About ED meds explained
ED meds help with treating erectile dysfunction, i.e. regular difficulties getting or maintaining an erection for a satisfying sexual intercourse. It’s not strange to have problems getting hard occasionally, but when it starts happening regularly that can be a sign there’s something going on.
If you’ve ever experienced troubles to get an erection, you know the emotional whirlwind that follows – shame, embarrassment, frustration, and anxiety settle in, especially if the problem persists. But, you’re not alone. Half of all U.S. men between 40 and 70 years of age have experienced this.
Although ED is bothersome, it usually isn’t serious and can be treated. The seriousness of this condition lies in the fact that it can be a warning sign for an undiagnosed health condition such as depression, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. There are also some other possible causes for ED such as being stress, relationship difficulties, being overweight, smoking, drinking too much alcohol, certain medications, or hormonal problems.
That’s why you shouldn’t try solving your ED problems by yourself, with ED meds or other medications without going through evaluation with a licensed medical provider who can determine the cause and prescribe an adequate treatment.
The various faces of ED
ED can manifest in various ways: men can’t get an erection at all, or can get an erection sometimes, but sometimes can’t, or can get an erection but can’t keep it, or can become somewhat erect, but not enough to begin or complete sexual intercourse.
The definition of ED doesn’t include low sex drive or premature ejaculation. These are entirely different issues. While ED isn’t necessarily a severe medical disease itself, it can have psychological and emotional effects – unhappy sex life, loss of intimacy with partners, anxiety, and depression. In some cases, ED can stand in the way of conceiving a child. Unfortunately, many of the emotional outcomes of ED further contribute to the psychological causes of ED, resulting in a vicious circle that is not easy to get out of.
The causes of ED
Sometimes men accept ED as a natural part of aging, but it isn’t. It’s true that the risk of experiencing it does increase as men get older, but that’s because the underlying causes of ED become more common with age. The list of conditions that can contribute to erectile dysfunction includes high blood pressure, heart and blood vessel damage, obesity, nerve damage caused by diabetes or nerve injuries, prostate surgery, stress, anxiety, depression, fatigue, as well as alcohol and tobacco use. Due to the many potential factors, the most important step in treating ED is determining the underlying cause.
How can ED meds help?
Well, ED meds are a standard treatment for many men, since they are most effective. ED meds can help you get and keep an erection with sexual stimulation and assist in your physical ability to complete desired sexual activities.
There are four major oral options on the market:
- Sildenafil – Viagra and generic Sildenafil
- Tadalafil – Cialis and generic Tadalafil
- Vardenafil – Levitra, Staxyn
- Avanafil – Stendra
Basically, these medications all work the same way. However, there are a few differences – in price, time to start working, duration of working, and side effects. Also, some of them can be used as daily pills, some as needed.
It’s important to note that oral ED drugs are not aphrodisiacs. They can’t increase your libido or sexual desire. They also can’t help all men with erectile dysfunction problems. For example, you may not respond to ED meds if you have a medical history with diabetes or prostate surgery. Moreover, these medications can pose a risk for men with some medical conditions.
When to avoid ED meds
Aside from their ability to solve ED, these medications also affect some other processes in the body. For example, Sildenafil (the active ingredient of Viagra) is also used to treat pulmonary hypertension. Therefore, you should avoid taking ED meds if you have hypotension (very low blood pressure), heart disease or heart failure, and if you are taking nitrates or nitroglycerin. In case you take any blood pressure medications, you need to tell your doctor before starting any ED treatment.