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Erectile Dysfunction

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Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability of a man to achieve and sustain an erection, such as with impotence or premature ejaculation. It is a disorder that impairs the flow of blood to the penis so it remains soft. Men of any age can experience erectile dysfunction but it is more common over the age of 65. All men normally experience the inability to ‘get it up and keep it that way’ at some point over their lifetimes but there could be a problem if this condition is present more than twenty five percent of the time. ED is not to be taken lightly as it can create and foster stress, lead to relationship problems and negatively impact both a man and his partner’s self esteem. The good news is that it can be treated and the three most common ED medications are Cialis, Levitra and Viagra.


What causes Erectile Dysfunction?

The source of erectile dysfunction can be either physical, psychological or a combination of both. Here are some of the physical factors that contribute to ED: Heart disease, diabetes, obesity, multiple sclerosis, stroke, fatigue, over use of alcohol, tobacco, brain and spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s disease, hormone imbalances, high blood pressure, liver or kidney failure, low testosterone levels, street drug abuse and radiation treatments. One more physical cause of ED can be prolonged bicycle riding. The pressure from the seat cuts off the flow of blood to the nerves of the penis (you’ll know you’ve been on the bike to long when your penis goes numb). There are over 200 commonly used prescription drugs that have been shown to contribute directly to impotence. For example some antidepressants and blood pressure control medications will do this.


Psychological factors can also be a source of ED. Psychological factors may include but are not limited to: depression, anxiety, stress, relationship friction, and fatigue.


It is important to note that ED is caused far more often by a physical reason than psychologically or from aging. In fact impotence or premature ejaculation can indicate a more serious health issue and is often the first sign of another underlying problem. Pay attention. Go to a medical doctor. Talk to your partner. Help is available. Unfortunately the statistics show that only about 10% of men suffering from a limp noodle will seek medical advice. This is mainly because of the sheer embarrassment many men may experience when it comes to “laying it on the table” so to speak.


Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction

There are a wide range of products and services available to help cope with erectile dysfunction. Everything from ‘Yoga for Your Dick’ (not joking) to penis pumps, penis patches, penile implants, penile prosthesis, vacuum devices, ring pulses and surgery. There are prescription erectile dysfunction medications, herbal remedies, urethral suppositories, injections and hormone replacement therapies.


The cause and severity of your impotence will determine the best form of treatment for you. This problem not only affects men but their partners also. Many a partner has been known to shoulder the responsibility for the dysfunction by feeling ineffective or inadequate to the task. They too can take a blow to their self esteem. Psychological erectile dysfunction can often be treated with counseling and/or sex therapy. This approach also has the added benefit of helping everyone in the relationship.


If the ED problem is physical in nature, medication may be what is required to firm things up. According to new guidelines released by the American Urological Association**, they recommend the best solution is taking Viagra, Cialis or Levitra orally. All three of these drugs have been FDA approved and report success rates of 70% – 85%. These ED medications are all enzyme inhibitors that increase the levels of nitric oxide which dilates the blood vessels, fills the penis with blood and naturally produces an erection. They have been proven to be safe and effective. Men already taking nitroglycerin for heart issues or anyone taking any other nitrate medications must not take Viagra, Cialis or Levitra. Please refer to the product information pages about these Erectile Dysfunction medications for more information and health warnings: Cialis, Viagra, Levitra.


Diet and Erectile Dysfunction

Diet has no direct effect on the cause or cure for your “sleeping tiger”, and although some people swear that raw oysters really do work, alas there is still no real evidence. For those of you out there suffering from this awkward condition just remember that you could be worse off. Yes, you could be dealing with the much trickier to treat malady, the “lop sided erection”.


**The American Urological Association (AUA), founded in 1902, is the premier professional association for the advancement of urologic patient care. Visit