The National Institutes of Health (NIH) says that about 5% of 40-year-old men and between 15% and 25% of 65-year-old men experience long-term erectile dysfunction (ED).
Of course, the NIH has a lot of leeway in what it considers to be ED. They don’t think it’s unusual for men to fail to achieve an erection 20% of the time, and they don’t even think the problem requires treatment until a man fails to achieve an erection more than 50% of the time!
That’s strange, because a batting average of .500 probably doesn’t qualify anyone for admittance to a sexual all-star team.
And the problem isn’t limited strictly to older men. An article in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that 7% of men between the ages of 18 to 29 and 9% of men between 30-39 aren’t able to achieve an orgasm.
You wonder, though, if the problem is even more widespread as ED or the inability to orgasm isn’t something that most men discuss freely with other men.
Clearly, there’s a problem.
The Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
An erection is merely hydraulics. Once blood enters the sponge-like bodies within the penis as result of sexual arousal, an erection is achieved.
Many things can interfere with this process, though, from fatigue, stress, alcohol, old age, lack of sufficient arousal, psychological problems, heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, low testosterone levels, and using drugs like certain decongestants and anti-depressants.
The Beauty of ED Drugs
Erectile dysfunction drugs like Levitra, Cialis, and Viagra, collectively known as PDE5 inhibitors, circumvent many of the aforementioned problems, though. They relax tight blood vessels in and around the penis and allow more blood to surge into it.
Furthermore, there’s also some evidence that they reduce the refractile period, i.e., the time in-between a male orgasm and a second erection.
However, as effective as these drugs can be, they aren’t a cure-all. They can’t circumvent too much alcohol, too much stress, severe psychological problems, or a greatly insufficient testosterone levels.
On the other hand, rest assured that despite what the ads say, you’re probably not going to have an 8-hour erection. That’s simply a marketing department fabrication.
But It’s Not Just About ED
Let’s be honest, here. A lot of men who use PDE5 inhibitors don’t have ED problems of any kind. They use them because they want them as insurance when having intercourse with a new girlfriend for the first time, or when they’re on vacation and hope to perform like sexual supermen. And that’s fine.
Still, like any drugs, PDE5 drugs are not to be abused, taken with too much alcohol, or taken with organic nitrates (short or long-acting nitroglycerin, etc.).
Common side effects – even when not abused or used with alcohol or nitrates – include headaches, dizziness, facial flushing, a runny nose, and indigestion, but those are all pretty minor when weighed against the reward of mutually satisfying sex between you and your partner.
ED Drugs Do Nothing for Arousal
The common misconception about erectile dysfunction drugs is that they magically cause erections that are beyond the control of the individual. The truth is, you still need to be sexually aroused in order to get an erection, and the pills do nothing to stir arousal.
If your sex drive is low or non-existent, PDE5 drugs won’t automatically give you an erection.
However, a low or non-existent sex drive is often tied to low levels of testosterone, but the doctors at Optimal Health Medical Group (OHMG) can test you to see where your levels are at, and, if appropriate, offer you testosterone replacement.
OHMG Offers Several Options
OHMG offers both brand name and generic sildenafil (Viagra), along with generic versions of tadalafil (Cialis) and vardenafil (Levitra). The pills are compounded in our pharmacy and are dispensed as troches, which are flavored lozenges that dissolve in the mouth.
These troches, despite being less expensive than those carried in conventional pharmacies, work exactly like the pill versions, perhaps better, because they’re likely absorbed a little faster than oral pills.
The drugs are available in various doses, so make an appointment with your OHMG physician to discuss which drug and which dosage best suits your needs.