This year, choose to give the gift of improved intimacy to your partner. You can avoid letting the stress of daily life and the holiday rush get in the way of your sex life by choosing to explore the sexual health and prescription lifestyle medications that are right for you. You can visit with a medical provider and choose from an extensive list of reliable treatment options all online with eDrugstore.com.
This article details the sexual problems that can get in the way of intimacy as well as the convenient solutions available at eDrugstore.com. Read ahead to learn more about how you can improve your sex life this season with the click of a button.
How Do I Know If I Have ED?
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is characterized by consistent problems with achieving or maintaining an erection firm enough to engage in sex. On average, men report problems with ED to their medical providers more than they do for any other sexual health concern. It is so common that approximately 30 million men are estimated to currently live with this condition.
Difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection firm enough for sex is a common issue to experience from time to time. However, ED is typically diagnosed if the problem is consistent and persists for an extended period of time. ED can also be a symptom of an underlying health condition, so it may appear with other symptoms.
Symptoms of ED include:
- Decreased sexual desire
- Difficulty getting an erection
- Difficulty maintaining an erection
- Not having erections firm enough for sex
Men should always speak with a medical provider if they suspect they have ED. Their provider will likely complete a medical history, physical exam, and any lab work necessary to confirm diagnosis. Men should never begin ED treatment without approval from a medical provider.
What Causes ED?
ED can be rooted in underlying health conditions, physical injury, or psychological conditions. Sexual arousal is a complex process, relying on cooperation between physiological, emotional, and hormonal mechanisms. This complex process can make it difficult to pin down the exact cause for someone’s ED without further examination.
Underlying medical conditions related to blood pressure and circulation are the most common causes of ED. ED can also trigger anxiety surrounding sexual performance, which can worsen the condition. Treating underlying physical and mental conditions is critical to managing ED.
Common causes of ED include but are not limited to:
- Atherosclerosis (clogged blood vessels)
- Certain medications
- Heart disease
- Injury to the penis or pelvis
- Low testosterone
- Mental health or mood disorders
- Multiple sclerosis
- Peyronie’s disease
- Prostate removal or prostate issues (e.g., prostate enlargement)
- Sleep disorders (e.g. insomnia, sleep apnea)
- Substance use disorder
- Tobacco use (e.g. cigarettes, vaping)
What Treatment is Available for ED?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved five brand name oral prescription lifestyle medications and their generic equivalents to treat ED in the United States. These medications are known as phosphodiesterase type-5 (PDE5) inhibitors. They are only available by prescription and should not be taken without one.
The five brand name medications and their generic equivalents are:
- Cialis (tadalafil)
- Levitra (vardenafil HCl)
- Stendra (avanafil – not yet available in a generic version)
- Viagra (sildenafil citrate)
These oral medications work by increasing blood flow throughout the body, thereby increasing blood flow to the penis. They are often prescribed in conjunction with lifestyle changes and any necessary treatment for underlying medical conditions. Research has demonstrated sildenafil to be consistently effective in treating 70 percent of men living with ED.
Men who cannot take oral medications may need to resort to more invasive treatments for ED. These treatments may include surgical solutions, such as penile pumps or penile implants. A medical provider can help men to identify the root cause and best treatment method for their condition.
Which Treatment is Right for Me?
Fortunately, each FDA-approved ED treatment has shown promise for most men living with ED. Every patient’s body reacts differently to medication, so finding the right oral medication for ED may require some level of trial and error. Some men may also have a preference for how long the drug stays in their body or how much the drug costs.
This table summarizes the duration, research, and price point for each ED medication approved by the FDA.
|Supported by Research
|Levitra (vardenafil HCl)
|Viagra (sildenafil citrate)
Men should only take one prescription lifestyle medication at a time. If one medication does not seem to be working, they should speak with a medical provider about changing their dose or changing their brand of medication. Some men may even benefit from a daily medication, such as Cialis daily.
Should I Take the Generic Instead?
Generic equivalents of oral ED drugs have been shown to be just as effective as the brand name prescription medications. The FDA deems generics as equally effective and safe for use in most men. Generic medications are less expensive than their brand name counterparts and can save men a significant amount of money over the course of time.
Men should speak with a medical provider to determine if the generic medication is best for their condition.
What About the Rest of My Sexual Health?
There is more to sexual health and function than the absence of ED. An estimated 20 million sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are diagnosed each year in the United States. Viral STIs (e.g. herpes) can impact sexual activity and intimacy if left untreated.
Antiviral medications, such as Valtrex and acyclovir, can prevent outbreaks, reduce the duration of outbreaks, and reduce herpes transmission to a partner. The FDA has approved three oral antiviral medications to treat various strains of the herpes simplex virus (HSV).
The three oral medications approved by the FDA include:
- Valacyclovir (Valtrex)
The FDA has also approved certain topical ointments to manage HSV outbreaks. This table summarizes the research and price point for HSV treatments currently offered by eDrugstore.com.
|Supported by Research
|$0.99 per day
|$87.62 per tube
|$2.77 per day
A Better Sex Life at the Click of a Button
Accessing safe and effective prescription lifestyle medication is easier than ever, thanks to our online services at eDrugstore.com. You can speak with a medical provider, browse treatment options, and order everything you need online. You can also learn more about sexual health and ED by visiting our blog.
Shelby is a public health professional with research and field experience in sexual and reproductive health. She holds a Master of Public Health (MPH) and is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES).