This article has been medically approved by Pharmacist Sumaiya Patel - GPhC Reg No: 2215078
Erectile function is a very common issue, especially if you are over 40. This is especially true if you are over 40. In our article below we’ll look at the causes and treatments for erectile dysfunction.
Causes of erection problems
Men occasionally fail to get or keep an erection – this is normal. It can be as a result of stress, tiredness, anxiety, or drinking too much alcohol.
However, if it happens more often, it may be a sign of physical health or emotional problems. You should visit a GP if it is happening regularly.
Treatments for erection problems
Generally, treatments will effectively manage your erection problems and they will go away. There are different treatments depending on what is causing your erectile dysfunction.
If the suspected cause is narrowing of the blood vessels in the penis, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol, treatment will usually be medicine to lower your blood pressure or statins to lower your cholesterol.
If your erectile dysfunction is thought to be caused by hormone problems, treatment may be hormone replacement.
If it’s thought to be a side effect of other medications you are taking, you should discuss your options with your GP.
Medicine such as sildenafil (sold as Viagra) is often used by doctors to treat erectile dysfunction, but it’s also available without a prescription.
There are other medicines like tadalafil (Cialis), vardenafil (Levitra) and avanafil (Spedra) that work in a similar way. These are only available with a prescription from your GP or from Pharmacy2U online doctor.
Home remedies for erectile dysfunction
Healthy lifestyle changes can sometimes help to prevent erection problems from occurring.
- Lose weight if you are overweight
- Cut down or stop smoking
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet
- Exercise daily
- Try to reduce stress and anxiety
- Stop cycling for a while if you cycle more than 3 hours a week
- Avoid drinking more than 14 units of alcohol per week
Do vacuum pumps work?
Vacuum pumps encourage blood flow to the penis, causing an erection. They work for most people and can be used as an alternative to medicine.
If you only experience erection problems some of the time, it might be a sign that it is caused by emotional problems. For example, you get an erection when waking up in the morning, but not during sexual activity.
These emotional problems can be treated with counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Your GP may also recommend sex therapy, either on its own or in combination with psychotherapy.
Advice and support is also available from the Sexual Advice Association. (http://sexualadviceassociation.co.uk/factsheets/for-men/for-men-factsheets/)