Erectile dysfunction, or impotence, is when a man can’t get an erection, or keep an erection for long enough to have satisfying sexual intercourse.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a lot more common than people think, and most men will experience ED at some point in their lives. It can affect men in their 20’s and 30’s and it is estimated that half of men aged between 40 and 70 will experience ED to some degree.
There are many different causes of ED. Some are medical and some are psychological. Medical conditions that affect the blood supply to the penis and so resulting in ED are:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
Stress, anxiety, relationship problems and even worrying about being able to get an erection can lead to ED and a loss in confidence. These psychological causes tend to be more common in younger men.
Some prescription drugs can also cause ED, along with drinking too much alcohol, recreational drugs such as cannabis and cocaine, and smoking.
If you are having difficulty getting an erection, don’t be embarrassed. Seek medical advice, to find out what may be causing the problem. ED can be treated in the majority of men by tackling the cause of the problem.
Diagnosing and managing medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol may also help.
Erectile Dysfunction Treatments
Specific ED treatments have improved significantly over the years. These include prescribed medicines such as sildenafil (Viagra) and tadalafil (Cialis) that temporarily increase the blood supply to the penis resulting in an erection. These medicines are effective in about two thirds of men experiencing ED.
Speak to your partner; if you ignore the problem and simply avoid being intimate or having sex, they may think they have done something wrong or that you are no longer interested in them. If you have any sexual or emotional issues or concerns, try discussing these with your partner too.
You can reduce your risk of ED by thinking about your lifestyle and making changes such as:
- Watching how much alcohol you drink
- Giving up smoking
- Losing weight if you are overweight
- Exercising regularly
- Not taking recreational drugs
- Reducing stress
Making these lifestyle changes will also improve your general health
Don’t be embarrassed and suffer in silence. If you think you are suffering from ED, speak to your Pharmacist or your GP.
Many pharmacies offer an ED service. You can use our pharmacy locator to check if your local Alphega Pharmacy provides this confidential service. You can ask the counter staff if you can speak to the Pharmacist in private, such as in a consultation room.
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