For as long as man has walked the earth, erectile dysfunction has been a problem. For quite a long time, treatment for this condition was only available in specialised centres and involved using injections of compounds in an ‘off licence’ manner (this occurs where a drug has a specific therapeutic effect for which it’s licensed, but is prescribed for the other effects it incidentally also has). Treatment advanced in the 1990s with the development of two new drugs which were also given by injection into the penis. The discovery of Sildenafil (brand name Viagra) was however the big breakthrough and this became available in the late 1990s. While Viagra is effective over a period of eight hours or so, a longer acting compound called Tadalafil (Cialis) became available in the early ‘noughties’. The difference here was that this tablet was effective for a period of up to 36 hours. Several other variations of these have been marketed since then, including Levitra and Spedra. In the past 18 months or so, the patent for Viagra expired and cheaper generic forms of the drug were brought to market by other manufacturers including the Sidena Brand and the Clonmel Sildenafil formulation.
The severe effects that erectile dysfunction can have on a man are for the most part severely underestimated. Research has shown that affected men wait for anywhere from three to five years before asking for medical help. In the meantime, the problem can have severe effects on relationships and on a man’s self-esteem. The embarrassment factor in asking for medical help is huge as the sufferer is convinced he’s the only person in the universe who has the problem. The reality, of course, is quite different. It’s also important to note that erectile dysfunction affects men of all ages, not just those over the age of 50. As a doctor, I have treated men in their early 20s for the problem. Another point to mention is that frequently, other psychological pressures which can lead to stress are also present. Such issues need to be properly addressed, usually by cognitive behaviour therapy under the care of an appropriately trained counselling psychologist.
If you are concerned that you might suffer from Erectile Dysfunction we recommend you talk to your local GP or you can apply for treatment using our discreet online questionnaire.