Erectile dysfunction, the inability to get or keep an erection during sexual activity, happens when the penile erection chambers fail to generate and maintain the high pressures that characterize a fully hard erection.
Usually, sexual stimulation is enough to get things going, but men with ED have trouble staying firm through ejaculation.
What Causes ED?
Psychological factors, aging, high blood pressure, vascular disease, hormone imbalance, obesity, therapies for prostate cancer, stress, and drugs like antidepressants are only some of the many potential causes of erectile dysfunction.
A lack of self-confidence or fear of public performance can cause tension and anxiety, which in turn reduces blood supply to the penis at the worst possible time in younger men with variable or situational ED.
In males with ED that is consistent across partners and settings, vascular, neurological, or hormonal issues may be to blame.
What Are The Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction?
Common symptoms of male sexual dysfunction include:
- difficulty getting and/or maintaining an erection
- loss of interest in sexual activity/low libido
- painful erections (Peyronie’s disease)
Low Testosterone and ED
You may have heard about low levels of testosterone, or ‘low T’, causing erectile dysfunction. Yes, low testosterone levels can cause ED in some men.
However, the baseline level of testosterone needed to maintain normal erectile function is actually fairly low. Although testosterone deficiency is a common condition due to hormonal imbalance, most affected men have symptoms other than erectile dysfunction.
You should be evaluated for testosterone deficiency if you have ED and have noticed that you are:
- More fatigued than you would expect
- Have low sexual desire
- Have trouble maintaining your muscle mass
Testosterone deficiency is not likely to be the cause of ED in men with a normal sexual desire, energy and physical strength. If you suspect you may have low testosterone, SpecialtyCare Pharmacy can help.
What ED treatments are there?
A number of ED pills are prescribed in the United States, from highly effective as-needed ED treatment (like the active ingredient in Viagra®) and daily ED meds (like the generic for Cialis®). Doctors sometimes prescribe other medications like vardenafil (Levitras®, Staxyn®) or even a penile injection.
Can ED medication help?
The good news is ED drugs, which are PDE5 inhibitors that are prescription medications, have been clinically proven to be effective treatments for ED.
Questions about side effects, an underlying cause, or an underlying condition?
Find out if ED medication is right for you by getting medical advice from the experts at SpecialtyCare Pharmacy. Consult with a clinical pharmacist today, without any of the stress of an in-person doctor visit.
How ED Medications Work
Get aroused and the medication takes it from there.
Nitric oxide production is induced by sexual stimulation, and this in turn causes the blood vessels and smooth muscle in the penis to relax. This allows blood to more easily reach the base of the penis, which causes it to harden.
An enzyme in the penis called phosphodiesterase (PDE5) that shuts this process off when sex is over. ED medications work by blocking PDE5, thus preventing this shut-off. That will keep your erection going longer and stronger.
Lifestyle Considerations For ED Treatment
The best way to improve your erectile function is to take a holistic approach.
ED medications work best in the long term when combined with lifestyle changes that promote overall health. Here are a few quick lifestyle factors to consider.
Diet and Exercise:
A future of healthy sexual function is possible with the help of heart-healthy eating, some nutritional supplements, exercise, and avoiding health-harming activities like cigarette smoking.
If anxiety or depression are at the foundation of your erectile dysfunction, counseling may give you the tools you need to cope in the here and now while also addressing the root cause of these issues
Reduce alcohol consumption:
If you have erectile dysfunction (ED) frequently after consuming alcohol, the booze could be to blame. If you want to see if it helps, try having sex sober.
The information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely upon the content provided in this article for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.
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