While it may be not be easy to talk about impotence or Erectile Dysfunction (ED), it is more common than many people realise. With news of a generic version of the ED medication Cialis becoming available, following the brand’s patent coming to an end, the topic is once again high on the media agenda. Here, Stuart Gale, owner and pharmacist at www.oxfordonlinepharmacy.co.uk looks at some of the misconceptions around the condition and reveals the truth behind the most common myths.

It does not mean the end of your sex life

It does not mean the end of your sex life

Performance pressure is all in your head

Well, not exactly… While your ability to get and keep an erection can be significantly influenced by things such as stress, Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is often the result of a combination of physical and psychological factors.

When a man is aroused, the brain sends signals to the blood vessels in the penis, relaxing the arteries and allowing blood to flow in. The veins then close to trap the blood, causing the penis to expand and harden. If this process is interrupted, either physically or psychologically, ED can occur.

Physical factors which cause ED can include: weight problems, lack of exercise, smoking, excessive alcohol intake, high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol. In turn, psychological causes may include: relationship problems, stress or depression.

Erectile Dysfunction can be caused by tight underwear or too much cycling

Neither tight underwear nor cycling are a cause of ED. When it comes to cycling long distances, however, it is recommended that men take regular breaks.

Erectile Dysfunction is something that only affects older men

It’s true that ED is more common in men over the age of 60, however the condition occurs amongst men of all ages. Lifestyle factors such as not getting enough exercise and poor diet actually have a greater impact on erection problems than age!

My lifestyle has no impact on how well I perform in the bedroom

Smoking, drinking and leading a generally unhealthy lifestyle may have an effect on your ability to get and maintain an erection. Both smoking and drinking alcohol could damage blood vessels, impeding blood flow. ED could also be an early warning sign of a more serious health condition such as Diabetes or a heart problem, which will need immediate treatment.

I need to see my GP to get help.

This is actually not the case. ED medication is classed as a lifestyle drug and as such its availability on the NHS is limited. With the emergence of legitimate online pharmacies, more and more men are seeking help from services which are able to offer a quick and discreet solution, that men can access from the comfort of their own homes. The most important thing to know is that ED is treatable and the first step is to speak to a medical professional who can advise on potential solutions.

ED means the end of my sex life

This is absolutely NOT the case; ED is a treatable condition. Often men who suffer from ED can get stuck in a spiral of fear of failure. Taking the right medication can kickstart the process, helping them to overcome any psychological or physical barriers that may be affecting them. The important thing is to get help from a legitimate source.

Drugs such as Viagra or Cialis are the only way to treat ED

There are many ways to treat ED. Oral medication is the most common option and it works well for many men, but there are also alternatives including a cream (Vitaros), which can be applied directly to the urinary meatus or ‘hole’, little pellets also inserted into the urethra (Muse) and injections (Caverject or Viridal) which can be administered directly to the penis.

There’s no way of knowing if the ED meds I bought online are legitimate

This is untrue. All genuine online pharmacies carry the logos of the official regulatory bodies governing the industry. 

These are:

• The GPhC (General Pharmaceutical Council)

• The MHRA (Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency)

• The CQC (Care Quality Commission)

To verify the legitimacy of a site, find and click on the logos and you will be taken through to the pharmacy’s registration pages.

Erectile Dysfunction drugs will boost my sex drive

ED medication does not boost your sex drive. However, if your symptoms are driven by stress or other psychological issues, knowing that you are physically able to respond to your partner can greatly improve any negative feelings you may have towards sex.

I can treat Erectile Dysfunction myself by taking herbal remedies and supplements

ED could be a sign of a more serious underlying medical problem such as diabetes, heart problems or high blood pressure so it’s always worth discussing your symptoms with a medical professional. If you have ED, treating the symptoms with unlicensed medication or unregulated herbal alternatives can put your health at risk. Always obtain prescription only medication via a legitimate source, if a prescription is not required, the medication cannot be verified and as such should not be taken.

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