Taking Viagra for Erectile Dysfunction?

Taking Viagra for Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile Dysfunction is known to affect 40% of men over 40 years old and it is becoming an epidemic sweeping the UK.

Viagra is one of the most globally recognised prescription drugs, and the first male impotency treatment for Erectile Dysfunction, released to the masses by Pfizer in 1998.

Viagra contains the ingredient sildenafil citrate, which is known medically as a PDE5 inhibitor. Sildenafil helps to increase the blood flow to the penis when a man is sexually stimulated. Many people have the misconception that Viagra will cause an erection to happen instantly, but Viagra still requires natural arousal in order to trigger an erection.

How do men get erections?

The muscles in a man’s penis are normally constricted so that large amounts of blood are unable to flow there. When a man becomes aroused, his brain sends nerve signals to the penis that cause chemicals (cGMP: cyclic guanosine monophosphate, NO: Nitric Oxide) to be released.  These chemicals relax the muscles in the penis, therefore allowing blood to flow in, resulting in an erection.

This process is reversed with the enzymePDE5 (Phosphodiesterase type 5). PDE5 breaks down chemicals that cause the muscles to relax, resulting in the muscles constricting and the blood leaving the penis.

How Viagra works

The sildenafil in Viagra blocks the PDE5 allowing the blood to stay in the penis for longer, as the muscles do not constrict. In other words, Viagra blocks a chemical that causes blood to leave, meaning that there is more blood present to maintain an erection. Viagra does not work without stimulation. It simply keeps these chemicals present for longer, so the penis is engorged for longer.

Then why does more than half the Viagra prescribed fail to work?

The fact is that it is unsuccessful for many men and it may not enable the same quality of erections that men experienced in their youth. Viagra succeeds if the original issue stems from a blood flow problem. But Viagra does not increase testosterone and sexual desire. It does not address the problem of hormonal depletion, ageing, lack of stamina and energy. It does not have any effect on the chemicals that initially lead to an erection and it does not address any of the underlying medical conditions that had caused erectile dysfunction in the first place. Although Viagra is often called as a virility drug, it doesn’t do anything to enhance men’s virility.

Men for whom Viagra is inadequate need to have their cases and overall health status reviewed. If diminished hormone production is the problem then Viagra won’t be the answer. Low testosterone and growth hormone production are linked to an increased risk of mortality, especially from diabetes and cardiovascular events. An erection is more than a hydraulic action and intricate biochemistry is involved. Thus I regard this sexual function as an important bio marker for general health and well being.

Viagra, its impact on fertility

Some small studies have suggested that PDE-5 inhibitors drugs used to manage erectile dysfunction may be detrimental to sperm quality.

If a man has problems secreting his sperm into the female reproductive tract due to erection issues then this is a much bigger systemic problem than any borderline changes in his sperm quality.

 

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