All you ever wanted to know about erectile dysfunction
What is ED?
Erectile Dysfunction (ED) or male sexual impotency defines as an inability for men to get an erection for sexual intercourse. Nevertheless, if you have failed in the bed once or twice - it doesn’t mean you have ED. Still, if the problem occurs periodically, then it might be a good reason to see a doctor.
The issue of getting a hard erection and maintain it can be a sign of much worse health problems. Moreover, ED is not the only health problem that men can meet in their life. There are also other sexual dysfunctions, like:
- ➤Delayed ejaculation;
- ➤Premature ejaculation;
- ➤Indifference to sex.
Nevertheless, ED is the most notorious and frequent disease amongst men. At least every 7th man in the world suffer from it. ED occurrence changes with age and some studies show horrific numbers, like the following:
- ➤About 12% of men under 60 suffers from ED;
- ➤Every 4th man in his 60s has problems with an erection;
- ➤At least one out of three men older 70+ is not able to have sex.
What are PDE 5 inhibitors?
To understand what are PDE 5 inhibitors, you must know a natural sequence of the erection processes in a man’s body. An erection is a quite complex process that includes blood vessels, muscles, brain, nerves, emotions, and hormones. Therefore, the problem may occur on any of these steps. In short, erection starts when your brain receives an Erotica Stimuli from the outside from the external factors.
In this case, a brain commands to increase the production of Nitric Oxide (NO) in the groin area. NO orders the production of a certain enzyme in your body which is responsible for cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP).
Accordingly, cGMP provides muscle cell relaxation. This process controls the contraction and dilation of the penis tissues. Eventually, it increases the blood flow into the penis and a man gets an erection. The main problem in the above mentioned chain is the destructive action of phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE 5) - in the cGMP. PDE5 do not allow contraction or dilation of the penis. In other words, your penis will stay weak and unable to perform its direct duties.
Therefore, PDE 5 inhibitors are created to eliminate the negative effect of PDE 5 and facilitates cGMP processes. PDE 5 medications blocks cGMP from breaking down. As a result, the spongy body of the penis receives more blood and a man gets an erection.
The most common representatives of PDE 5 inhibitors are:
The above mentioned PDE 5 inhibitors serve as core elements of ED drugs.
How do ED drugs work?
As it was mentioned earlier, most medical ED drugs contain PDE5 inhibitors. Therefore, they facilitate the production of cGMP and block PDE5 destructive nature. Therefore, it leads to the increasement of the blood flow into the penis. In other words, a man who takes ED drugs will not have problems with getting an erection in time.
Nevertheless, ED drugs do not work instantly and without sexual stimulation. Moreover, it’s better to take these meds on an empty stomach and without any alcohol. In addition, the meds need some time to be digested. Please, read instructions before taking them to achieve the best effect.
Which ED drugs are there?
The most popular ED drugs for men are:
All the above mentioned medications boost Nitric Oxide in the body and stop PDE 5 destructive actions. For today, you can see most of them on the market in the oral tablet form. Still, even if their effect is in some way similar, they have differences. For example:
- ➤Viagra as the most popular ED drug comes in 25, 50 and 100 mg doses. The typical intake dosage is usually 50 mg and you need to take it 30-60 minutes before sex. The effect window is about 4 hours.
- ➤Cialis as the ED drug with the longest effect window comes in 2.5, 5, 10 and 20 mg doses. The typical intake dosage is usually 10 mg and you need to take it 30 minutes before sex. The effect window is up to 36 hours.
- ➤Levitra as the ED drug comes in 5, 10 and 20 mg doses. The typical intake dosage is usually 10 mg and you need to take it 60 minutes before sex. The effect window is 4-5 hours.
- ➤Spedra as the fastest ED drug comes in 50, 100 and 200 mg doses. The typical intake dosage is usually 100 mg and you need to take it 15 minutes before sex. The effect window is up to 6 hours.
Are there generic ED drugs?
Of course, there are generic ED drugs on the market. You might have heard about their branded versions, but you may also like these remedies:
- ➤ Sildenafil;
- ➤ Tadalafil ;
- ➤ Vardenafil;
- ➤ Avanafil.
The differences between generic and branded versions of ED drugs are not that significant. Generic meds are less popular for marketers than brand ones. Therefore, you see more ads promoting Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra, than Sildenafil, Tadalafil or Vardenafil.
At the same time, do not think that generic drugs are better or worse than brand ones. It all depends on your body’s response to the treatment. Therefore, you may need to test different drugs (generic or brand) to find out which suits you best.
How to choose which medication is right for me?
Important to realize that you must know your body first and if you have any allergies. For this reason, you may need to consult a doctor to find which ED drug is good for you.
Another great option is to try an ED trial pack to find out which one suits you best. Nevertheless, do not mix drugs. You will need to take just one tablet a day. Otherwise, you may overdose yourself and suffer from ED side effects.
What causes ED?
In many cases, ED is caused by a variety of health issues, psychological problems, and generally bad life decisions. The most common causes are:
- ● Heart diseases;
- ● Low or high blood pressure;
- ● Cancer;
- ● Injuries;
- ● Obesity;
- ● Anxiety;
- ● Relationship problems;
- ● Smocking;
- ● Alcohol;
- ● Age;
- ● Drugs.
Nevertheless, if you start using ED drugs and give up bad habits, you may get rid of ED quite fast. You just need to launch your treatment process.
What are the common side effects of ED medications?
Important to realize that all medical remedies have side effects and ED drugs are not an exception.
The most common adverse effects (may affect 1 out of 100 men):
- ● Nasal stuffiness;
- ● Headaches;
- ● Flushing.
Please, if you have the above mentioned symptoms - decrease the dosage of the drug.
The uncommon adverse effects (may affect 1 out of 1000 men):
- ● General fatigue;
- ● Muscle pain;
- ● Back pain;
- ● General tiredness;
- ● Increased heart rate;
- ● Low or high blood pressure;
- ● Stomach pain;
- ● Premature ejaculation;
- ● Weight loss;
- ● Weight gain.
In this case, please, stop using the drug and consult a doctor. The above mentioned side effects might be signs of a severe allergic reaction.
The serious adverse effects (may affect 1 out of 10000 men):
- ● Influenza;
- ● Vomiting;
- ● Prolonged painful erection (you maintain an erection for 2 hours or more);
- ● Asthenia;
- ● Severe skin irritation (redness, swelling, etc.);
- ● Penile irritation (itchiness in the groin area);
- ● Fainting (light-head feeling).
If you have one of the above mentioned conditions, please, ask for help immediately!
What can you do to improve ED without medication?
The first thing to improve your general sexual health is to get rid of bad habits. It means to significantly reduce the number of alcohol intake, give up smoking and get on a diet.
Another great option is to get on physical exercises. Recent studies have shown that increased physical activity can improve erectile dysfunction. Regular exercises may reduce the risk of occurring ED in the first place.
Can prescription drugs cause ED?
There are some types of prescription drugs that cause erectile dysfunction. While these drugs may treat certain diseases, they can also increase the chance of occurring ED. The most common types of prescription drugs causing ED are the following:
- ● Hypertension & Diuretics drugs: Propranolol, Atenolol, Furosemide, Triamterene, Clonidine, Enalapril, Methyldopa, Verapamil, Captopril, Spironolactone, etc.
- ● Antidepressants: Phenytoin, Lorazepam, Doxepin, Clorazepate, Buspirone, Amoxapine, Isocarboxazid, Sertraline, Fluoxetine, Desipramine, etc.
- ● Anti-inflamatory drugs: Indomethacin, Naproxen.
- ● Antihistamines: Promethazine, Meclizine, Hydroxyzine, Dimenhydrinate.
- ● Prostate cancer drugs: Leuprolide, Flutamide.
- ● Muscle relaxants: Orphenadrine.
- ● Chemo drugs: Cyclophosphamide, Busulfan.
- ● Parkinson’s medications: Levodopa, Biperiden, Kemadrin.
Can stress cause ED?
Stress is one of the main reasons of ED. Important to know that mental health condition affects you brain. Therefore, if you are overwhelmed by stress, your brain can’t transmit signals properly which interrupts producing of Nitric Oxide. In other words, stress may disrupt the chain of events that cause an erection in the first place.
Therefore, if you are on the way of curing erectile dysfunction - you need to avoid stress.
How can I talk to a partner about this problem?
The general message here is to be honest with your partner about ED problems. Do not worry. You can get treatment from ED and with the right drug, you will just need some time. Your partner can help you with your problem and support you throughout the whole treatment process.
Last reviewed 12.11.2019