Home General 7 Most Common Questions About Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

7 Most Common Questions About Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

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What are the key causes of ED?

Erectile dysfunction (or ED) is a men’s sexual health condition that causes difficulties with gaining and maintaining an erection during sex and affects many men, regardless of their age or demographics. ED can be caused in case if the blood flow to the penis is restricted or it could be related to an early release of the PDE-5 enzyme that subsides the erection. These conditions could occur due to both physical and psychological causes like obesity, other medication side effects, diabetes, stress, anxiety and depression.

How common is ED?

Surprisingly, erectile dysfunction is quite common and according to recent research, one-third of men surveyed claimed that they never shared the fact that they have ED while experts estimated that almost half of men by the age of 40 have experienced erectile dysfunction. This trend incrementally increases in line with the person’s age, with approximately a 10% increase in the risk of experiencing ED per additional 10 years of age. This condition is also becoming more common among men under 40 due to potential mental health issues as well as drug usage and overconsumption of pornography.

Could ED be caused due to physical or psychological factors?

It is commonly believed that ED occurs due to the potential mental considerations when it comes to sex, including factors like anxiety, low self-confidence, stress or overthinking that could be the cause of the condition. Even though these factors are very relevant and have a significant impact, there is a high chance that your ED could be caused by a physical factor mentioned previously. To establish whether the actual cause of ED is physical or psychological, there are multiple straightforward tests that you can do to identify the cause. First, it is worth checking whether other taken medications could have a side effect of causing ED. Furthermore, another way of checking and monitoring if you are able to get an erection is to check for it throughout different times of day like first thing in the morning or late at night. For example, to find out whether you have erections whilst you are asleep, you could tape a piece of tissues paper around the shaft of the penis to check for tearings and damage later on that would indicate the erection. Therefore, if you can have an erection, then it is likely that the key reason for ED during sex is related to psychological factors.

Can I cure my ED?

Even though there are no straightforward methods of completely curing ED, there are multiple lifestyle alterations that could be done to potentially stop your ED. For example, doing more exercise will improve the body’s blood flow while pelvic floor exercises can help to improve the strength of muscles in and around the penis area. Furthermore, diet quality improvements can have significant positive results on erections, especially in the case if you are overweight or diabetic. In addition, constant consumption of alcohol and smoking are often linked to E. However, the causes are more related to psychological factors, it is worth reflecting and identifying the key stressors like causes of anxiety or depression, especially working together with your partner to reduce those stressors.

These practices could take time to make changes and even if you still are having issues with maintaining an erection there are many clinically tested and proven medications that are effective and fast-acting in terms of helping to achieve an erection.

What is the best ED treatment?

PDE-5 enzyme inhibitors are included in the majority of clinically proved ED treatments like Sildenafil (Aka Viagra or Kamagra) or Tadalafil (aka Cialis). Sildenafil is considered to be the most common, most popular and most effective ED treatment, while its generic form is significantly cheaper than branded Viagra alternative while its chemical composition is equivalent. 

However, ED treatments do not affect everyone in the same ways and therefore trying multiple various treatments could be an effective way to identify what treatments work best for you. Furthermore, key ingredients of various treatments can vary in terms of key factors like duration, activation time and suitability.

For example, Viagra can take between 30 and 60 minutes to take effect with an estimated duration of 4 to 6 hours while Cialis could start its effect under 30 and last as long as up to 36 hours. These treatments can be purchased safely at Pharmica, one of the UK’s trusted online pharmacy.

What are the side effects of ED treatments?

While a significant proportion of men do not experience any side effects of ED medication, there are some common side effects like:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Indigestion
  • Body Aches

However, only 1 out of 10 men experience any side effects and therefore, if you do, it is worth switching to an alternative PDE-5 inhibitor to check if the key ingredient change solves the issues. Also, it is very crucial that you take only take one PDE-5 inhibitor at the same time, ensuring that brands and active ingredients are not combined and consumed simultaneously.   

Does overconsumption of pornography cause ED?

Research evidence highlights the fact that overconsumption of pornography can have a negative impact on your sex life as well as the ability to maintain an erection during sex. One specific study identified that heavy pornography consumers that spend over 300 minutes watching the related content tend to on average rate their sex life lower and also noticed that 45% of those men under the age of 35 had experienced ED. The key reason for that is the sexual desensitisation that is caused by overstimulation from porn. As a result, men’s required simulation to achieve ejaculation is increased, causing potential struggles with achieving the same level of stimulation between the partners easier. Also, the study suggests that it could lead to reduced appetite for sex due to depleted dopamine reserves caused by constant pornography consumption. It is worth noting that the topic of this research only heavily focuses on heavy porn consumers at the moment and therefore there is little to no evidence that indicates less frequent porn consumption can increase the risk of ED.


James Wallace has been an advocate for mental health awareness for years. He holds a master’s degree in counselling from the University of Edinburgh.

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