April 10, 2000 (Mill Valley, Calif.) -- In his early 40s, Ron Hanson was too young to be having trouble getting and sustaining erections. But like many men, he was too embarrassed at first to talk about the problem. Hanson (not his real name) waited seven years to see a urologist. By the time he spoke up, erectile dysfunction had become a household word, thanks to the popularity of the drug Viagra. But the widely touted drug, Hanson soon learned, doesn't work for everyone.
Several studies have shown that erectile dysfunction is somehow linked to problems with cardiovascular health — which one comes first has been the question. It makes sense; the penis becomes erect through a complex system of blood vessels and spongy tissue called the corpora cavernosa — this is where the blood gets trapped, causing the erection. When problems arise through this system, whether they’re caused in the brain or through problems with the blood vessels, the penis can’t get erect.
Consider this:  penicillin, the first successful antibiotic, was derived from molds that inhibit bacterial growth.  Scientists had to figure out why the molds slowed bacteria, and refine the active ingredients.  Using herbal supplements is somewhat like putting mold on a wound.  It might help, a little, but it’s certainly not going to help as much as using penicillin.
Carlo Adrian Cañon is a graduate of Bachelor of Secondary Education major in English from Southern Leyte State University-Tomas Oppus in the Philippines. He has written numerous articles on a variety of topics on men’s health, fitness, and product reviews. He is contributing to consumerhealthdigest.com for men sexual health category. You can follow him on: LinkedIn.
With a vacuum constriction device, the penis is placed in a cylinder with an attached pump, creating a vacuum to draw blood into the penis. Firmness is sustained by a constriction band placed around the base of the penis. The IWA estimates the technique can produce erections for up to 30 minutes. Beam calls the alternative "a good way to go" because it has minimal side effects, but admits it is cumbersome and takes some practice.
Most studies related to male infertility show a clear concise relationship between zinc and ed. During a study some young men were given a diet which included very little amounts of zinc and thus they developed a zinc deficiency. When testosterone levels were measured after 20 weeks of low-zinc diet it was found that the level of the hormone had drastically reduced. The study also found that in elderly men, with an increase in the uptake of zinc, testosterone levels nearly doubled.

The Princeton Consensus Recommendations were developed to provide instructions to physicians who treat men with CVD and ED and answer the most common question: is it safe to take PDE5i and engage in sexual activity? (Kostis et al 2005). Physicians should consider the cardiovascular status of their patients seeking treatment for ED since there is a degree of risk associated with sexual activity. Three risk categories of CVD were described. Patients in the low risk category (controlled hypertension, stable angina, successful coronary revascularization, history of uncomplicated myocardial infarction, mild valvular disease, and no symptoms with <3 cardiovascular risk factors) can be safely encouraged to initiate or resume sexual activity or receive treatment for their sexual dysfunction. Patients in the intermediate-risk category include those with moderate angina, recent myocardial infarction (<6 weeks), left ventricular dysfunction and/or class II congestive heart failure, non-sustained low-risk arrhythmias and ≥3 risk factors for coronary artery disease. These patients should receive further cardiologic evaluation to determine if they can be restratified into the low- or highrisk cardiovascular categories. Finally, patients in the high-risk category should be stabilized for their cardiac condition before resuming sexual activity or receiving treatment for their sexual dysfunction. It is important to emphasize that the use of any form of nitrate with all PDE5i is contraindicated because of the increased likelihood of hypotension.
do not take sildenafil if you are taking or have recently taken riociguat (Adempas) or nitrates (medications for chest pain) such as isosorbide dinitrate (Isordil), isosorbide mononitrate (Monoket), and nitroglycerin (Minitran, Nitro-Dur, Nitromist, Nitrostat, others). Nitrates come as tablets, sublingual (under the tongue) tablets, sprays, patches, pastes, and ointments. Ask your doctor if you are not sure whether any of your medications contain nitrates.
Although they work in similar ways, each oral medication has a slightly different chemical makeup. These minor differences affect the way each medication works, such as how quickly it takes effect and wears off, and the potential side effects. Your doctor will consider these factors as well as any health problems you have and possible interactions with other medications you take.
During an erection, blood flows quickly into the penis, which increases its length, width, and firmness. If the "in" vessels (arteries) are too narrow or if blood drains too quickly through the "out" vessels (veins), men may have trouble achieving or maintaining an erection, says Arnold Aigen, MD, a urologist with Camino Medical Group in Sunnyvale, Calif. Viagra, which increases inflow, may not be strong enough to work its magic if the arteries are too narrow.
But the main challenge to finding the best ED drug for you may turn out to be health insurance rules—not biochemistry. It's a common practice among insurers to limit the number of pills you can obtain per month. After you hit your limit, the out-of-pocket cost for a single pill can be as high as $20. "The main obstacle in my practice is the cost," Dr. Liou says. You'll need to work with your doctor to get the pill you need at a price you can afford.
"The good news is, our study also found that a large proportion of men were naturally overcoming erectile dysfunction issues. The remission rate of those with erectile dysfunction was 29%, which is very high. This shows that many of these factors affecting men are modifiable, offering them an opportunity to do something about their condition," Professor Wittert says.
Hearing loss or vision loss. Some men have had sudden loss of hearing or loss of vision after taking one of these medications. However, it isn't clear whether vision or hearing loss was directly caused by taking the medication or by a pre-existing condition. If you're taking an oral erectile dysfunction medication and have sudden loss of hearing or vision, seek prompt medical attention.
Have you heard about the famous Kegel exercises women often turn to for help? Well, these exercises are not for women only. You can perform them also and get the same beneficial effects as women. Kegel exercises for men are often recommended by many doctors to be used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Kegel exercises will strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. In order to perform these exercises, you will need to locate your pelvic floor muscles (to do that you will need to stop the process of urinating a couple of times) and squeeze them a couple of times. Start performing these exercises a couple of times a day and see the results for yourself.
I'll explain the best exercises for sex below. Know that if you suffer from PE or ED you also need to change the way you are thinking about sex to gain full control of yourself. Not just during sex, but in the lead up to sex as well, so you can reprogram your brain to achieve hard and in control. I explain this in the following video which is taken directly from my Sex Mastery program:
The mind and body are intricately connected, and exploring this connection can help you combat stress and fatigue, both of which can contribute to erectile dysfunction. Adding mind-body exercise to your life helps lower stress, improve breathing, and reduce general tension. Yoga can also be terrific for improving your sense of well-being, and it’s great for helping keep you limber so you reduce the risk of sports-related injuries. Partnered yoga classes and routines let men engage in relaxing and beneficial exercise with their partners, and there are even specific yoga postures designed to improve blood circulation to the pelvic region.

The mind and body are intricately connected, and exploring this connection can help you combat stress and fatigue, both of which can contribute to erectile dysfunction. Adding mind-body exercise to your life helps lower stress, improve breathing, and reduce general tension. Yoga can also be terrific for improving your sense of well-being, and it’s great for helping keep you limber so you reduce the risk of sports-related injuries. Partnered yoga classes and routines let men engage in relaxing and beneficial exercise with their partners, and there are even specific yoga postures designed to improve blood circulation to the pelvic region.
Esposito et al (18), in their randomized study investigated the effect of physical activities on 110 obese subjects. They reported significant effect of physical activities on both body mass index and EF. The physiological rationales underlying this hypothesis are that healthy lifestyle factors are associated with maintenance of good erectile function in men (19); obesity has been positively associated with endothelial dysfunction and increased serum concentrations of vascular inflammatory markers (34, 35); and both endothelial and erectile dysfunction may share some common metabolic and vascular pathways that may be influenced by behavioral-related pathways (19, 36). Obese men with erectile dysfunction had evidence of abnormal endothelial function, which was indicated by reduced blood pressure and platelet aggregation responses to L-arginine and elevated serum concentrations of markers of low-grade inflammation, such as IL-6, IL-8, and CRP. It has been shown that there are significant associations between IEEF score and proxy indicators of elevated body fat, the vascular response to L-arginine, and circulating IL-8 and CRP levels. The association we found between IEEF score and indices of endothelial dysfunction supports the presence of common vascular pathways underlying both conditions in obese men. A disturbance in nitric oxide activity linked to reduced nitric oxide availability could provide a unifying explanation for this association. In particular, in isolated corpus cavernosum strips from patients with erectile dysfunction both neurogenic and endothelium-dependent relaxation is impaired (37).
Most importantly, herbal supplements are not well regulated in the United States.  Studies have shown that 40-50% of herbal supplements do not even contain the supposed main ingredient, and many contain substances that are not listed which may have dangerous side effects2.  Another study found that over two thirds of the products tested had substituted other plant species for the plants listed on the label, and a third of products also contained other fillers or contaminants3.  A study by the New York State Attorney General of herbal products sold at GNC, Target, Walgreens, and Walmart found that four out of every five products didn’t contain the ingredient they claimed!  Fourteen US states and territories have petitioned Congress to regulate the herbal supplements industry.
Clinical trials and post marketing data of sildenafil demonstrated no increase in myocardial infarction rates in patients that received these agents as part of either double blind, placebo controlled trials or open label studies or compared to expected rates in aged matched populations of men (Boshier et al 2004). Sildenafil does not adversely affect total exercise time or time to ischemia during exercise testing in men with stable angina. In fact, it may actually improve exercise tests. Sildenafil does not alter cardiac contractility, cardiac output or myocardial oxygen consumption based on evidence reviewed to date (Gillies et al 2002; Vlachopoulos et al 2003; Kukreja et al 2004; Webster et al 2004).

Although the term ‘treatment failure’ to oral drugs is widely used, there is no precise definition of what exactly means. Treatment failure may be due to medication, clinician and patient issues (Table ​(Table3).3). Based on these issues a definition of a non-responder to oral pharmacotherapy is proposed: “an inadequate erectile response after at least 4 attempts of the highest tolerated drug dose in accordance with manufacturer’s guidelines with respect to timing relative to meals, alcohol ingestion, use of concomitant medications, and adequate sexual stimulation/arousal” (Carson et al 2004).
Kegel exercises are very effective, simple and affordable methods in enhancing the strength of your muscles. These muscles are the ones that are involved in your sexual function. If you are unsure of the information that you read online, the best option is to talk with your doctor about your condition in order to avail of the best treatment methods for you.
Pelvic floor PT is a proven and effective treatment for erectile dysfunction. A study in 2006 involved 146 men with mean age of 42 with pelvic pain; 92% of these men had sexual dysfunction.  Treatment consisted of trigger point release and relaxation training, which led to improvement in symptoms by 77-87% – it’s notable that kegels were not part of this study.
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Besides PDE5 inhibitors and among second-line therapies are VCDs which are clear plastic chambers placed over the penis, tightened against the lower abdomen with a mechanism to create a vacuum inside the chamber. This directs blood into the penis. If an adequate erection occurs inside the chamber, the patient slips a small constriction band off the end of the VCD and onto the base of the penis. An erection beyond 30 min is not recommended. These devices can be a bit cumbersome, but are very safe.40
Drug interactions. Some medications can change how long the effects of Viagra last. This includes medications like the antibiotic ‘rifampicin’ (used to treat tuberculosis). When you’re getting assessed for treatment with Viagra, always give as much information as you can about your medications so the doctor can make sure it’s safe for you, this includes any treatments that were not prescribed by a doctor
A cold slice of watermelon can do more than just satisfy thirst and hunger during the warm summer months; it can help with bedroom satisfaction. Citrulline, the amino acid found in high concentrations of watermelon, is found to improve blood flow to the penis. A 2011 study revealed men who suffered from mild to moderate ED and took L-citrulline supplementation showed an improvement with their erectile function and were very satisfied. Natural watermelon juice, or “nature’s Viagra,” can also be easier on the stomach, since taking pills like Viagra can cause nausea and diarrhea.
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