What Is Erectile Dysfunction?
Although people often think of impotence as a condition that arises as men age, it is, in fact, something that can be caused by a wide range of conditions. It is estimated that around 20 million men in the USA will suffer from impotence at some time in his life.
The condition (which is known medically as Erectile Dysfunction or ED) is defined as the inability to achieve or maintain an erection of the penis in order to perform satisfactory sexual intercourse. There are many reasons why such a condition might exist, yet every cause can be classified under one of two headings:
- Psychogenic impotence, caused by mental or emotional factors, and
- Organic impotence, due to a physical cause, condition or bodily malfunction.
What Causes Erectile Dysfunction?
One of the most common reasons for ED is the natural advance of a man’s years. This clearly represents an organic impotence problem because no-one has (as yet) found a way to successfully prevent aging.
However, impotence can also be a result of the effects of stress (either physical or mental), excessive tiredness, depression (sometimes brought on by an inability to perform sexually) or over-consumption of either alcohol or tobacco. Recreational drugs can be another potential cause. You might even be eating foods that cause erectile dysfunction!
It is also widely acknowledged that some men will suffer impotence as a result of the side-effects of pharmaceutical drugs that they are taking as a treatment for entirely unrelated medical conditions. All of these causes tend to be of a temporary nature because each cause can be isolated – and that means it can be treated as appropriate.
However, not every cause of impotence is going to be quite as temporary. It can often be an unfortunate side-effect of more serious medical problems such as kidney disease, hardening of the arteries, diabetes, high blood pressure or a hormonal imbalance.
The Importance of Professional Help
In any situation where the cause of impotence is physical (and especially in older men who are inevitably more likely to suffer from organic impotence), it is absolutely essential to seek a full medical evaluation before you embark upon any kind of impotence treatment (whether natural or drug-based). This evaluation should include a detailed cardiac assessment, measurements of both blood pressure and lipids, blood sugar tests, and a full assessment of your current lifestyle.
In this ‘current lifestyle’ assessment, it is likely that your healthcare professional will look at – and advise upon – such considerations as weight control, sleep quality management, diet improvement and other similar lifestyle changes that could help to elevate your ability to achieve or maintain an erection.
The fact is, there are many poor health or lifestyle choices that we all make which can eventually increase the chances of suffering erectile dysfunction. These poor choices will adversely affect your overall body condition, and compromised sexual performance is often the result.
For example, if you are seriously overweight, the chances of suffering ED are significantly increased. Too much smoking or drinking is also certainly not going to help. This is exactly the kind of information your health-care provider needs.
Once your doctor has this information, he will be able to isolate the cause of your problem. In most cases, something can be done to reverse it.
Are More Drugs Necessary?
If you have a medical problem that causes impotence, or your condition is a side effect of a medication that you are already taking, it will be sensible to consult your doctor to discover the cause of the problem.
After that, however, you may have to make a decision. It is highly likely that your doctor is going to prescribe pharmaceutical drugs of some sort to deal with your problem. You’ll have to decide whether they are something that you are happy to take.
For example, if you are already on some kind of medication for another condition that is causing your ED problem, your doctor is likely to prescribe an alternative medication to deal with the original problem, an alternative that he believes will not cause impotence. Knowing that chemical-based pharmaceuticals almost always have side-effects, is switching from one such drug to another something that you want to take a chance on?
Alternatively, if the cause of your impotence is a recognized medical or mental condition for which you have not already received treatment, do you want to begin that treatment by taking pharmaceutical drugs?
The Side-effects of Anti-Depressant Drugs
For example, imagine that your impotence problem is caused by depression and your doctor, therefore, wants to prescribe antidepressants. This article from the Harvard Medical School discusses the risks of common types of antidepressant drugs. Look at the side-effects of these drugs, and consider whether or not they are something that you would want to live with.
Of course, there are medical situations that cannot be adequately dealt with by using anything less than serious medical intervention. That inevitably means that there are times when natural treatments are not going to be enough.
However, given the apparent ‘horror show’ of possible side-effects from pharmaceutical antidepressant treatments, there is definitely a strong argument for seeking out natural cures before you turn to pharmaceutical drugs.
We will consider these natural cures in a later blog post. For the time being, however, it’s important to appreciate that almost every pharmaceutical drug comes with side-effects. Even the ‘wonder drugs’ that are used to treat impotence directly are no exception to this rule.
Wonder Drugs for Older Men…
Unlike the previous situation, it was not until recently that effective pharmaceutical-based impotence treatments made their appearance. Since they are now widely available, many millions of men all over the world are able to use them whenever needed.
The modern pharmaceutical drugs that are used to reduce or remove the negative effects of impotence, such as Viagra, Levitra and Cialis, are effective for the majority of men who decide to use them. Their success rate is generally believed to be around 65% to 70%.
In each case, it is necessary to take the drug a certain period of time before the anticipated sexual liaison takes place. This can be as little as one hour before ‘things are to happen’. The effects of the drug can be felt for a few hours afterward. You would only take the drug as and when necessary (although Cialis apparently have an ‘every day’ version of their product as well).
It is therefore fair to say that all three drugs work extremely quickly. That is a significant advantage that drug-based impotence treatments have over the natural alternatives.
All of these drugs are available by prescription only. However, because of the ever-increasing online market for drug-based impotence treatments, there are some places where you can obtain these drugs easily on the net.
For example, use any of the major search engines for information about where you can ‘buy XYZ’ (e.g. ‘buy Viagra’) and you will find that there is definitely no shortage of appropriate information available.
Even if you do not have a suitable prescription, it is still possible to get supplies of any of these drugs online by answering a detailed questionnaire. A doctor who is working with the website from which you are interested in buying can generate a prescription for you.
None of this should be viewed as a recommendation of these drugs, or a suggestion that you should buy them. While it is easy (and getting easier by the day) to buy the drugs online, you should know exactly what you would be buying before considering doing so.
The Risks of ED Medications
Every one of the three examples quoted above is a powerful pharmaceutical drug. This means that there can be side-effects if you use any of these particular products. For some men, these drugs could even be dangerous – as is made clear by looking at the ‘safety information pages’ from the official Viagra, Levitra and Cialis sites.
Even the companies that make these drugs admit that if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, heart problems or any of a range of other medical conditions, these drugs are definitely not advisable for you. They also admit that they can cause unpleasant or even dangerous side-effects such as headaches, backache, stuffy or runny nose and even temporary blindness or deafness.
However, they do mention that there is a risk to taking any of the three drugs if you are already taking nitrate medications, the kind of medications that millions of people take to control heart disease or angina. In fact, the risk of combining nitrate medications and Viagra or any of the others mentioned is extremely serious.
Once again, if you search Google, you will discover that there is an awful lot of information about the adverse side-effects of ED drugs. It cannot reasonably be suggested, therefore, that any of these drugs is completely safe.
This is a critically important factor to consider, particularly if you are considering buying any of these drugs online. Irrespective of how detailed a questionnaire is that a website uses, it can be no substitute for a detailed medical examination.
Think about it this way. If you are answering personal medical questions contained in an online questionnaire, it is obvious that you can only give them information about conditions or problems that you already know about. For many men, it is not going to be the pre-existing medical conditions that they know about which are likely to be the problem. It is the ones which they are entirely unaware of that could potentially be dangerous or even lethal.
If you are considering using a pharmaceutical-based treatment for impotence for the very first time, you must first get yourself properly examined by a healthcare professional, because there is no substitute.
Disclaimer: No content on this site should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health professional.