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Erectile Dysfunction: Information and Treatment Options

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a condition that affects 5-15% of men in America. It is characterized by the inability to attain or sustain an erection for the purpose of sexual intercourse. If left untreated, erectile dysfunction can have negative effects on relationships and self-confidence. Fortunately, erectile dysfunction is a treatable disorder. It's estimated that approximately 60% of affected men in America seek treatment for this condition.

Erectile dysfunction can be caused by numerous factors including medications, illness, alcohol, and tiredness. If you experience erectile dysfunction, be sure to see your doctor. Though it might seem like an embarrassing topic, it's important to determine the cause of your erectile dysfunction because it might be a symptom of an underlying health condition such as heart disease or diabetes. In some cases, treating the underlying condition can completely reverse erectile dysfunction. Other treatments include lifestyle changes and specialized medications that can improve your sex life and your ability to get an erection.


Erectile dysfunction (ED) common causes

Erectile dysfunction can be caused by underlying conditions including cardiovascular disorders and diabetes, because these conditions can affect blood flow to the penis. Other physical causes of erectile dysfunction include:

High cholesterol
High blood pressure
Metabolic syndrome
Parkinson's disease
Multiple sclerosis
Low testosterone
Treatments for prostate cancer
Surgeries or injuries that affect the pelvis

Additionally, certain medications have side effects that can cause erectile dysfunction including diuretics, high blood pressure medication, anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medications, antihistamines, NSAIDs, muscle relaxants, and chemotherapy drugs.

Smoking and drinking alcohol can cause erectile dysfunction, as can stress and depression. Finally, psychological factors like insecurity, anxiety, guilt, and lack of confidence can cause men to have trouble getting or maintaining erections.


Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction

An inability to get or keep an erection for sexual intercourse is the main symptom of erectile dysfunction.

Symptoms of ED include:
Difficulty attaining an erection
Difficulty maintaining an erection
Low libido and decreased sexual desire

Reduced Sexual Desire?
As they get older, some men find that they are not as interested in sex. Lack of sexual desire in men can be caused by many different factors, including alcohol and drug abuse, certain medications, low testosterone, diabetes, head injury, or an underactive thyroid glad. Psychological issues like depression, stress, exhaustion, and relationship problems can also cause reduced sexual desire.

While erectile dysfunction is not the same condition as reduced sexual desire, the two disorders are often related. Fortunately, if reduced sexual desire is caused by erectile dysfunction, getting treatment should solve your libido issues and help you regain a healthy sexual appetite.

If the symptoms only appear occasionally, it's not likely that you have a problem with erectile dysfunction. All men occasionally experience difficulty getting or maintaining an erection. If erectile dysfunction develops gradually and the symptoms are getting worse over time, there might be physical cause. If symptoms develop suddenly, but you are still getting erections at night or while masturbating, the problem most likely has a psychological component and may or may not have a physical cause.


Erectile Dysfunction Self-Test

If you think you might have erectile dysfunction, there is a simple test you can do at home to help determine the cause.

Requirements for the test:
Four to six postage stamps.
Three nights of uninterrupted sleep.
Brief style undershorts that have a fly.
No alcohol or sedatives for at least two days prior to the test.

Pull the penis through the fly of your undershorts.
Wrap a strip of four to six stamps around the shaft of the penis.
Moisten and seal the ring.
When the seal is dry, carefully pull your penis back inside the briefs.
Check in the morning to see if the stamps are broken the perforations.

Interpreting the results:
If the stamps are broken at the perforations at least one out of the three nights, your erectile dysfunction is most likely psychological.
If the stamps are not broken during one of the three nights, your erectile dysfunction is most likely caused by a physical condition.

Report the results of the stamp test to your doctor, as it could help your doctor determine the cause of your erectile dysfunction.


Preventing Erectile Dysfunction

Lifestyle choices can affect you ability to get or maintain an erection. Your doctor should carefully monitor chronic health conditions, especially if you have heart disease or diabetes. Exercising and eating a healthy balanced diet can improve your ability to get an erection. Avoid smoking, excess alcohol consumption, and too much stress.


Diagnosing Erectile Dysfunction

Your doctor may rule out causes of erectile dysfunction with a physical examination including:
Blood tests to check testosterone, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels
Urinalysis to check for an underlying health condition
Ultrasound to check the blood flow to your penis
Psychological evaluation

You doctor will also review your complete medical history and ask questions about your personal and sexual history. Relevant information includes:
A list of your current medications, vitamins and supplements
The frequency, quality, and duration of your erections
Questions about your current relationships and sexual partners

These questions might seem personal, but this information can be an important tool your doctor can use to diagnose and treat the cause of your erectile dysfunction.


Living with Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction can have an impact on your emotions and relationships. It's common for men with erectile dysfunction to feel angry, guilty, frustrated, depressed, sad, and anxious. Don't ignore your emotions. If you are experiencing mental health problems, see to your doctor.

When coping with erectile dysfunction, it's important to communicate with your partner. It's best to be open and honest about your condition. Treatment is often most effective when your partner is there to provide support. If you are having relationship issues with your partner, you can consider couples therapy.

While you are being treated for erectile dysfunction, be patient with your progress and know that sometimes it takes time to see improvements. Don't automatically assume that you are going to have a long-term problem with erectile dysfunction. Try to stay positive and relaxed during the treatment process.


Treating Erectile Dysfunction

There are numerous drugs and treatments available for erectile dysfunction. The cause and severity of your condition will help you doctor determine which treatments will be most effective.

Your doctor might recommend simple lifestyle changes to treat erectile dysfunction like healthy eating, exercise, reduced alcohol consumption, quitting smoking, and stress relieving exercises.

If your problems are psychological in nature, psychotherapy can help you get past your mental barriers. Your partner can help you through the process by developing intimacy and providing support.

Oral medications can also be very helpful to some men, including Viagra, Cialis, Cialis for Daily, Levitra, and Staxyn. Each of these medications increases nitric oxide levels, which relaxes the muscles in the penis and increases blood flow. They vary in dosage and have different side effects. Possible side effects include flushing, congestion, headaches, visual changes, and digestive upset.

Your doctor will help you determine which medication is right for you. These medications might not work immediately, so work with your doctor to find the correct medication and dosage.

Do not take these medications if:
You take nitrate drugs commonly prescribed for chest pain
You take blood thinning medication, alpha-blockers, or medication for high blood pressure
Have heart disease
Have had a stroke
Have uncontrolled diabetes, high blood pressure, or low blood pressure

Let your doctor know if you have or have had any of these conditions. If medications are not a good choice for you, your doctor might recommend a different treatment. Options include penis pumps, penile implants, and blood vessel surgery.


Our Erectile Dysfunction Medications

What is Viagra?
Viagra is an FDA-approved drug used to treat erectile dysfunction, manufactured by Pfizer. It works by relaxing the muscles in the penis, resulting in increased blood flow and an erection. Viagra can be taken orally in 25mg, 50mg, or 100mg doses. For best results, it should be taken 30 to 60 minutes before sexual activity. Viagra will help you get an erection when sexually stimulated, but you will not get an erection just from taking the pill. Side effects are typically minor and include flushing, headache, upset stomach, and diarrhea. You should only use Viagra as prescribed by your doctor. Click here to Buy Viagra

What is Cialis?
Cialis is a prescription medication used to treat erectile dysfunction. Also called "the weekend pill," Cialis is unique because its effects last up to 36 hours. It works by relaxing the muscles in the penis, which increases the blood flow and facilitates an erection. Cialis can be taken orally in 5mg, 10mg, or 20mg doses. For best results, you should take Cialis 30 to 60 minutes before sexual activity. Cialis will help you get an erection when sexually stimulated, but you won't get an erection just from taking the pill. Minor side effects include headache, flushing, cold symptoms, upset stomach, and muscle pain. Only use Cialis as instructed by your physician. Click here to Buy Cialis

What is Levitra?
Levitra is an FDA-approved prescription medication used to treat erectile dysfunction. It is commonly used when other medications fail to work. Like Viagra and Cialis, it works by relaxing the muscles in the penis, which increases blood flow. Levitra can be taken orally in 2.5mg, 5mg, 10mg, and 20mg doses. To get the best results, you should take Levitra approximately one hour before sex. Levitra will help you get an erection from sexual stimulation, but you won't get an erection just from taking the pill. The side effects of Levitra include flushing, runny nose, headache, dizziness, upset stomach, and back pain. Before taking Levitra, consult your doctor. Click here to Buy Levitra

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