Sorry is the Hardest Word when it comes to Impotence
Without proper communication and understanding, impotence can be a source of great misunderstanding and embarrassment. But thankfully those days when the word was muttered in hushed tones are gone. Impotence or erectile dysfunction (ED), as it is also known, is no longer a taboo subject, says NHS UK.
“It is estimated that half of all men between the ages of 40 and 70 will experience some degree of impotence (ED).” NHS UK
But what causes erectile dysfunction (ED), and what treatments are available? Let’s take a look at some possible triggers, and also check out the best medications and natural, herbal remedies.
Causes of Erectile Dysfunction. Why does it happen?
It’s all about blood flow and the narrowing of blood vessels to the penis, so high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes are pre-cursers. It can also be due to injury, either directly to the penis, or as a result of a head-on spinal injury. ED can strike at any stage of adulthood, but the incidence among older men is higher due to conditions which cause hardening or obstruction of blood vessels.
Important: At any age, the onset of ED can be a warning sign of an underlying medical condition, so a visit to the GP can be a lifesaver.
Uncertainty about the cause of your problem can make you feel stressed and that’s the last thing you need. NHS UK gives helpful advice and information around the condition.
If left unaddressed, ED itself can lead to depression, so communication is vital. Talking candidly with your partner (who may be worried that you have simply lost interest), can itself begin the process of banishing those demons. Also, a frank discussion with your GP may help you decide on the most appropriate course of treatment.
The UK counselling service ‘Relate’, has some excellent information to help both you and your partner understand what’s really going on.
A few possible anxieties you may not have regarded as triggers to ED are:
- Childhood trauma such as sexual abuse or rejection
- Low body image, including being overweight
- Worry over the loss of job or debt
- Family planning issues, including trying to conceive
- Relationship issues ― anger is a big libido killer
NOTE: Recent news from the BBC reveals that the soaring number of young men seeking help for ED may be due to easy access to porn from smartphones. Graphic visual stimulation is addictive and results in failure to become aroused with a real-life partner. ATSAC (Association for the Treatment of Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity) are there to help.
Apart from the obvious, such as smoking, recreational drugs and booze, here are a few possible ED triggers:
- Insufficient exercise
- Following bladder or prostate surgery
- Diabetes and cardiovascular conditions
- Nerve damage (including head or spinal injury)
- Over 3 hours a week of cycling with a narrow saddle
The Senior Years
Nature often plays cruel tricks. The spirit may be raring to go, but the body decides to go on strike and this situation is not exclusive to the male of the species. Women can also experience loss of libido and inability to get aroused as they get older. It’s quite unfair that their problem doesn’t present in such an overtly physical way – women can at least get through the procedure!
Best Erectile Dysfunction Treatments
Take a sneaky peek at the NICE guidelines for medical practitioners. These recommendations are put together by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence to be passed on to patients.
To help you choose the best ED treatment, NHS Choices give well-researched information based on many clinical trials and studies.
Best Pharmaceutical Medications for Erectile Dysfunction
Drugs in the PDE-5 inhibitor family, such as Viagra, Levitra and Spedra, are the most widely used treatments for helping to overcome ED. They may tend to somewhat inhibit spontaneity as they have to be taken about 30-60 minutes before sex, but their potential effect lasts for up to 8 hours.
There is a drug called Cialis, which lasts for 36 hours and for this reason, it’s nicknamed ‘the weekend pill’.
Note: These drugs do not increase libido, but work by allowing you to physically respond to sexual stimulation. They are only available on prescription and it could be dangerous to purchase them from any other source.
Best Herbal (Natural) cures for Erectile Dysfunction
Certain herbal extracts have stood the test of time as remedies for ED. In pill form, one of their advantages is that they can be taken regularly as a natural panacea. Initially it may take longer to feel the effects, but once they kick in, the benefits are with you constantly, so spontaneity is no problem.
Some of the most powerful and effective natural ED supplements are combinations of several tried and tested herbs. Natural extracts were first discovered in countries such as China and Brazil where they have been used by the indigenous people for centuries. Many have also been the subject of lengthy trials and studies.
For more background information and details on natural alternatives read our article on the best herbal alternatives to viagra.
Caution: ‘Natural’ does not mean they are automatically safe to take with certain other medications, so do check that it’s okay to use herbal preparations with any other drugs you are taking, particularly nitrates.
And by the way, it’s important to find the best treatment for you. Everyone is different and what suits one person, or couple, may not prove effective for another. Remember, the choice is yours, so don’t be afraid to experiment. You may need a little patience but you will undoubtedly hit on the best prescription or herbal treatment that will do the trick.
Have Your Say
- Do you find it difficult to talk to your partner and/or GP about ED?
- Would you be open to giving herbal ED supplements a try?