quitting too soon. In case your ED drug does seem to produce desired results for the first time, do not give up too rapidly. It is usually impossible to predict how your body responds to a drug. Don’t lose hope. Give it a few more tries. If there is no noticeable improvement, then try to take a higher dose. If it still doesn’t work, then consult with your doctor for another alternative.
Are there any ED drug side effects?
It is not only proven that ED drugs might not work, but it is important to note that some side effects may follow suit. These side effects, especially in the case of Viagra, include nausea, headache, stomach upset, back pain, flushing of the skin, rashes, dizziness or fainting, running or stuffy nose, and changes in vision.
If ED drugs fail to fix your erection problem, a visit to the doctor can be helpful regarding considering and embarking on alternative therapies. Some of the alternatives include:
- Injections. With this alternative, the drug is injected into the penis. The most common ED injectable drug is Alprostadil. This could be a little painful but will give you an erection in 5 to 20 minutes, which will last for approximately one hour. Its effectiveness is between 70% to 90%.
- Suppositories. This involves the use of a urethral pellet that is inserted into the urethral opening at the tip of the penis. The drug is then absorbed through the urethral wall, triggering an erection in approximately 10 minutes. The erection can last for up to one hour. It’s a downside that it is not as effective as the injection. It may as well cause pain or irritation.
- Vacuum restriction devices. This involves the use of a cylindrical device placed over the penis. Blood is then drawn into the penis using a pump, which helps to create pressure inside the tube. A rubber ring is then fastened at the base of the penis to keep the blood trapped inside it. This method can trigger an artificial erection that lasts about 30 minutes.
- Penile implants. This method involves the use of small hollow tubes that are implanted in the penis through a surgical procedure. The tubes are inflated using a pump that is embedded in the scrotum. The issue that often happens is that it destroys the anatomy of the penis. This means the use of oral or injectable ED drugs will no longer be helpful.
- Psychotherapy. If the critical reason for erectile dysfunction is an underlying psychological factor like depression, anxiety, or stress, then a psychotherapist can be of great help. According to research, 10 to 20% of erectile dysfunction cases are a result of a psychological trigger.
- Diet and lifestyle changes. Regular exercise and an improved diet can significantly impact your sexual life positively. Exercise helps the heart to become more reliable and able to efficiently pump oxygenated blood to the entire body system, the penis, of course, inclusive.
After knowing what erectile dysfunction is, the causes, symptoms, and common mistakes made when undergoing treatment, always ask yourself whether you are taking your medication correctly. Make sure you read instructions before starting a particular procedure. Remember to always consult with your doctor for advice or possibly an alternative therapy if you do not respond to your ED drug.
Related: 7 Foods To Help Erectile Dysfunction