Erection problems are still taboos in a partnership. It is important to talk about it in detail. Here are the possible reasons for erectile dysfunction and why Viagra is not always the best choice.

Erectile dysfunction is much more common than you might think. Regardless of whether the problems occur occasionally or permanently: Most men prefer to hide in embarrassing silence instead of actively looking for a solution.

What is erectile dysfunction?

Colloquially one often says “impotence”, but that has a pejorative undertone. Correctly it is called “erectile dysfunction” (ED) or erectile dysfunction. This is the inability as a man to get or keep an erection so that fulfilling sex is impossible.

If this has only happened once or twice for your partner, then don’t panic. It happens to everyone. One only speaks of erectile dysfunction if the breakdowns in bed last longer than three months. Good to know: Premature ejaculation or infertility do not belong in the category of erectile dysfunction.

How common are erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction mostly occurs in men over 40. It is estimated that six million men in every 100 million are affected by this chronic sexual disorder. A survey shows that the phenomenon affects all age groups, but the frequency increases sharply with advanced age. Only 2.3 percent of the men under 40 surveyed have erectile dysfunction.

After that, the numbers increase significantly: According to the impotence self-help service, 9.5 percent of men between the ages of 40-49 suffer from erectile dysfunction, 15.7 percent between the ages of 50-59, every third man between the ages of 60-69 and every second between the ages of 70-80. Regardless of whether it is a temporary symptom of fatigue or a real dysfunction: Erectile dysfunction causes a lot of frustration in bed and many men suffer very much from the fact that they no longer “function”.

The causes of erectile dysfunction

Organic causes :

  • Hormones: For over 50 years, a testosterone deficit promotes erectile dysfunction. Hormones: For over 50 years, a testosterone deficit promotes the occurrence of erectile dysfunction.
  • Neurological causes, for example multiple sclerosis (MS), paraplegia or stroke. But diabetes patients and men who have had a prostatectomy also belong to this category.
  • Many cardiovascular complaints trigger erectile dysfunction because the erectile tissue of the penis is insufficiently filled with blood as a consequence of the circulatory disorder. High blood pressure, alcohol, smoking, obesity and lack of exercise also have a negative effect.
  • Medicinal causes: Some treatments can lead to dysfunction. This applies to antidepressants, hormonal treatments, neuroleptic drugs, antihypertensive drugs, and anticonvulsants.

Psychological causes :

  • Individual causes can be: stress, feelings of fear, depression, fear of failure.
  • Causes in the relationship: Conflicts within the relationship, a separation or a negative attitude of the partner can also lead to erectile dysfunction.

What to do with erectile dysfunction

When it happens, both partners should try to stay positive. Above all, as a woman you shouldn’t think too quickly that your lack of stamina is inevitably related to your feelings or your desire for your partner. It is better to try to defuse the situation and look for a solution together.

Before going to a doctor, couples can first try out new sex games in which the best part of the partner is not necessarily needed, that is to say: without penetration. This can be massages, oral caresses, caresses, kisses or petting. This helps him to relax and to forget any pressure to perform. However, if the problems persist, he should see a doctor.

Drugs against erectile dysfunction: Viagra and Co.

The good news: erectile dysfunction can be treated with medication. It is important to talk to the doctor because the medication requires a prescription.

The best known drug for erectile dysfunction is certainly Viagra. The effects of Viagra were discovered by chance over 25 years ago. The pharmaceutical company Pfizer actually wanted to research a drug for high blood pressure. When this was tested on test subjects, miners in England, surprising side effects occurred. Among other things, the men reported erections that lasted for several hours. The chance find brought the company billions in profits.

How does Viagra work?

What many do not know: Viagra only works if you are sexually aroused. If there are psychological causes behind the erectile dysfunction and the man is not aroused because of it, the blue pill cannot ensure a stable erection either.

How Viagra & Co. works

The so-called PDE-5 inhibitors ensure that the blood flow in the penis or in the central nervous system is increased in order to create all the conditions for an erection. The active ingredients help to get and keep an erection – although sexual stimulation is of course still necessary.

  • Active ingredient Sildenafil (Viagra): The effect is noticeable after about half an hour and lasts for about 3-4 hours.
  • The active ingredient Vardenafil (Levitra) is taken 25 minutes before intercourse. The erection usually lasts for 4-5 hours.
  • Active ingredient Tadalafil (Cialis): Unlike its competitors, this pill can be swallowed 12 hours before sex. The effects last up to 36 hours after ingestion.

IMPORTANT: Under no circumstances should you take more than one pill per day. The different preparations must not be mixed. These drugs are not suitable for patients with severe heart failure, kidney disease, or severe angina pectoris. It is best to always consult a doctor beforehand.

Erectile dysfunction: which doctor is the right one?

Even if the man is reluctant to trust a doctor, one should motivate him as a partner to do so. After all, certain erectile dysfunction can indicate more serious illnesses. That is to be excluded. The first point of contact is the family doctor.

The doctor will have a detailed discussion with the patient for this. This is usually followed by a physical exam. The doctor checks the liver and groin, penis, testicles and prostate, among other things. Depending on the results of the physical examination, the blood values ​​(for example blood count, blood sugar, hormones) are checked. The erectile tissue and blood vessels can also be examined by means of an ultrasound examination. Then the next steps will be discussed, whether medication etc. are prescribed.

Mechanical treatment options

Yes, there is too: the vacuum penis pump. Sounds bad, but it is an efficient tool. The penis is placed in a clear plastic tube. Then a pumping mechanism is used to generate negative pressure, which causes blood flow to the erectile tissue. The penis thus achieves the usual stiffening.

There is a rubber ring at the base of the penis, which maintains the erection even if the device is removed. The penis or potency pump is particularly recommended if the drug treatment proves to be unsuccessful or Viagra and Co. are not allowed to be taken for health reasons.

Image source: Getty Images

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