Did you know that impotence affects nearly 30 million men across the U.S. and virtually half of all men over the age of 75?
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is nothing to be ashamed of, but being unable to achieve or maintain an erection can still be a very physically and mentally draining experience for men and their partners.
Symptoms and Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
Being diagnosed with ED generally means you have been impotent for at least a few weeks to a few months.In addition to being unable to maintain or achieve an erection, one major symptom is the lack of desire to have sex, especially if you once had a very healthy libido.Everything from stress and lack of sleep, to too much alcohol or major life changes can contribute to impotence. Medical conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and even tobacco can also lead to impotence.
Why Impotence Drugs Won’t Fix All Sexual Concerns
Men who think that taking a “little blue pill” will automatically fix their sexual problems need to think again. According to a survey conducted by researchers at the University of Manchester, most men may take Viagra-like pills as a means to deal with their inability to get aroused, but these men are still dissatisfied with their overall sex lives in general, compared to men who do not suffer from ED.David Lee, a researcher on aging at Manchester University’s School of Social Science, suggests that dissatisfaction occurs because men who take these pills are not just worried about ED—they also worry about orgasms, the intensity of their sexual desires, and how frequently they’re having sex.Lee went on to say that although the sexual functions might have improved for these men, they reported still feeling unhappy with the sexual relationship between them and their partner.Dr. Landon Trost, a urologist for the Mayo Clinic, provides another way to look at it—the men who ask for Viagra-like drugs are actually more concerned with the frequency of their sexual activities, which also means they will be more critical with each experience.In a national survey on aging conducted from 2012 to 2013 in England, researchers surveyed over 2,600 British men between the ages of 50 and 87. The men were questioned about their own sex lives, including whether or not they took sexually-enhancing supplements, such as Viagra or Cialis.Out of those 2,600 men, about seven percent of them said that they used a phosphodiesterase type-5 inhibitor (PDE5i) to improve their erection sometime in the last three months. In addition, 21% admitted to ED, but had not treated it. Nine percent of the men who said they used a PDE5i also reported that they were still having problems with their ED, and 30% were still “concerned” or “dissatisfied” about their sex lives overall, despite the fact that 97% of them reported sexual activity in the past year.
In comparison, only 16% of men who didn’t have ED were concerned about the status of their overall sex lives, and only 18% reported feeling dissatisfied. This suggests that sexual dissatisfaction is not entirely based on ED, but also on the quality of an individual’s overall sex life.
Furthermore, researchers believe that men who take Viagra or Cialis generally tend to have higher blood pressure or diabetes, which can actually prevent or interfere with a man’s ability to reach an orgasm.
Dr. David Samadi, Chief of Urology for New York City’s Lennox Hill Hospital, believes that men who take drugs such as Viagra might also need extra help with the emotional facets of their sexual relationships. Couples should seek counseling or some type of therapy together, along with experimenting with natural treatments and herbal cures for impotence and ED.
5 Herbal Cures for Impotence
1. Panax ginseng
They call this the “herbal Viagra,” and there is extensive research behind this solution. Researchers reviewed seven different studies involving the effects of red ginseng on ED. Men who took three daily dosages ranging from 600 mg to 1,000 mg saw an improvement in their sexual functions.
2. Rhodiola rosea
35 men were given 150 mg to 200 mg daily for three months, and 26 of them reported that they experienced significant improvements in their sexual functions.
3. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)
This is a natural hormone that is produced by your adrenal glands, and can be converted into estrogen and testosterone in your body. A Massachusetts study on male aging illustrated that men who suffered from ED were more prone to having lower levels of DHEA.
In 1999, 40 men suffering from ED participated in a study where half received a 50 mg dose of DHEA and the other half got a placebo for six months. The men who received a daily dose of DHEA showed more signs of improvement on achieving an erection.
This is an amino acid that is naturally occurring in the body. It helps with the production of nitric oxide, which works to relax the blood vessels in order to produce an effective erection.
Researchers conducted a study on the effects of L-arginine in reference to ED in 1999—31% of men who had ED took about five grams each of L-arginine every day and experienced noticeable improvements in their sexual function.
From a 1999 study, researchers discovered that acupuncture actually improved the quality of erections and even restored sexual activity in 39% of the participants. In 2003, another study showed that 21% of ED patients who commenced acupuncture improved their erections.
As always, be sure to consult your doctor before taking any medications or herbal remedies to treat ED.
“Impotence Drugs Don’t Fix All Sexual Concerns: Study,” Drugs.com, April 23, 2015; http://www.drugs.com/news/impotence-don-t-fix-all-sexual-concerns-study-56523.html.
Story, C.M., “5 Natural Treatments for Erectile Dysfunction,” Healthline web site, February 24, 2015; http://www.healthline.com/health/erectile-dysfunction/ed-natural-treatments#Overview1.