Impotence is a condition that affects many men of all ages and prevents them from getting an erection. It is also known as erectile dysfunction, and is typically diagnosed as a medical condition if it happens regularly.
The best treatment will depend on what's causing your impotence. So the first thing to do is to try to understand why you're suffering from this condition. Thus, a health check up with your doctor is highly recommended before seeking treatment.
What is impotence?
Impotence is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for sex. It can be caused by a number of factors including:
- obesity & cardiovascular disease
- prescription medicines
- physical injuries & diseases
- psychological issues
Impotence affects around half of all men aged between 40 and 70. But it is not simply a condition for older men - one study found that around 1 in 4 men with impotence were under 40.
There are many treatments for impotence, but typically they fall into two categories:
- Short-term treatments (i.e. Viagra)
- Long-term treatments of the cause (i.e. lifestyle changes)
Generally, a combination of the two will lead to the most satisfying improvements. Below we have listed the most common types of short and long term impotence treatments.
Short-term Impotence Treatments
Viagra and Other PDE-5 Inhibitors
The most popular type of short-term impotence treatment is the PDE-5 inhibitor. This is a type of oral tablet taken before sex to help temporarily increase blood flow to the penis. The most well-known PDE-5 inhibitor is Viagra, but there are several effective alternatives. Click here for viagra alternatives.
PDE-5 inhibitors are not aphrodisiacs - so you will still need to be aroused for them to work. They also have to be taken around 15-60 minutes before sex, depending on the type, and tend to last for 4-6 hours. The only exception to this is Cialis, which can last for up to 36 hours. You should try to avoid eating a heavy meal and drinking more than a couple of units of alcohol before taking a PDE-5 inhibitor. As these factors can limit the effectiveness.
Short-term treatments (such as Viagra) are available to order online through services such as LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor. To make an order simply visit our online clinic, select a tablet, then click “Start Online Consultation”.
Vacuum pumps and constriction rings can be viable options for men who want to treat their impotence in the short-term. A vacuum pump is a device placed over the penis and pumped to induce an erection. Once erect, a constriction ring is placed at the base of the penis to trap blood in the area. This allows a man to maintain an erection during sex. Vacuum pumps and constriction rings can be used together and have proved very effective for some men.
Long-term Treatments for Impotence
Long-term impotence treatments are more complex as they are related to the causes of your erectile dysfunction. These causes generally fall into three categories: physical, psychological or lifestyle factors.
Physical Causes & Treatments
Physical causes of impotence can include:
- injury to the penis
- Peyronie’s disease
- heart disease & high cholesterol
- high blood pressure
- Parkinson’s disease
- hormonal conditions (such as hypothyroidism)
There are many physical conditions that can cause impotence, so there are a great variety of treatments. But in the case of common conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and high cholesterol, a typical course of treatment will involve exercise and healthy eating.
Psychological Causes & Treatments
Depression, stress and anxiety are three common causes of impotence that can also occur as a result of impotence. This can create a negative psychological spiral. Impotence could start as a physical condition, but this could lead to low self-esteem which could result in anxiety around sex. Thus making the problem worse.
Often counselling is recommended to help men resolve feelings of anxiety, depression and stress around sex. It can also be helpful if the patient has had negative experiences of sex. Equally, couples' therapy can be beneficial if there have been problems in your relationship.
Antidepressants (amongst other prescription medicines) can actually contribute to a decreased libido or impotence. Thus, counselling is advised in place of medication if you are finding yourself affected by impotence.
Lifestyle Factors & Treatments
Lifestyle factors are typically related to unhealthy practises in your day-to-day life that can contribute to impotence. These include drinking too much alcohol, taking drugs, eating an unhealthy diet and doing no exercise. The negative effects of these bad habits can be far-reaching, sometimes leading to the physical and psychological causes of impotence.
However, in certain cases, healthy practises can also lead to impotence. It has been found that some men who regularly cycle, for instance, suffer from ED. If you think this may apply to you, it is recommended that you take a break from cycling for a few weeks to see if you notice an improvement.
Good Health Overall
Impotence often requires specific treatments. Although, generally speaking: the better your health is, the better your sex life will be. Exercise and a healthy diet can significantly contribute to higher self-esteem, improved stamina, and better mental health. All of which can make a serious difference when it comes to sex and relationships.
To learn more about impotence treatments, visit our online erectile dysfunction clinic.