Erectile Dysfunction: Donít Let It Keep
Anna stood at the foot
of their bed, awash in the forgiving glow of a dozen tea light candles. She was
still a beauty, draped in a soft silk nightie that clung to her body in all the
right places. Joe couldnít believe 20
years had gone by. She slipped between the satin sheets and whispered in his
ear. He turned and looked deeply into her eyes. What he said made her jaw drop...
ďNot tonight, dear. †I have a headache.Ē
Did your jaw drop too?
Thatís because, historically, women have owned that classic
excuse for turning down sex. But women are not the only ones who suffer a lack
of libido or other sexual obstacles on the journey toward their golden
years.† At least 20-25% of US men may
lose interest in sex as they reach middle age.
While libido issues are a problem for some men, their biggest
nightmare is not that theyíll lose interest in sex, itís the fear that they
wonít be able to perform when they want to have sex.
Erectile dysfunction (ED)
-- formerly called impotence-- is the inability to obtain or maintain an
erection for satisfactory sexual activity. And thatís a real downer.
Over 18 million American men suffer from ED, making it much more common than low libido.† While it can occur at any age, itís seen more
often in men over 65.
The most common physical and psychological causes of ED include:
diseases, like diabetes or heart disease; kidney, lung or liver disease;
or diseases of the veins, arteries and nerves, especially where blood flow
to the pelvic area is restricted.
abnormalities, such as low testosterone.
drugs, including antidepressants, tranquilizers, antihistamines, blood
pressure and prostate cancer medications.
for prostate, rectal or bladder may damage erection-controlling nerves.
to the spinal cord or pelvis may damage erection-controlling nerves.
relationship problems with partner.
Fortunately, there are a wide variety of treatment options available
for ED. Which option, or combination
of options, is right for you will depend on the cause and severity of your
condition, and your budget.† However, if
your ED is caused by a medical
condition, the treatment may be covered by your health insurance.
Some of the treatment options for ED
medications (like Viagra, Cialis, or Levitra).† These do not cause an erection, but
merely relax smooth muscles in and increase blood flow to the penis, so an
erection may occur naturally upon physical and/or psychological
stimulation.† They work well for
many men, but differ in dosage, duration, effectiveness, and side effects.
Also, men with certain medical conditions or who take certain prescription
drugs may not be able to take these medications.
E penal injections. If you are not squeamish, this self-administered
needle into the base of the penis will produce an erection within 5-20
minutes, which lasts about an hour. The injections are costly and side
effects include prolonged erection and bleeding at the injection site.
suppositories. Another self-administered therapy for the brave of heart,
this treatment involves inserting a suppository the size of half a grain
of rice two inches into the tip of the penis. Not surprisingly, side
effects include pain, minor bleeding in the urethra and dizziness. It
works like the oral medications.
replacement therapy for hormonal imbalance.
tubes and tension rings to create and maintain an erection.† By hand pumping a hollow plastic tube
which covers the penis, blood is pulled by vacuum action into the penis to
create an erection. Then, you slip a tension ring around the base of the
penis to maintain the erection, remove the plastic tube, enjoy the
erection for as long as it lasts, and then remove the ring when youíre
finished.† Drawbacks include lack of
spontaneity and premature deflation.
implants. Surgically implanted devices along the sides of the penis which
can be inflated to allow an erection to occur whenever and for however
long one is desired. It is expensive and invasive and is often not
considered unless other options have failed. Side effects include
infection from the surgery.
surgery for ED due to injury or
for psychological causes.
therapies, like DHEA and ginseng supplements, may benefit some men, but
for the most part come up short. †
One of the best treatment options is preventative in nature--
adopt a healthy lifestyle which includes diet and exercise to avoid the culprit
diseases which can cause ED. And heed
the advice of Harry
in his book, The Male Biological Clock,
where he warns that if somethingís bad for the heart, itís bad for the penis.
With all the options available to men today to prevent or
treat ED, there is no reason to ever
play the ďheadacheĒ card. You should be able to get a rise out of life at any