Although men of any age can be affected, older men are most likely to experience physical complications during sexual activity. The most common difficulty is erectile dysfunction or ED, which is the inability to achieve an erection or to maintain an erection capable of leading to sexual intercourse. The causes of ED vary, but physical conditions, lifestyle, medicines for other conditions, decreasing testosterone levels, and psychological conditions have all been known to contribute to the problem. Although on its own ED is not a medical emergency, it can affect relationships and self-esteem. Some men do not ask for medical assistance, but for men seeking help with ED, there have been recent advances that offer hope.
It is interesting to note that recorded treatment for impotence dates all the way back to 2600 BC, which is evidence that the problem has existed for a long time. The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine listed a twenty-two-ingredient impotence treatment. Around 1600 BC, an Egyptian document advised the topical application of a mixture of wood oil and baby crocodile hearts as a cure. A major development occurred when Dr. Brantley Scott developed an inflatable implant in 1973.
In 1998, one medicine was approved as the first oral drug to treat ED. It was soon followed by another medicine. This was the beginning for Erectile Dysfunction Treatment Meds, and were proven to work for most men. Both work by increasing blood flow but differ in the times they need to work. Viagra is to be taken about an hour before intimacy. However, Cialis is longer lasting and can be taken in a daily dose.
Patients who want to begin taking ED medicines for the first time often have unrealistic hopes and misconceptions as to what to expect. They must be aware that ED medicines do not immediately produce an erection, or do not cause an erection if there is no sexual stimulation. The drugs may not work every time and may not work at all for some men.
More recently, the medical community has explored the use of testosterone replacement therapy, or TRT, to treat erectile disfunction. TRT has been shown to improve sexual function, but as with most medicines, some risk and side effects are involved. The FDA recently issued an announcement about labeling requirements for manufacturers of TRT to make users aware of a potential increase for the risk of a stroke or heart attack in patients.
Patients with ED are first encouraged to make modifications to their lifestyle, but despite the long-term benefits, these changes are often slow to produce immediate results. Men with the condition most often want doctors to have an answer that will work quickly. One quick answer is a direct injection of medicine which leads to an erection within ten to fifteen minutes with no stimulation needed. Gene therapy and mild intensity shock waves are the potential future of the continued search for a cure.