Erectile Dysfunction and Its Treatment
More than 2.3 million men in the UK alone have some form of erectile dysfunction, and this is according to a survey conducted by BBC. The number shows high prevalence of the problem in Britain, but the situation is even worse in other parts of the world. The saddest thing is that most men suffer in silence because they find it embarrassing to talk about the problem or even seek treatment. However, the good news is that there are different kinds of treatment options that you can use as permanent solutions to ensure that you can have sexual intercourse whenever you want.
What is ED?
ED (erectile dysfunction) or impotence, as some people prefer to refer it to, is a disorder whose main characteristic is the inability to get and maintain an erection that is sufficient for intercourse. Erections occur as a result of the widening of the arteries that transport blood to the penis. Widening of these arteries allows more blood to flow to the penis. Those that are responsible for carrying blood away from the penis also compress and this is what enlarges and stiffens it. There are also some hormones that help in this process. Any abnormality affecting the hormonal or circulatory systems means that the flow of blood might be not sufficient to get a firm erection, and this is what results in erectile dysfunction.
Causes of ED
Occasional erection problems should not worry you because most men may experience them rarely. But if you have a persistent problem of that kind, this might be a sign that you have ED. Several things can cause this disorder, but for most men the problem is psychological, which comes as a result of anxiety, stress, and depression. However, in some instances, ED can be the result of physical factors such as injury to the spinal cord, bladder, pelvis or the penis.
Additionally, for a big number of men, ED comes as a consequence of an underlying medical condition. Research shows that ailments such as diabetes, blood vessel diseases, Alzheimer’s, kidney diseases and brain/nerve disorders can also cause ED.
The Common Drugs Used for Treating ED
The fact that one in every ten men around the world suffers from erectile dysfunction is enough indication that this is a serious problem. Research on the causes and treatments for this problem has been going on for many decades, and pharmaceutical companies are always coming up with new medications. But, the following drugs are the most popularly used to treat this problem globally.
Viagra is the brand name for sildenafil, one of the most famous and widely distributed drugs for treating ED. Viagra is a drug manufactured by Pfizer, and it has been available since 1998. Just like most other ED medications it works by inhibiting the PDE5 enzyme to encourage the flow of blood to the penis. This drug is available in 25, 50, and 100mg oral tablet doses.
Cialis is the brand name for tadalafil, and just like sildenafil it is a PDE5 inhibitor. One of the attributes that set it apart from other ED drugs is that its effect can last for up to an impressive 36 hours (in contrast, Viagra lasts for about 4 hours). The drug comes in a starting dose of 10mg which you can increase to a maximum of 20mg. Additionally, Cialis is also available in 5mg and 2.5mg doses for those who want something for daily use.
Judging from its sales, Levitra (vardenafil) is the third most popular ED medication. Its mechanism of work also involves inhibiting the PDE5 enzyme. Studies and trials over the years show that it effectively works in helping men achieve and maintain an erection. It is available in a dosage of 10mg - which is the starting dose - and 20mg which is what the manufacturer recommends as the standard dose.
People consider Kamagra to be a cheap alternative to Viagra. It contains the same active ingredient, sildenafil, so the drug works absolutely the same way as Viagra. However, it is important to note that Kamagra is yet to receive approval from the authorities in the UK. Until then, the drug can be bought only in online pharmacies. Kamagra comes in two different forms: traditional pills and oral jelly that has its own advantages.
Other Treatment Options
Injections: There are some other medications that one has to inject into the penis directly. The goal of these drugs is to give the man an erection that lasts just for about half an hour – enough for sexual intercourse. The most common drugs of this kind are Phentolamine and Alprostadil.
Testosterone Replacement: For some men, ED is a result of low levels of the hormone testosterone, and so a therapy to replace it is the first step in dealing with the problem. The therapy can deliver the hormone through a patch, gel, injection, and oral medication.
Surgery: In some rare cases doctors might recommend blood vessel surgery as treatment for ED. This form of surgery entails bypassing any obstructed arteries in the penis.