Consultation & treatments
What is erectile dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction is the inability to get and keep an erection for sexual intercourse. It is informally referred to as ‘impotence’ and is very common. It especially affects men over the age of 40, but can also be experienced by younger men. A range of effective treatments are available to help. Click below to begin your consultation.
What causes erectile dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction is a condition which affects most men, at some point in their lives. The root cause of this can often be difficult to identify although it is usually affected by mental factors such as stress, tiredness, and anxiety. Lifestyle choices, such as the amount of alcohol you consume and your exercise levels can also be a significant factor.
Physical causes of erectile dysfunction can include:
- A narrowing of the blood vessels in the penis
- High blood pressure or cholesterol
- Hormone related problems, such as low testosterone levels
- Side effects related to medication
When should I contact my GP?
Erectile dysfunction is often a temporary problem. To some degree, it’s estimated that over half of all men are affected at some point between the ages of 40 and 70. However, if symptoms persist then you should make an appointment with your GP to rule out a more serious underlying health concern.
In a routine appointment, a GP would typically ask you what medication you’ve been taking in the last year and details about your relationships, lifestyle including diet, weight and drinking habits, and mental health. You may also consider visiting a sexual health clinic as they are dedicated to such problems and often offer a walk-in service.
For those with busy lifestyles, restricted mobility or limited access to high street pharmacy, our Online Doctor service lets you complete a brief and confidential consultation with a GP. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please always call 999 in the first instance.
What treatments are available?
The potential treatments for erectile dysfunction vary, depending on the underlying cause. Before being advised to try medication, you may be asked to make changes to your lifestyle which could include:
- Losing weight
- Eating a healthier diet
- Exercising more regularly
- Cutting down on excess drinking
As stress can be a contributing factor, it’s helpful to address anything in your life which causes anxiety. If there are psychological issues, a psychotherapist specialising in sexual difficulties may also be able to help you.
There are also prescription treatments available to help overcome erectile dysfunction from our sister company ChemistDirect.co.uk. The most common medicines are known as phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) inhibitors which work by blocking the PDE-5 enzyme in the body, which then increases the flow of blood to the penis.
Viagra (sildenafil) is often prescribed by GPs as a treatment but there are other options available including Cialis (tadalafil), Levitra (vardenafil) and Spedra (avanafil). All of these treatments and more are available via our Online Doctor service.