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Beginner’s Guide to Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is very common in the world. It affects millions of men as they age. In the USA alone, more than three million US cases per year of men diagnosed with erectile dysfunction exist. This depicts that erectile dysfunction is the most life distracting experience when it comes to intercourse. Primarily, erectile dysfunction happens when a man with trouble keeping an erection has never been able to have or sustain firm enough penile erection for sex when sexually stimulated. Oral medications are often the first line of treatment for erectile dysfunction.

Guide to Erectile Dysfunction

This ultimate guide gives detailed pointers about impotence, symptoms & signs, diagnosing it, and how to fully overcome it with the right medication and exercise.

Let’s get started.

What Is Erectile Dysfunction (ED)?

Erectile dysfunction is the inability of men who need to engage in intercourse gain and maintain an erection. With men having less severe impotence, their erection can exist but dies immediately after a few intercourse penetrations making sex incomplete and unsatisfactory.

The inability to erect the penis when sexually stimulated can be attributed to various health problems and individual lifestyles that need to be assessed and treated.

ED has no cure at the moment. With continual research on finding the ultimate cure, the emergence of ED remedies became a breakthrough in treating various ED problems.

Note that ED cannot be self-treated. Consulting with a doctor about the inability to gain and maintain an erection during intercourse is paramount.

The Mechanics of ED

When blood fills 2 chambers commonly known as corpora cavernosa, an erection exists only when there is sexual stimulation. Adequate blood flow into the penile arterial vessels causes the penis to expand and rigid. Sexual arousal results from impulses on genital nerves and on the brain responsible for starting the erection process. Any health condition that blocks erection impulses or prevents blood flow to the penis can lead to impotence [1].

Among other health conditions is Phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5). It’s a natural body enzyme that alters the activity of cyclase-cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP). PDE5 inhibitors are meds used to inhibit & prolong the action of cGMP by inhibiting its degradation caused by PDE5 enzymes found throughout the body. In the penis, PDE5 inhibitors increase the effects of cGMP to prolong erections & increase sexual satisfaction.

Erectile Dysfunction: Who Can Get It?

ED & sexual dysfunction is a common erection problem most men get as they become older. Globally, about 5% of men age 40 have impotence, but the number increases to 15% of men age 70. The study done by Massachusetts on Male Aging shows that aging improves the risk of ED from 1.2 percent per year for men aged between 40 to 49 years, to 4.6% for men aged between 60 to 69 years [2].

Erectile Dysfunction in Men

It’s not surprising how people take the number literally. However, with the rise of ED as men become older, it does not mean growing older is the beginning of ED or the end of sex life. Medical specialists can treat ED no matter the patient’s age.

For most ED conditions, it’s not only attributed to age, and age is not the only cause. It can be due to diabetes, smoking, obesity, and high blood pressure, making it more likely to lead to impotence.

ED Symptoms and Causes

This problem affects millions of men globally. Although it has been a personal issue men undergo without saying, the rise of men with impotence has created an alarm on how to solve it and lead a healthy sex life.

This problem is usually self-diagnosable. When you find yourself unable to perform better in bed due to penile failure to get or keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse, this becomes the main symptom easily identified and can be treated.

For most men unable to peak during intercourse, they may experience:

  • sexual dysfunction or reduced sex drive;
  • anxiety;
  • trouble achieving & maintaining an erection;
  • soft erections.

For these reasons, there must be the root cause of this experience. Here are some of the identifiable ED symptoms.

Symptoms of ED

ED does not occur without a certain health problem. However, if a health condition is not the cause, it can be associated with individual lifestyle, physical or psychological experiences.

Notable symptoms of impotence include:

  • too soft erections for sex;
  • penile erections that do not last long enough for complete intercourse;
  • failure to get an erection.

Notably, doctors claim that if a man can’t get or maintain an erection that lasts long enough during intercourse or the erection is not rigid enough for sex, then an individual has impotence.

Poor Sex Drive vs. ED

Some men can experience several types of ED issues, including problems with ejaculation (premature ejaculation) & poor sex drive. Specifically, impotence refers to trouble getting or keeping an erection.

For example, a man might have a healthy sex drive but have a penis that won’t respond when sexually aroused. By facts and research, there is a physical basis for the problem which can be treated and gives a man healthy erections for complete and satisfying intercourse.

Causes of ED

After identifying the symptoms, there might be notable root causes or health problems that contribute to impotence. Below is a list of possible causes of ED. Nonetheless, a doctor can diagnose every aspect of ED, and the ultimate remedy from a doctor is paramount.

Counseling with Doctor

Do not self-treat this condition if you know the root cause is outside the lifestyle adjustment.

Examples of some causes of ED include:

  • Chronic diseases, especially diabetes. Men with diabetes are more likely to have impotence. However, controlling blood sugar can lower the high risk of impotence. Notably, any health condition that affects the way blood flows through the body can contribute to ED. Higher chances of ED can include other health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, atherosclerosis, Peyronie’s disease, injury from treatments for prostate cancer, including prostate surgery and radiation therapy, injury to the penis, prostate, spinal cord, bladder, or pelvis, surgery for bladder cancer, and multiple sclerosis, etc.
  • Lifestyle choices can be the major factor for ED. It’s an individual choice to take what suits their lives. However, while some other lifestyle choices can be overwhelming, choices such as smoking, drug use disorder, and heavy alcohol drinking can damage or affect the blood vessels and decrease blood flow to the penis. Also, getting too little exercise and being overweight raise your odds of likely being unable to get and keep an erection. Various studies depict that men who exercise regularly experience a lower risk of getting ED.
  • Surgery like treatments for bladder & prostate cancer, or BPH, can damage nerves and blood vessels around the penis. This condition happens rarely, but if the nerve damage is permanent, an individual will need effective treatment to get an erection. This isn’t a common experience when undergoing surgery, but sometimes it causes temporary impotence that gets better on its own after some months.
  • Medication. For most men, impotence may be a side effect of some medication. It can be due to certain blood pressure meds and antidepressants. Before taking any medicine or stopping it, it’s necessary to talk to a medical specialist if you think a certain prescription or over-the-counter meds may be causing erectile problems.

Many different factors affecting your vascular system, nervous system, and endocrine system can cause erectile dysfunction. Although you are more likely to develop ED as you get older, aging does not cause ED, and it can be treated at any age [3].

Diagnosing Erectile Dysfunction

Now that you have known some causes of ED, how can this condition be diagnosed?

These are some procedures used to diagnose impotence for effective treatments. Examples include:

  • Physical exam. As an effective ED diagnosis, a medical specialist can ask about your medical history and symptoms to look for possible signs, such as poor blood circulation or nerve trouble. For a complete physical analysis, the doctor can also check for possible conditions in the genital area that could cause major trouble with erections even when sexually aroused.
  • Lab tests. This is another ultimate guide which can help diagnose ED. For example, blood cell counts, liver tests, cholesterol & blood sugar levels can reveal health or medical conditions that play a role in causing ED.

Other ED diagnoses include complete health assessment and looking for possible psychological conditions such as anxiety, depression, and stress.

Is ED A Sign of Heart Disease?

ED affects people differently. Some root causes can be a sign of other health conditions. In this regard, ED can be a warning that if not held properly, can be a major sign of a serious disease [4].

Heart Diseases

According to a study, ED suggests it can predict a sign of stroke, heart attack, and even death from cardiovascular disease. For men having impotence, a doctor recommended checking for cardiovascular disease. Note that this does not mean every man with impotence will develop heart disease, or that every person with heart disease has impotence. This is a link you should be aware of.

Erectile Dysfunction Treatments

Now that it’s easy to diagnose the symptoms of ED, what’s next for those having this condition? Before and during the breakthrough of highly effective ED drugs, most men keep asking whether erectile dysfunction can be cured.

That’s a question that needs an in-depth review. However, in many cases, depending on the root cause being identified, then the ultimate answer is yes, erectile dysfunction can be reversed.

At the moment, for those men with severe ED conditions due to uncured health conditions, it is important to note that even when it cannot be cured, the right treatment with the help of a medical specialist can help reduce or eliminate symptoms.

These are other possible ways of treating impotence:

  • Lifestyle changes. This is the ultimate remedy to reversing ED. People with a healthy lifestyle are less prone to ED. However, if you have ED due to unhealthy lifestyles like smoking and alcohol addiction, you may be able to improve on sex life with lifestyle changes. Reverse ED by giving up smoking, alcohol, and losing weight. Keeping off these habits and exercising more often can improve blood circulation and let adequate blood flow to the penis.
  • Oral Medications. This is where several meds for impotence are considered as the ultimate solution to overcoming ED and lead a healthy sex life. You have probably heard of sildenafil (Viagra 50mg, Viagra 100 mg, Kamagra, Fildena, Red Viagra, Malegra, Viagra Super Active, Viagra Super Force, Silagra, Viagra Professional, etc.) – under the brand-name drug – Viagra®. But sildenafil isn’t the only pill for rectifying ED. Since being discovered, sildenafil was the pioneer and breakthrough in helping millions of men reverse their impotence and lead a healthy sex life. Later, with extensive research, more potent medication emerged in the market with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approval to help curb male impotence. This class of drugs also includes tadalafil (Cialis, Cialis Soft, Cialis Black, etc.), avanafil (Stendra), and vardenafil (Levitra 60 mg, Staxyn, etc.). All these meds work by improving blood flow to the penis during arousal. They are taken before intercourse and should not be used more than the recommended dosage per day. Interestingly, a person with ED can take tadalafil before a sexual activity, which lasts up to 36 hours. It also comes in a lower daily dose. However, before taking these meds, a medical specialist recommendation and prescription is the first option for safety.
  • Injections. Meds are an easy way to treat various ED conditions; some men injecting meds directly into their penis might get a stronger and firm erection that can be maintained for complete intercourse. That’s because these medicines play a major role in widening blood vessels so that when a man is sexually aroused, the penis fills with blood, causing a strong erection.
  • Vacuum devices (or pumps) – an alternative to medication. This process develops a partial vacuum around the penis, which causes it to fill with blood and possibly leads to an erection when sexually aroused. This involves wearing an elastic band around the base of the penis needed to keep the erection while having sex ultimately.
  • Surgery. In some cases, if ED exists due to a blocked artery leading to the penis, performing surgery can rectify blood flow and cause a man to have quality erections. Although medical specialists don’t recommend carrying out this procedure in older men’s widespread narrowing of the arteries, this procedure is effective and works best on younger men under 30.
  • Implants. It’s a rare case most men go through. However, if a man long-term ED, a penile implant (either inflatable or a malleable implant treatment) could help have quality sex again.
  • Psychotherapy can help even if the ED has a physical cause. This involves helping the man and his partner on various psychotherapies to lower performance anxiety and improve intercourse.

You might be aware of alternative therapies when trying supplements for ED [5]. These therapies should not be carried out before talking with a doctor as some products might contain more than ten ingredients and could worsen other health conditions.

Medical Viagra

Nonetheless, men who have used these alternative treatments apart from the aforementioned oral meds have helped them get an erection. However, the long-term safe use of these products has not been fully studied. Notably, most medical specialists don’t recommend them.

Reducing the Risk of ED

In summary, to help lower the chances of impotence, these aspects should be avoided:

  • stop smoking: cigarette smoking can damage your blood vessels, and ED is often a result of male poor arterial blood supply to the penis needed during sexual stimulation [6];
  • exercise effectively & keep a healthy weight;
  • avoid substance abuse & drinking alcohol;
  • manage diabetes.

Some drugs can contribute to ED, and before using any medicine, either herbal remedies or nonprescription drugs, among others, it’s always necessary to lead a healthy lifestyle with quality sex life without interference with some meds, diseases, and lifestyle choice.

Best E-Pharmacy to Buy ED Medications

There are several pharmaceuticals making brand-name ED drugs as well as generics. Having visited a medical specialist to discuss your ED conditions, possible known remedies are ED drugs – especially generics. Generic drugs are therapeutic to the brand-name meds, but only a big difference set these meds unique from another – the pricing where generic med is more than 90% cheaper the price of brand-name ED drugs such as Staxyn®, Cialis®, Levitra®, Viagra®, and others.

Note that several online pharmacies sell different types of meds, including ED remedies. However, not all ED drugstores are genuine & reliable. Some are scams and can ship you counterfeit medications (especially generic Viagra, which is the most counterfeit medicine in the world) that can be harmful to your health or exist to take away your money.

Another factor to consider is the location and shipping aspects of an e-pharmacy. Some e-pharmacies are legit but have problems with shipping to a certain location. Make sure the e-pharmacy you opt to order your ED meds is reliable and can ship to your location.

At best, the top-recommended e-pharmacies selling ED meds sourced from approved manufacturers include ViaBestBuys.com, CialisBit.com, PureRxPills.com, and HighStreetPharma.com. If a doctor prescribes you ED medicine, we strongly recommend these vendors. At best, several e-pharmacies, including the aforementioned ones offer reshipment or refund in case of any failed delivery to countries it ships to. Make sure to acquaint with each e-pharmacy in regards to the drug pricing & shipping.

Summary

ED can occur due to several different health conditions. It is a very common condition affecting millions of men as they age. This condition is an extremely sensitive & emotional topic to discuss, and most men hide it without disclosing to a doctor for a possible remedy. Attaining an erection is a complex process that varies in most men depending on their health as it involves the brain, hormones, muscles, nerves, and blood circulation. If something arises and interferes with this process, the outcome may be ED. In some cases, ED is the first symptom of other serious underlying health conditions most men face, such as cardiovascular conditions that need a remedy because ED can share the same risk factors for strokes and heart attacks.

Although there are several causes of ED, various steps men can take to lower their high risk for ED is achievable especially by quitting smoking, exercise regularly, limiting or avoiding the use of alcohol, maintaining a healthy weight & healthy diet, getting help for anxiety or depression, reducing stress, discontinuing meds with harmful negative effects, having regular check-ups with a medical specialist to monitor blood sugar, blood pressure, & cholesterol levels, etc. Taking ED meds can help treat this condition. Still, without the use of meds, making a few healthy lifestyle changes may work out this problem. Your medical specialist will help ascertain the most effective course of remedy for your condition.

References:

  1. Central mechanisms of erectile dysfunction: what a clinician may want to know. Published: June 24, 2003. Nature.com.
  2. Erectile dysfunction in the elderly male. Mehmet İlker Gökçe and Önder Yaman. Published: Aug 3, 2017. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.
  3. Symptoms & Causes of Erectile Dysfunction. Retrieved: May 29, 2020. Niddk.nih.gov.
  4. Erectile dysfunction is often a warning sign of heart disease. Published: October 24, 2011; Updated: February 26, 2020. Health.harvard.edu.
  5. Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction. Retrieved: May 29, 2020. Niddk.nih.gov.
  6. Can Smoking Cigarettes Cause Impotence? Retrieved: May 29, 2020. Healthline.com.