• Erectile dysfunction. Treatment

    While not dangerous for men’s life or general wellbeing, erectile dysfunction is a health condition feared by the majority of male population as if it were as bad as cancer. Well, it’s actually not that much of a surprise – mere 20 years ago impotence was almost incurable, which meant that you could just wave your sex life goodbye once you started having some problems in bed. Fortunately, these days it’s completely different– this highly unpleasant condition can be cured and there are actually so many erectile dysfunction remedies to choose from that it all gets even a little bit confusing. And that is exactly what this article is intended for. It is here to help you get a better understanding of what ED is all about and what the best ways to cure it are. We don’t intend to diagnose you though and we definitely can’t tell you, which erectile dysfunction medication is best for you. However, we will gladly provide you with a brief overview of the most popular and efficient treatments out there and, hopefully, make the choice at least a tiny bit easier for you.

    What is erectile dysfunction?

    Erectile dysfunction, also known as ED or ‘impotence’ is a physical condition characterized by persisting inability to get or keep an erection hard or lasting enough for you to enjoy a healthy full-time sexual intercourse. In some men erection problems also come along with ejaculation disorders and overall decrease in libido.

    Erectile dysfunction can be caused by a multitude of reasons. Surprisingly, not all of them are real medical health issues like blood circulation or nerve system disorders. Many men don’t realize that erectile dysfunction can be caused by psychological problems too. Some patients with ED turn out to be suffering from anxiety, stress or mental disorders, which affect their sexual performance worsening it dramatically. It’s important to understand the nature of ED in each particular patient and choose erectile dysfunction cures accordingly. While drugs like Viagra, Cialis and Levitra work perfectly in most patients with ED resulting from medical conditions, men with psychologically triggered impotence often find counseling sufficient for solving their problems.

    Thus, before you come searching the Internet or local pharmacies for erectile dysfunction drugs, take the time to discuss your sexual problems with your healthcare provider – there’s always a chance you won’t need the pills at all.

    Symptoms of erectile dysfunction

    Erectile dysfunction is a condition that is almost impossible to leave unnoticed if you are a man who is at least a little interested in sex. Unsurprisingly, the main symptom of ED is the absence of erection – or an erection that is just not strong enough for you to use it the way it is supposed to be used.

    Just as we have already stated above, erection problems are often accompanied by other unpleasant symptoms that can be associated with erectile dysfunction. The most common of these include ejaculation problems (delayed ejaculation or complete inability to reach orgasm) and decreased sex drive. Thus, when a man is avoiding sex, it’s far not always because he is too tired or stressed out – it can be a symptom of erectile dysfunction too.

    Erectile dysfunction drugs: PDE5 inhibitors

    So, now that we know what erectile dysfunction is and how it manifests itself in men suffering from it, it’s high time we discussed various ED treatments. And it’s absolutely no surprise that we want to begin with the most popular and probably the most effective of them – PDE5 inhibitors. Confused by the name? Well, we bet you know meds like Viagra, Cialis, Levitra and maybe even some of their countless generic alternatives, right? These meds are probably the most famous representatives of PDE5 inhibitor class.

    PDE5 inhibitors work by reducing the effect of PDE5 – an enzyme that interferes with healthy sexual function in men – hence the name. If you still don’t know how an erection works, here’s a brief explanation to help you understand what the effect of PDE5 inhibitors is due to.

    Responding to sexual stimulation – either physical (touching the penis and other erogenous zones) or psychological (providing visual or audial erotic stimuli) – the nerve endings in your body release increased amounts of nitric oxide. This signal is interpreted by your body, which then releases a substance called cGMP relaxing the smooth muscles in your penis, allowing more blood to enter the veins and cavernous structures inside it and making it increase in size and become harder.

    PDE5 is known to lower cGMP levels in your system, which interferes with the process of achieving an erection. Your body still produces more nitric oxide than usual but it doesn’t lead to anything and your penis remains in flaccid state. By lowering the levels of PDE5, meds like Viagra return your sexual health to normal. It’s important to remember that these erectile dysfunction drugs don’t just make you get hard a few minutes after you take them – they simply restore normal sexual function, allowing you to respond to sexual stimulation the healthy way. However, these meds can hardly help in those cases when ED is due to psychological causes. For example, they won’t give you an erection if you are simply not attracted to your partner or don’t like sex at all.

    Unfortunately, there is one highly disappointing peculiarity of PDE5 inhibitors. The effect of these medications is not permanent. All of them have different half-lives ranging from 4-6 hours for Viagra and Levitra to 48 hours or even more for Cialis. When the active ingredients of these meds are washed out of your system, the concentration of PDE5 returns to its original levels and your sexual problems are back. That’s why most PDE5 inhibitors are taken on as-needed basis with the exception of recently developed ‘daily Cialis’ – a low-strength version of Cialis that maintains the levels of cGMP relatively high in your system at all times, thus sparing you from the necessity to time your sexual activity carefully.

    It’s important to remember that, while clearly the most popular, Viagra, Levitra and Cialis are far not the only brands of PDE5 inhibitor medications used in the treatment of ED that you can purchase in pharmacies or online at the moment. There are lots of generic medications that use the same active ingredients (sildenafil, vardenafil and tadalafil respectively) but are sold under different brand names. Besides, there is also at least one more PDE5 inhibitor that has already been approved by the FDA for treatment of ED but is not yet as popular as the big trio. We’re talking about Avanafil oral pills (sold as Stendra and a few other brand names).

    There’s no reason to be afraid of generic erectile dysfunction drugs. When manufactured by reliable pharmaceutical companies and distributed by pharmacies with enough positive feedback about them, these meds are as reliable and safe as Viagra, Levitra and Cialis.

    Other erectile dysfunction pills

    In addition to PDE5 inhibitors, there are loads of other pills whose effect is claimed to be based on mechanisms different from that described above. Unfortunately, most of these medications are nothing but a hoax. If you check a few of the Internet’s most reputable medical sites, there won’t even be any of such medications listed as working ED cures – there will only be PDE5 inhibitors and a few other meds available as urethral suppositories or injections, which we will talk about in the following part of our article.

    The so-called herbal or natural erectile dysfunction remedies have a lot of supporters claiming that they work for them. However, the effectiveness of such medications has never really been proven by any clinical tests, therefore, professional healthcare providers are a little skeptical about them. On the other hand, in patients with erectile dysfunction caused by psychological reasons these pills, like any placebo treatment, may prove to be highly effective.

    There’s also another type of orally administered erectile dysfunction meds, which, however, only work in men who suffer from erection problems due to low testosterone. These pills simply kick testosterone up to healthy levels in your system eradicating the root of the problem and returning your sexual performance to its peak.

    Alternative erectile dysfunction cures

    Despite the convenience of erectile dysfunction drugs intended for oral use, other cures still do exist. They are mainly preferred by men who didn’t find PDE5 inhibitors effective enough due to some peculiarities in the nature of their erection disorders. For instance, in some men ED is not caused by high PDE5 levels but is a side effect of some medications they are taking or the result of some neural or blood circulation disorders. These men have no other options but to choose from any of the following cures.

    Let’s start off by talking about penile injections with such medications as Edex intracavernosal or Caverject inracavernosal. They are usually available as liquid solutions that patients inject into their penises. Though rather unpleasant, this way of fighting ED is very effective – most patients get an erection 5 to 20 minutes after the injection and get to enjoy up to 60 minutes of perfect hardness, after which the erection starts wearing off.

    Besides, there are also a few ED drugs available as urethral suppositories – such as alprostadil urethral. These should be inserted into urethra 5-10 minutes prior to sexual intercourse and produce an erection that lasts between 30 and 60 minutes.

    Finally, if everything else fails, you can consider surgery to get the blood vessels in your pelvic area to function properly – or even getting a penile implant that works at the push of the button that usually gets implanted into your body as well. While solving the erection problem permanently, unlike the abovementioned meds, which only give temporary effect, surgery is always considered to be a risky procedure with relatively high probability of side effects.

    Hope that you found this little article helpful and that it will make the process of choosing the right ED med for you at least a little simpler. Of course, we are not to provide any recommendations because each case of ED calls for a personally developed treatment plan – but it’s quite clear that you will probably want to start off with PDE5 pills as opposed to other erectile dysfunction cures listed here – simply because they are easier to take and have fewer side effects. But sure, the final choice is always up to you, so take the time to think about it! Good luck!