Despite being a common health condition, many men find erectile dysfunction (ED) difficult to talk about, or too embarrassed to discuss with their doctor.
Erectile dysfunction isn’t being treated as often as it should be, so here’s some more information about the condition and the treatments available.
Causes of erectile dysfunction
Narrow blood vessels are a known cause for impotence.
High blood pressure, cholesterol, smoking and diabetes can all restrict blood flow to the penis.
Anxiety, depression, nervousness and inexperience have long been known as triggers of sexual under-performance.
An unhealthy lifestyle and lack of exercise can also contribute to the problem.
Treatment for erectile dysfunction
Prescription-only medicines are most commonly used to treat ED.
These include Viagra, Cialis and Levitra, which all work by relaxing the blood vessels around the penis to allow better blood flow.
They generally take effect between 15 minutes and an hour of taking them.
It’s always a good idea to speak to your GP or online doctor about the benefits of these and other ED medicines.
If tablets don’t work, the main message is that those living with ED shouldn’t lose hope, other treatments are available.
Here are some constructive ways to approaching erectile dysfunction:
Do your research. The more you know about erectile dysfunction, the more you can help yourself.
Seek medical advice. Talking to your local or online doctor is crucial to finding out if there is an underlying medical or psychological condition.
Exercise. Working out on a regular basis is a brilliant way to get the blood pumping and improve blood pressure.
Make lifestyle changes. Eat healthily and cut down on smoking and alcohol.
No pressure. Avoid getting frustrated – remember it doesn’t reflect negatively on you. Staying positive and discussing feelings is the most important thing.
* Dr. Alexandra Phelan is a GP with the NHS and Pharmacy2U, an online service which provides free, fast and convenient delivery of NHS repeat prescriptions.