Understanding Erectile Dysfunction
To gain an erection, you need a healthy blood supply, a healthy nervous system and sexual desire (libido). Various medical and psychological conditions can affect all of these factors, and therefore result in erectile dysfunction. The most common causes are listed below:
- Narrowing blood vessels - high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes
- Hormonal causes - more common in someone who feels unwell in other ways (such as sudden weight gain / loss), or in someone who has very little libido (sexual desire)
- Anatomical conditions such as Peyronie’s (a bending in the erect penis) or phimosis (a tight foreskin)
- Medication including medicines for depression, psychotic illness, heart conditions, blood pressure and prostate conditions
- Psychological conditions such as depression, stress, or anxiety
- Lifestyle - smoking, obesity, excessive alcohol and recreational drug use can all factor
If you have ED, it is important that you see your GP to rule out possible underlying causes. You should have your blood pressure checked and blood tests for diabetes, high cholesterol and hormonal abnormalities.
If you have any of these then treating them will not only help your ED but may also prevent more serious conditions such as heart attacks and strokes.
Erectile Dysfunction Cures & Treatments
As above, ED has many potential underlying causes and as such, there are many different ways to treat it. In some cases ED may have more than one cause, and prescription treatment may need to be combined with other treatment types to be of the most benefit.
Sometimes ED is not caused by a physical symptom, but rather by stress, performance anxiety, or another underlying psychological condition. In these cases it is common for a patient to undergo counselling in order to address the underlying issue. This may be combined with a medical regime that addresses the problem in the short-term. Once the counselling has resolved the issue, medical treatment can be ceased.
Vacuum pumps - A vacuum pump is placed over the penis, and then a bulb is gently squeezed to remove air from the pump. This gently “forces” the penis to become erect.
Constriction rings - If the problem is not initial arousal but rather a difficulty in maintaining an erection for any period of time, a constriction ring may be placed at the base of the penis. This traps blood in the aroused penis and makes it easier to maintain an erection.
Prescription treatments (medicines)
One of the most effective treatments is a class of prescription medicines called PDE-5 inhibitors. These tablets help men achieve erections by increasing the blood flow to the penis when a man is sexually aroused.
At LloydsPharmacy we have a discreet online clinic for erectile dysfunction run by NHS accredited GPs. Visit our ED clinic today and find out if prescription treatments could work for you.