Erectile dysfunction myths debunked!
21st June 2013
coupleHere at Medical Specialists Pharmacy we deal with thousands of patients every year, many of whom are men of varying ages seeking help with their erectile dysfunction (ED). Therefore, we hear many erectile dysfunction myths and misconceptions, and why men suspect they have developed impotence. We have even experienced a certain degree of shame and embarrassment from some men who seek our help, which should not be the case at all as erectile dysfunction is a fairly common health problem. Since Pfizer’s Viagra burst onto the market in 1998, it has been followed by Eli Lilly’s Cialis and Bayer’s Levitra, all of which offer men a relatively safe and effective treatment to combat erectile dysfunction. As their popularity has skyrocketed in the subsequent 15 years since Viagra emerged, the unrealistic expectations and myths have also increased, which further add to an uncertainty about erectile dysfunction. Here we breakdown the most common erectile dysfunction myths and dispel each of them: MYTH: Erectile dysfunction only occurs in older men. FACT: Although it is something that happens to approximately 4 in 10 men over the age of 40, erectile dysfunction can actually affect men of all ages and as Medical Specialists reported earlier this week, it is now becoming more prominent in younger men. MYTH: Erectile dysfunction is just ‘part and parcel’ of getting older. FACT: The condition may be more common in older men and more stimulation may be required compared to in years gone by, but there is no reason for men to simply accept their sex lives are over once they reach a certain age. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and through the help of oral medications like Viagra, men can still enjoy sex well into their senior years. MYTH: Erectile dysfunction is not medically serious and is simply an upsetting annoyance. FACT: The inability to achieve and sustain an erection, although annoying and sometimes distressing for those who want to enjoy sex, may actually be the early signs of an underlying health condition such as diabetes or heart problems such as high blood pressure and atherosclerosis – where the arteries become hardened. Atherosclerosis can result in a potentially fatal heart attack. Erectile dysfunction may mean atherosclerosis is already present in the heart or brain. Typically, many men with erection problems also have one or more risk factors for atherosclerosis, including: . High cholesterol levels. . High blood pressure. . Diabetes. . Smoking. . Obesity. MYTH: Erectile dysfunction means you are not attracted to your partner. FACT: There could be a multitude of reasons for the inability to achieve and maintain an erection for sex. Not being attracted to the other person could be one, but it is a lot more likely to be another reason, including: . Lifestyle choices such as smoking and alcohol consumption. . A hormonal imbalance. . Neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis. . Emotional problems such as stress, anxiety and depression. . Medications to treat the emotional problems listed above, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have been known to cause sexual side effects. Severity can depend on the particular drug and dose, but may ease over time as the person’s body adjusts to the drug. . The after-effects of surgery for prostate and bladder problems. . Diabetes – An estimated 35 to 50% of men with diabetes also have erection problems. MYTH: Those with other medical conditions besides erectile dysfunction cannot take any ED medication. FACT: Generally, erectile dysfunction medications do not interfere with other medical conditions or medications.  However, men suffering with heart related conditions or taking nitrate drugs should only take ED medications under undergoing a physical examination and seeing their GP first.