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    Information about erection problems

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      Erection problems can be embarrassing but most men will experience them in some form within their lifetime. The most common erection problem is “erectile dysfunction”. Erectile dysfunction occurs when a man is unable to gain or maintain an erection sufficient for sex. Erectile problems can often be the symptom of an underlying physical condition, so always consult a doctor if such problems affect you on a regular basis. Fortunately a number of medications are available to combat erectile dysfunction: visit our online clinic for more information. 

      Treatments for erection problems

      If you are experiencing problems gaining or maintaining an erection there are many treatments available. Depending on the cause, prescription medications are often the most common treatments and can be very effective. Prescription treatments include:

      • Viagra: The best-known medication. Effective for up to 4 hours.
      • Sildenafil: The active ingredient of Viagra. It is the same medication as Viagra only without the Viagra brand name and therefore significantly cheaper.
      • Vardenafil: The active ingredient of Levitra. It is the same medication as Levitra only without the Levitra brand name and therefore significantly cheaper.
      • Levitra: Similar to Viagra in length of effect but can be taken with meals.
      • Cialis: The longest lasting medication. Remains active for up to 36 hours.
      • Tadalafil: The active ingredient of Cialis. It is the same medication as Cialis only without the Cialis brand name and therefore significantly cheaper.
      • Spedra: The fastest acting medication, Spedra can take effect within 15 minutes.

      Physical causes of erection problems

      Erection problems can often be caused by an underlying health condition. Therefore you should always consult a doctor if you experience erectile dysfunction as it could be part of a much wider problem. Physical causes can include narrowing of blood vessels, nerve damage, and unhealthy lifestyle factors. The following causes are explained in greater depth:

      Narrowed blood vessels

      Narrowed blood vessels make it harder for blood to reach the penis and thus gain an erection. Many conditions can cause narrowed blood vessels such as high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes. The same narrowing that occurs in the heart’s blood vessels also occurs in the blood vessels of the penis. Erectile dysfunction can be the first sign of these conditions - so always get tested for them, especially if you’re over 40.

      Hormonal causes

      With hormonal imbalances, a man maywill often feel unwell in other ways i(such as weight fluctuation) in addition to experiencing erection problems. A low libido is another common sign. Sometimes erectile dysfunction is the only symptom of a hormonal problem.

      Nerve problems

      Many conditions affect the nerve supply. Sufferers of spinal trauma, paralysis paraplegics or men with more widespread nerve problems such as Parkinson’s or Multiple Sclerosis can often experience erection problems. In such cases the nerve problem is obvious before the ED is noticed. Certain operations require the cutting of nerves, which subsequently can affect your erection.

      Medicinal causes

      Certain prescription-drugs can cause erection problems. Medication for depression,  psychotic illness, heart conditions, blood pressure and prostate conditions are all potentially implicated. However you shouldn’t immediately quit a medication regardless of whether it is causing erection problems. These medications treat important conditions. Talk to your doctor before stopping or changing them.


      Certain lifestyle choices can greatly increase the chance of erectile problems. Overweight men more commonly experience problems. Smoking is also a factor as it narrows your arteries. Even a tough heavy working life can result in erection problems as tiredness can affect your libido. Excessive alcohol and the use of recreational drugs like ecstasy can also be causal factors.


      Erectile problems tend to be more common in men over 40. This is largely because conditions that cause erectile problems such as high blood pressure or diabetes generally occur in older men. Men over 40 experiencing erectile problems should get tested as an underlying medical condition is probably the cause. However erectile problems can be a common problem for young men. For young men the cause is likely to be psychological.

      Psychological conditions & erectile problems

      ED isn’t always the result of a physical condition. There are many psychological conditions that can result in erection problems. Some of these psychological conditions may obviously link to ED (such as performance anxiety) while for others ED might only be a symptom of a wider issue.


      Men with depression often experience erection problems. Anybody who has lived with depression will know sex is normally the last thing on the mind. Counselling or certain medications are normally a good step forward.


      Anxiety is another major factor. Anxiety is the most common cause of ED amongst young men. Often this anxiety is related to sexual performance. Unfortunately this can create a self-fulfilling prophecy where nerves about performance cause ED to occur.


      Stress can reduce your libido. This stress might have long-term roots: maybe you are working too hard, being overworked, or not getting enough sleep or are in a period of unemployment. A reduced libido results in a loss of both the desire to have sex and the ability to obtain an erection. More so, struggling to get an erection can bring about further stress.

      Often erection problems can have both a physical and psychological cause which creates a negative spiral. This negative spiral can be difficult to escape from. Counselling can be very useful in combating psychologically caused erectile dysfunction, especially when combined with medication like Viagra for short term treatment.

      Visit our erectile dysfunction clinic and complete an online consultation with one of our clinicians and arrange confidential, next-day delivery to your door.  

      LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor

      This service operates in the United Kingdom only

      LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor

      This service operates in the United Kingdom only

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