Erectile dysfunction is a problem that affects over half of men over 75 years and a tenth of men between 45 and 55 years. Otherwise known as impotence, erectile dysfunction involves difficulties generating an erection. While many have, for a while, believed it to be a personal issue and struggled in silence, diagnostics and research have now emerged proving it is merely a natural bodily response to ageing, health issues, stress levels etc.
In order to be diagnosed with ED, one needs to have been unable to muster or keep an erection during sexual performance for a minimum of two weeks. This may also be characterized by a decrease in libido, also known as sexual desire’.
Causes of erectile dysfunction can be divided into physical and psychological reasons. Either way, something is hindering your body from reacting naturally to arousal.
Psychological Causes Of Erectile Dysfunction
Changes in your life may result to a different nervous system response to stimulus which would once have led to an erection. They may put you into different emotional or psychological states, leading to no longer prioritizing sex or even having performance anxiety.
These ED causes include:
- Work/home related stress
- Loss of interest in partner
- Loss of intimacy in relationship
- Emotional loss
- Environmental difficulties in having sex (the presence of young children in the house/a new-born baby)
Should your problems be psychological, your doctor will most likely advise you to:
- See a therapist
- Encourage the appeasing hormone Endorphin through exercise
- Get marriage counseling
- Make time for sex
Physical Causes Of Erectile Dysfunction
Physical problems leading to troubles in generating or keeping an erection are relatively trickier to deal with. Usually, they involve a mild health problem or a dysfunction in cellular processes in the penis.
This will usually deal to constricted arteries in the penis that make blood-flow to the soft muscle sex weak and limited.
Health problems that may lead to ED include:
- Heart disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Smoking or tobacco use
- Parkinson’s disease
- Use of controlled drugs
- Enlarged prostate glands
Other physical problems that may cause ED include:
- Lack of exercise
- Overconsumption of sugar
- Over consumption of processed food
Should you be dealing with any of these problems, you may want to alter your lifestyle to achieve a healthier diet, exercise and sleep regime. If none of these things work, it is advised that you consult with your doctor to establish whether you may need a boost using a drug such as Viagra, Cialis or Levitra.
How Drugs Work Against ED
ED medication causes relaxation in the soft penis tissues by reducing intercellular calcium levels. This allows the arteries to dilate and veins to constrict, allowing the blood to naturally reach the penis and remain there. This will help in maintaining your erection for a minimum of 4 hours. These drugs are known as PDE5 inhibitors.
Common PDE5 inhibitors include:
- Viagra (most commonly used, lasts 4 hours on average)
- Levitra (works 5 hours on average)
- Cialis (works upwards of 12 hours)
Viagra, commonly referred to as the little blue pill, became generally accessible on the global market in 1998. It has virtually no short term effects aside from slight flushness, though some react adversely to the drug and develop heart problems. This drug allows the taker to remain hard even after ejaculation for about 4 hours.
This drug has the longest-lasting effects – though not everyone reacts as strongly to the drug. Some have observed difficulties in achieving a full erection. Most, however, say their throbbing erection was satisfactorily intense and lasted a day, sometimes even more. Though the effect may fade, there is increased sensitivity to sexual stimuli for 3 to 4 days. Some have even observed a mild increase in penis size, even when flaccid. Though it has no known long-term side effects, it often leads to runny noses and mild headaches.
Levitra is almost identical to Viagra in the way it operates. Though some have experienced nausea and and slight vision changes after taking the drug, it has been proved to have no long-term side effects. Levitra gives erections lasting on average 5 hours.
In order to assess the drug that will work best on you, you must do the appropriate research and if possible, get guidance from a specialist.