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Common Questions Answered About Erectile Dysfunction, Treatment Options, And How To Save On Medication Costs
Erectile Dysfunction (ED) can be an embarrassing situation for men to seek treatment because they aren’t able to maintain an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse, but it shouldn’t be as the condition is treatable. However, it would be safe to state on the onset that ED could be the sign of a more serious underlying cardiovascular (CV) condition, like an impending heart attack. Most men feel hesitant to discuss ED with their doctor, so we have compiled a list of some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to erectile dysfunction which will make you more informed and educated about the condition, the treatment options available, and how can you lower the costs of your medication.
What is erectile dysfunction (ED)?
Formerly known as impotency, erectile dysfunction is a physical cause wherein smooth blood flow to the penis is hindered that prevents it from getting hard enough for penetration. This could happen due to clogging of arteries in the penis, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, or hardening of arteries (atherosclerosis). Usually, there are no telling symptoms, so a change in the state of erection is usually the first sign of its onset. Inability to get an erection or maintain the erection, or a reduced desire for sexual activity are other symptoms of erectile dysfunction.
What is the age group most likely affected?
Typically, ED can affect anybody after puberty but the condition usually affects older adults more commonly, with about 50% of men in their 40s to 70s having some degree of ED. In younger men, the condition may occur due to stress-related events, like a job loss, or moving to a new place. It could also happen due to prescription medications they are taking for something else, like anti-anxiety medications. In older men, the condition is more likely due to physical reasons like high blood pressure or diabetes. Moreover, younger adults are likely to have what is called psychogenic ED, while older adults are likely to suffer from what is known as organic ED.
Is it permanent?
For younger men, ED is usually temporary as it occurs because of emotional or psychological reasons, like emotional trauma, nervousness, or overthinking. There is progressive loss of bodily functions as one ages, and the penis is no exception. In older men, the condition is treatable either using medicine or surgery if underlying health issues like hypertension and blood cholesterol are addressed. Psychological and emotional causes of ED are treatable with counseling and psychological therapy.
Can erectile dysfunction lead to infertility?
Erectile Dysfunction is not a direct cause of male infertility which usually occurs because of low sperm production, sperm abnormality, or blockages in the sperm delivery system. Erectile dysfunction may not have a direct cause of male infertility but it may have similar root causes.
What are the treatments available for erectile dysfunction?
The most common treatment for erectile dysfunction is oral medication that you need to take half an hour to an hour before the sexual activity. Intraurethral suppositories and injectables are given to those who don’t meet the health requirement to take oral medications. Suppositories involve inserting a pellet into the urethra through the tip of the penis, while injectables are injected into the base of the penis. As both are local treatments, the risks of unwanted side effects are minimized.
Non-invasive treatments of erectile dysfunction include oral drugs like Viagra (Sildenafil), Cialis (Tadalafil) and Levitra (Vardenafil), and testosterone therapy. Surgery is less often used wherein a penile prosthesis is implanted, and a pump is used to achieve an erection. In a bendable surgical implant, two semi-rigid silicone rods are surgically implanted that bend downward for urinating, and upward for sex. In an inflatable implant, cylinders filled with fluid placed lengthwise into the penis are implanted. Pressing the pump results in the cylinders inflating the penis for a natural-looking erection.
Think about lifestyle changes before treatment
However, before you decide on any medical treatment, it is recommended to have some shifts in your lifestyle, which includes exercising, getting enough sleep, and eating right. Addressing other issues like stress, inactivity, depression, and cessation of smoking and drinking may also help improve your ED symptoms, and you may need not take medications.
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Disclaimer: The information and content posted on this website is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used as a replacement for medical advice. Always seek medical advice from a medical professional for diagnosis or treatment, including before embarking on and/or changing any prescription medication or for specific medical advice related to your medical history.