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Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction. What is it and what causes it? Erectile dysfunction shows through the inability to attain an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. One of the forms of erectile dysfunction is the inability to sustain the penis erect throughout intercourse. Men may experience only one of these ED types, yet many of them have a combination of both of them.

This medical health problem affects men older than 40 years. The statistic says that this disease is diagnosed in 77.5% of those who reach the age of 70 and older. Trouble getting and maintaining an erection is also not uncommon among men under the age of 30. Under different estimates, from 8% to 26% of them have difficulties related to their potency.

The primary causes of erection problems can be either physical or psychogenic. These are:

  • Heart disease;
  • Arterial hypertension;
  • Diabetes;
  • Atherosclerosis;
  • Obesity;
  • Low T-levels;
  • Genital trauma;
  • Backbone injury;
  • Stress;
  • Anxiety (including performance anxiety);
  • Depression.

What Are the Most Popular OTC Erectile Dysfunction Drugs?

People dealing with erectile dysfunction usually know the names of the most effective & best male enhancement pill sold by prescription. But their knowledge about over the counter erection pills is usually very limited. We want to change this state of things and open you to the world of medicines that can provide you with instant erection and positive sexual experience.

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)

Dehydroepiandrosterone or DHEA is a precursor of steroid hormone in the human body. It has an impact on numerous processes within the organism and erectile function is one of them. As people age, the levels of DHEA get lower. Massachusetts Male Aging Study found an inverse correlation between the appearance of problems with getting an erection and the levels of DHEA. A study published in the Urology journal came to the conclusion that the intake of DHEA has a positive effect on all the domains of IIEF. It improves the function of the blood vessels and stimulates the process of nitric oxide release, which are the two crucial processes in attaining and maintaining a strong erection.


L-arginine is an amino acid, which is involved in the release of nitric oxide, and thus in the relaxation of the muscular tissue of the cavernous bodies of the penis. The efficacy of L-arginine for erectile dysfunction treatment was tested in several studies. One of them concentrated on the efficacy of L-arginine as first-line therapy for male sexual inability. Unfortunately, the improvements were insignificant. Another study investigated the effectiveness of this amino acid as a combination treatment with tadalafil. The results let us say that the concomitant use of tadalafil and L-arginine is more effective in comparison to the use of these substances alone.


ginseng root

One of the traditional Chinese treatments of the symptoms of ED is ginseng. This plant is known for its beneficial impact on human health and is widely applied in Asia. In the therapy of sexual dysfunction, the extracts of roots and berries of this plant are used. The efficacy of ginseng extract for impotence was evaluated in numerous clinical studies. The results of one of them were published in the International Journal of Impotence Research. They claim some slight improvement in the International Index of Erectile Function after eight weeks of treatment. Hence, this over-the-counter erectile dysfunction treatment is not likely to help you achieve fast results.


Heap of Pine Tree Bark Chip on Old Paper Background

The dietary supplement made of the extract of Yohimbe bark (the tree growing in Africa) is offered as an over-the-counter treatment for male sexual inability. This preparation acts by enhancing the flow of blood to the penile area, thus allowing men to get and keep a healthy erection. However, judging by the results of clinical studies, the efficacy of Yohimbe doesn’t exceed 34%. This supplement works better for men dealing with light forms of sexual inability related to insufficient supply of blood to the pelvis.


Pycnogenol is a natural antioxidant that is thought to stimulate an increase in nitric oxide levels. The tablets are made of an extract of the European pine tree bark and are available without prescription. The studies investigating the efficacy of pycnogenol show that the preparation helps in 92.5% of cases and so can be considered an effective treatment for ED.


Propionyl-L-Carnitine is a supplement containing amino-acid that imposes a positive effect on male sexual function. This treatment stimulates the secretion of nitric oxide, thus enhancing the flow of blood to the genitals. As a result, a man can attain a firm erection and keep it so throughout sexual intercourse.

The Western New York Urology Associates say that propionyl-L-carnitine improves erectile function. What’s more, the preparation enhances the effects of sildenafil in men who failed to respond to the medication alone. Therefore, propionyl-L-Carnitine is a nice option for men seeking potent over-the-counter erection pills.

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What Should You Try Instead?

How to maintain an erection & stay hard longer without the risk to fail in bed? Instead of buying over-the-counter erectile dysfunction drugs with doubtful reputation and efficacy, you can try some other methods of enhancing your erectile function. They include:

  • Intake of PDE5 inhibitors like generic Viagra, generic Cialis, generic Levitra, or Kamagra Oral Jelly;
  • Injectable medicines for ED treatment – alprostadil, papaverine, and phentolamine;
  • Penile pumps;
  • Penile sleeves;
  • Changes in your lifestyle (e.g. adding healthy foods to your diet, exercising).

What about Natural Remedies?

Except for pills, there exist numerous other natural remedies for ED. One of the best ways to stimulate an erection is by using special devices. In case you are not ready for such experiments, you can try a more traditional option for your overall health improvement. It is the most difficult yet the most rewarding and beneficial way to get a better erection – changing your attitude to your body and lifestyle. But let’s talk about it a bit later.

Natural Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction without Drugs

In case you don’t feel like taking any medicines or herbal supplements, the market of remedies for ED treatment has several things for you to offer:

  • Vacuum erectors (penile pumps). These are the devices that work by enhancing the inflow of blood to the penis. The erector consists of a cylinder and a pump. The penis should be placed into the cylinder and then, using the pump, you should suck out the air to create a vacuum. The difference in pressure makes blood get to the organ fast. On average, men need up to 15 minutes to get a firm and stable erection. This method works in more than 90% of cases.
  • Penile sleeves. These are the devices that can be used for penetrative intercourse even if the penis is not firm enough for it. The penile sleeve is a kind of hollow dildo that should be used to cover the penile shaft. They may have an opening at the end that allows stimulation of the glans. The inner (and sometimes the outer) surface of penile sleeves has protrusions of different shapes to provide additional stimulation to the organ.
  • Penile prosthesis. Although the effectiveness of this remedy for the restoration of erectile function is still not clear. Some case studies prove it can help the recovery of potency in men who have gone through prostate cancer treatment. The use of penile prosthesis allows creating a sensory illusion of real intercourse. Men applying this remedy claim they get sexual satisfaction and can reach an orgasm with the help of a penile prosthesis.

Lifestyle Changes Can Improve Erectile Dysfunction

stethoscope organic food and sport

A sedentary lifestyle, smoking, alcohol abuse, excessive body mass, and a number of other wrong life choices lead to the development of sexual inability even in young men. Luckily, every man has the possibility to change his perspectives for the better by making changes to their way of life. Here’s what you can do to postpone the first symptoms of erectile weakness or even avoid it till your late years:

  • Do aerobic exercises at least 30 – 40 minutes a day (walking, swimming, jogging, etc.);
  • Add healthy food to your diet (fatty fish, greens, lean meat, whole-grain products, and others);
  • Avoid saturated fats in your diet (e.g. give up fast food);
  • Limit your alcohol consumption;
  • Give up smoking;
  • Undergo regular medical checkups.

Other Types of ED Treatment

Among the most efficacious ways of managing the symptoms of erectile dysfunction is the intake of PDE5 inhibitors. These medicines stimulate the circulation of blood in the penile area, providing men with a firm and lasting erection. The best erectile dysfunction drugs over-the-counter are generic Viagra, generic Cialis, Generic Levitra, and Kamagra Oral Jelly. They all start working within 30 minutes – 2 hours. Their effects last from 4 to 36 hours (depends on the medication) and their efficacy rate reaches 88 – 97%.

Please note that these medicines should be used only after a consultation with a doctor. To know the details about the intake, talk to your pharmacist or read the Patient’s Information Leaflet.

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