Erectile dysfunction (ED) is when a man is unable to get or keep an erection that is adequate for satisfactory sexual intercourse. Erectile dysfunction is fairly common and can affect quality of life, confidence and self-esteem, as well as
contributing to relationship difficulties. ED can be treated, so if you are affected, talk to our pharmacists so that the reason for
the ED can be assessed and you can receive help.
Many men have erection problems at times. These problems may be temporary and related to psychological and lifestyle issues (eg, stress, too much alcohol, performance anxiety). ED does become more common as men get older.
About 4 in 10 men over 40 will have erection problems. Sometimes, the problems are more persistent and related to
underlying physical and/or psychological reasons.
Getting an erection involves co-ordination of nerves, blood vessels and hormone pathways for the blood vessels of the penis to relax and widen, to fill with blood and make the penis hard and erect. ED can be caused by both physical and psychological factors.
Physical factors include problems with the blood vessels or nerves of the penis, hormonal problems or problems with the structure of the penis. Neurological problems such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, nerve problems to diabetes, and spinal cord injury can also be associated with ED.
Many other medical issues can affect nerves and blood flow too. Other things that can affect blood flow to the penis:
• Too much alcohol
• Having too much cholesterol in the blood
• Lack of regular exercise
• Bicycle riding more than 3 hours per week.
• Some medicines to treat heart failure, high blood pressure, or depression. If you are taking these sorts of medicines and have ED, talk to your GP. There may be other medicines you can take.
Sometimes worries can cause ED, for example:
• Attitudes about sex
• Stress, guilt, depression, or tiredness
• Feeling anxious about your sexual performance
• Relationship problems.
ED may be caused by psychological conditions such as depression or schizophrenia. Medications used to treat these
conditions can also cause ED. If you are able to have an erection at other times such as when you wake up, then your ED is more likely to be caused by a psychological reason than a physical one.
A healthy lifestyle can help to improve erections.
Drinking less alcohol, stopping smoking, being more active and reducing stress can all help.
Speak to our Pharmacists on whether ED medication is suitable for you. If you meet the criteria,we can prescribe it to you.