THE BLOG

Ten Things You Need To Know Before You Ignore an Unreliable Erection

23/03/2014 23:43 GMT | Updated 23/05/2014 10:59 BST

1. Research conducted at the Australian National University shows that erectile dysfunction (ED) is associated with a higher risk of heart disease and early death in men both with, and without, a history of cardiovascular disease.

2. The most common underlying health condition related to ED is diabetes - between 35% and 50% of men with diabetes experience ED.

3. Prevalence rates for men 18-39 years have previously been estimated at 5% to 9% compared to 44-70% for men aged 60 years and older (Laumann et al, 1999, Selvin et al, 2007).

4. However, recent research carried out by Paolo Capogrosso, MD, of the University Vita-Salute San Raffaele, in Milan, suggests that one out of every four newly diagnosed ED patients is now under the age of forty.

5. Capogrosso also found that 48.8% of younger men were suffering from severe ED compared to 40% older men.

6. Younger patients were also more likely to smoke and use drugs and they were more likely to experience premature ejaculation too.

7. A percentage of men with unreliable erections try to avoid face-to-face contact with a GP by using online pharmacies to obtain prescriptions of Viagra or Cialis. This is risky because drugs such as Viagra should not be taken by anyone with a heart condition.

8. Also, research, admittedly funded by Pfizer, which examined internet Viagra from 22 unique websites found that 77% of the tablets tested were counterfeit.

9. And research by Harte and Meston (2012) shows that recreational use of Viagra can lead to a psychological dependency if men lose their confidence in achieving and maintaining erections that are not pharmacologically induced.

10. Erectile dysfunction can be psychogenic. Occasional failure is more likely at the beginning of a relationship, particularly if a man is anxious. The issue often resolves as confidence grows, but some men get stuck in a loop where their anxiety about staying hard becomes something of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Three or four sessions of psychotherapy can generally sort the problem out.