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Half of all men between the ages 40 to 70 experience Erectile Dysfunction to some degree. It can be triggered by different factors. When achieving or maintaining an erection becomes a regular challenge, it’s time to seek consultation. The good news about Erectile Dysfunction is that there are a variety of treatments available and you can receive them conveniently online using the service of DoktorABC.
What is Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction, also know as impotence and ED, is the inability to achieve and maintain an erection firm long enough for sex.
In the UK, every fifth male between the ages of 40 and 70 will experience ED at least once. While the likelihood of ED increases with age, the condition occurs in younger men as well.
The causes can be physical and erectile dysfunction may indicate a more severe underlying health problem. However, many cases of ED, particularly in younger men, are caused by psychological or emotional issues. Treatment with erectile dysfunction medication can be effective and may be combined with counselling or therapy.
Many men may experience occasional sexual difficulties. ED is diagnosed when a man has trouble getting an erection, keeping and erection or experiences reduced sexal desire.
If you find that you are unable to achieve a firm erection and have penetrative sex to completion at least 50% of the time, you may meet the criteria for a medical diagnosis of erectile dysfunction. It is important to consult your GP as your ED may be a symptom of an underlying medical problem such as heart disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes.
Attaining an erection is a complex process that we don’t always think about, it involves a man's emotions, hormones, nerves, muscles, blood vessels and more. Erectile dysfunction can either be a side effect of an underlying medical problem or it can be a result of psychological issues that impact a man’s ability to perform sexually.
In many cases, ED is caused by a medical condition like heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, hormonal imbalances, or high blood pressure.
There are many psychological issues that can trigger the physical symptoms of erectile dysfunction. These issues can interfere with the sexual feelings that cause or worsen erectile dysfunction. They include:
- Depression, anxiety or other mental health conditions
- Relationship problems due to stress, poor communication or fear of intimacy.
Additional Causes of ED
Overindulgence in alcohol resulting in “brewer’s droop”, worry, tiredness, lack of compatibility with a particular partner, or lack of sexual arousal can all cause problems achieving or maintaining an erection. If this happens to you once in a while, it is usually not a cause for concern.
Learn more about the causes of erectile dysfunction.
Who is affected
Erectile dysfunction is a medical condition that can affect men of any age and social background, regardless of their wider health condition and physical fitness level. Although ED was traditionally seen as an old man’s complaint (and is still most common in the over 50’s) it can also affect men in their late teens and twenties.
Fortunately ED is usually easily treatable with medication. If you find that you can’t get or keep a firm erection at least 50% of the time, you should consult with a GP immediately. The checkup will indicate whether your erectile dysfunction is a warning sign of a more serious medical condition like high blood pressure or diabetes. If there are no obvious physical causes, your GP will ask you about your stress levels and any personal problems that are worrying you.
A personal treatment plan for ED could include treating an underlying medical condition, trying counselling or psychosexual therapy, making lifestyle changes, and taking prescription medication to help you get a firm erection and enjoy a normal sex life.
Usually, the physical causes of erectile dysfunction can be treated using medication that contains PDE-5 inhibitors. These suppress natural phosphodiesterase-5 enzymes in the bloodstream, which affect your ability to achieve and maintain a firm erection. You may also need professional help to explore any psychological or emotional issues that might be contributing to your ED.
ED is usually treated with tablets containing active ingredients that inhibit the enzyme PDE-5, helping you to get a firm erection for long enough to enjoy normal sex. There are four active ingredients that each have slightly different qualities.
Popular original medications that use these PDE-5 inhibitors are:
Viagra is manufactured by Pfizer and contains the active ingredient Sildenafil. It first came on the market 20 years ago. Viagra becomes effective 30-60 minutes after ingestion, and (if you’re sexually aroused) you can get an erection during a 4 hour period after it is taken.
Cialis contains the active ingredient Tadalafil and was introduced in 2003. It is taken an hour before sexual activity and lasts for up to 36 hours. There is also a lower dosage available, “Cialis Daily” which allows a man to be ready any time. It is taken daily and allows for a more spontaneous sex life.
Levitra contains the active ingredient Vardenafil, it takes about 30 minutes to start working and lasts for approximately 5 hours. It may be prescribed to older men and men who suffer from other medical conditions. The medication was launched in Europe in 2003 and is produced by Bayer.
Spedra is the fastest acting Erectile Dysfunction medication, it uses Avanafil as an active ingredient. Spedra starts to work within 12 minutes and remains effective for a period of up to 6 hours. The medication is manufactured by Menarini International and approved by the EMA for the European market in 2013.
Generic alternatives to ED pills like Viagra and Cialis
Generic versions of both Viagra and Cialis are available at DoktorABC. Generic medicines contain the same active ingredients as brand name medicines and are just as safe to use as they are required to undergo the same stringent testing and regulatory process to ensure their effectiveness. In general, generic medicines are less expensive than their brand name counterparts.
Generally, prescription ED medication either causes no significant side effects, or minor reactions that quickly pass. Some common side effects include:
- upset stomach,
- nasal congestion
- flushing (red face).
Very occasionally, erectile dysfunction medication can cause a condition called priapism, this is an erection that doesn’t go away, even after sex. If you have an erection that lasts for more than two hours, you should seek immediate medical assistance.
Studies found that the side effects of medication containing Tadalafil (Cialis) last longer than those from other medications and may include back pain or muscle pain. Tablets containing Sildenafil (Viagra) can cause impaired colour vision or sensitivity to light.
Vardenafil causes fewer adverse reactions and recent reports claim that Avanafil (Spedra) has even fewer unwelcome side effects.
Who shouldn’t use PDE-5 inhibitors?
All PDE5-inhibitors temporarily lower your blood pressure and are not suitable for men who already suffer from low blood pressure. If you already suffer from medical conditions, you may also be unable to take erectile dysfunction medication.
Men who have any of the medical conditions below should consult with a GP prior to taking PDE-5 Inhibators:
- Take any kind of nitrates
- Suffered a recent heart attack
- Suffered a recent stroke
- Have severe cardiac problems or heart disease
- Have severe liver problems or liver disease
- Have non-arteritic anterior ischaemic optic neuropathy (NAION)
It is important to read the pamphlet that is supplied with your ED medication before taking any tablets. You must use your ED medication exactly as instructed by your online GP. If you have any questions about your medication or treatment, you can always contact our online GP free of charge by logging into your DoktorABC account.
DoktorABC’s online Service
Erectile Dysfunction tablets are prescription medication. Our fast and discreet online service lets you obtain a prescription and the treatment itself. Simply fill in a short online questionnaire so our doctor can issue a prescription, if suitable for you. You may indicate your preferred medication for the treatment, such as Viagra (Sildenafil), Cialis (Tadalafil), Levitra (Vardenafil), and Spedra. Our price includes your prescription, treatment and next-day-shipping.
- NCBI - Phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) Inhibitors In the Management of Erectile Dysfunction
- Pyrah Department of Urology, St James’ University Hospital - Research Article
- US Pharmacist 2018, article: PDE5-inhibitors for erectile dysfunction compared
- The Telegraph - Everything you need to know about ED
- WebMD - Erectile Dysfunction Common With Age