Erectile dysfunction. Treatment and prevention.
Erectile dysfunction is the inability to achieve and maintain an erection during sexual intercourse and one of the most common sexual disorders in men.
About 40% of men after 40 suffer from some kind of sexual potency disorders and, after 50, this becomes a problem for 69% of men. At the same time, this problem is not uncommon among younger men.
Most often ED occurs as a result of somatic diseases and psychological problems. However, only a small percentage of men turn to health care providers for help with erectile dysfunction.
Causes of ED
The factors that cause erectile dysfunction in men can be divided into two groups: psychological and physiological.
The main psychological factors include stress, depression and psychological trauma.
Physiological factors may include the following:
Endocrine disorders causing hormonal imbalance that negatively affects the male sexual function.
Cardiovascular diseases – in 60–70% of cases erectile dysfunction is caused by blocked blood flow to the penis. The cardiovascular reasons of ED are considered to be the most common.
Neurologic diseases, e.g. diabetic neuropathy, caused, in particular, by diabetes, excessive drinking and smoking.
Medication that negatively affects sexual function: some antidepressants and tranquilizers.
Treatment and prevention.
You shouldn’t put up with erection problems. If ED occurs, it is certainly a reason to consult a specialist. Doctors say that one should seek professional help when erection problems begin to cause tangible physical or psychological discomfort.
What are the ED treatment options?
The first rule is to adopt a healthier lifestyle and make some simple lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, exercising regularly, and reducing stress. It is also recommended to control blood pressure and cholesterol and enjoy a healthy sex life without prolonged periods of abstinence and sexual excesses.
If erectile dysfunction is psychogenic in nature, treatment includes consultations of a psychotherapist and physiotherapy techniques.
In the case of drug therapy, the best ED treatment includes oral phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) inhibitors. These medications are recommended before more invasive treatments are considered. PDE5 is an enzyme that can interfere with the action of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps open the blood vessels in the penis to increase blood flow and produce an erection.
The three most popular PDE5 inhibitors on the market are sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra) and tadalafil (Cialis).
The main differences between each drug are the amount of time it takes to become effective and the total amount of time it lasts in the body.
Ultimately, the best ED drug for you depends on your needs and contraindications. If you’re interested in treating ED but don’t know which drug is the best choice, our experienced ED doctors will tell you more about the potential benefits and side effects of each treatment option and will issue your ED prescription.