5 Most Popular Erectile Dysfunction Questions, Answered

Updated on September 24, 2023

Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is a surprisingly common health condition affecting men of all ages. It is characterised by a lack of sufficient blood flow to the penis upon arousal, making it difficult to achieve or maintain an erection for long enough to have sex. There’s a lot of taboo around the subject, due to its sensitive nature, and there’s some myths flying around the internet about it’s causes, who can and can’t get ED, and how to fix it. For this article, we asked the online pharmacy Pharmica their most commonly received questions about Erectile Dysfunction, and here’s what they said.

1. Why do I have Erectile Dysfunction?

The reason guys get erectile dysfunction is because either the erection-ending enzyme PDE-5 is released into the bloodstream too early, causing blood flow to diminish to the penis, or that blood flow is being restricted to the penis for some other reason.

Whilst age is a risk factor, there are several other possible reasons why this is occurring, including the following: 

  • Physical issues:
    • Heart disease
    • Diabetes
    • High cholesterol
    • Injuries to the spinal cord or pelvis
    • Obesity
    • Another medication causing ED as a side effect
  • Psychological issues:
    • Stress
    • Anxiousness
    • Depression
    • Performance anxiety
    • Turbulence in your relationship 
    • Watching too much pornography

2. Is ED rare?

There is a misconception that erectile dysfunction is not a common problem, and that when it does happen, it’s only to a small portion of much older men. This simply isn’t true. Approximately half of men will have experienced erectile dysfunction to some degree by the time they’re 40 years old, which really isn’t old! Past this point, for every 10 years older you are, there’s 10% more chance you’ll experience the condition. Additionally, cases are on the rises amongst younger men, in part due to decreased mental health, an increase in drug usage, and the overconsumption of pornography.

3. Is Erectile Dysfucntion all in my head?

It’s quite common for people to believe that erectile dysfunction is predominantly a mental condition, with either worry, anxiety or “stage fright” leading to the inability to get it up. But this isn’t the case. Yes, psychological factors are the main contributor in some cases, but 80% – 85% of cases of ED are due to a physical issue, usually some other health condition. You should switch up your medication to see if that is causing ED symptoms, or tape a thin piece of tissue paper around your penis to check if you are capable of getting erections; if you get one in the night, the tissue paper should tear.

4. Can I cure ED?

There is no single one-size-fits-all method to prevent ED happening in the future. Yes, there are popular treatments you can take to achieve an erection in the moment, but this won’t stop ED occurring in the future. The only way to do this, other than risky and expensive operations, is to make lifestyle changes to give yourself the best chance of getting healthy blood flow to the penis. Try to increase the amount of exercise you’re doing, particularly in the pelvic region to strengthen the muscles here. Improving your diet to ensure you’ve got the correct amounts of nutrients in your system will give you a fighting chance, as well as cutting down on smoking and alcohol, both of which are known to complicate achieving erections.

5. Which ED medication should I take?

As mentioned above, the PDE-5 enzyme released early is one of the main causes of low blood flow to the penis, as it signals the body to end an erection. ED treatments target this known area, containing PDE-5 inhibitors that prevent this process occurring. Viagra is the biggest name on the market achieving this, and contains the active ingredient Sildenafil, that one can also now buy generically for a lower price. Other popular medications include the active ingredients Tadalafil, Vardenafil and Avanafil, and they’re associated brand name treatments, and can differ in duration and time in which it takes to become active.

Not all erectile dysfunction treatment affects individuals in the same way. Whilst many are 80% or more effective, one active ingredient sometimes simply doesn’t work for others. For this reason you should trial a selection of ED treatments to discover which has the most desirable effect on you.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.