Erectile dysfunction is described as a problem with erections. It is a condition in which getting and maintaining a penile erection is a questionable aspect for a man. A man finds himself incapable of having firm erections.
The mechanism of erectile function involves various factors such as neurologic, hormonal, psychological and vascular and impairment in any of these factors can lead to the occurrence of erectile dysfunction. The physiologic mechanism of erection in the penis involves a release of nitric oxide in the erectile tissue during sexual stimulation which increases the level of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP). This results in smooth muscle relaxation and an inflow of blood in the penis region. Erectile dysfunction can be treated and there are some ways to treat this sexual problem.
Drugs to treat erectile dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction can be treated using oral drugs. There are various drugs that can be used to treat erectile dysfunction but the oral inhibitors of phosphodiesterase type 5 are well known to be the treatment of choice for the management of erectile dysfunction. Sildenafil, tadalafil, and vardenafil are the most recommended drugs for the treatment of erectile dysfunction as these drugs are considered to be potent, reversible and competitive inhibitors of phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5). The most common cause of erectile dysfunction is insufficient relaxation and blood flow to the penis region and PDE5 inhibitors causes relaxation to the muscle cells in the penis and increase blood flow. Although all the three drugs, sildenafil, tadalafil, and vardenafil work by inhibiting PDE5 and increasing the penile blood flow but these drugs have different chemical structures and pharmacological properties.
- Tadalafil - For erectile dysfunction, it is used under the name of Cialis. The time to maximum serum concentration after taking a single dose is two hours and it has an onset of action as early as 16 minutes. Also, the efficacy of this drug is not affected by the food and it can be consumed with or without food.
- Sildenafil - It is used under the brand name of Viagra and the time to maximum serum concentration after taking a single dose is one hour. It is recommended to avoid taking food before taking this drug as fatty food can lead to delay in the peak level concentration.
- Vardenafil - It is sold under the name of Levitra and the time to maximum serum concentration after taking a single dose is 0.7 hour.
Yes, certain lifestyle changes can also help in preventing and treating erectile dysfunction. Although, phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors are very effective in treating this sexual problem but bringing some changes in the lifestyle can help you manage the problem in a better way. Some of the changes include:
1. Eating habits
Eating habits can have a direct effect on the penile function. Some food that can cause problems with erections, whereas some food can help you treat erectile dysfunction. For example, fried food can affect heart health and it is very well known that most of the time, erectile dysfunction is the early symptom of cardiovascular disease. On the other hand, pumpkin seeds have long been identified as an important food for sexual health.
2. Limit the sugar intake
Limiting the amount of sugar intake is also an important step to maintain sexual health. The high sugar level in the blood is closely linked to the impairment of erectile dysfunction. An adequate amount of blood flow to the penis region is an important aspect to attain a penile erection and high blood sugar level can damage the nerves that carry blood to the penis. Diabetes mellitus, which is defined as high blood glucose level is one of the main cause of erectile dysfunction.
3. Quit Smoking
Smoking is injurious for everyone but with respect to men’s sexual health, it has a major effect on the penile function. Smoking leads to the endothelial dysfunction and as a result, decreased nitric oxide. Nitric oxide plays an important role in getting firm erections. Also, it is very well known that cigarette smoking consists of various harmful chemicals and these chemicals affect blood vessels that carry blood. All the nerves of the body are affected by these chemicals, including the nerve that carries blood to the penis.
4. Reduce stress
Stress is an enemy of a healthy life. Reducing and managing stress level is important to attain a healthy body. Erectile dysfunction is caused due to various factors and psychological factors are one of the common factors that lead to an impairment in erectile function. Stress has an impact on the libido and sexual desires are immensely important for satisfactory sexual intercourse. Stress also increases the level of the hormone cortisol which negatively affects the erection system.
Exercise is key to a healthy life. Regular exercise is beneficial to treat various health problems, including erectile dysfunction. There are many exercises that play a magical role in treating erectile dysfunction such as pelvic floor exercise. Yoga is also a good option to get rid of problems with erections.