Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a serious disorder that affects millions of men – as many as 30 million Americans. With the aging of the US population, ED will become even more prevalent. Erectile dysfunction can profoundly impact quality of life and, with the aging trends of the United States population, will become an increasingly important public health problem The likelihood of developing ED increases significantly with age, but this is not an old man’s disease as it also affects younger and middle aged men as well.
And, among those who do seek treatment and receive Viagra, one in three men do not have a satisfactory response. These are cases of drug-resistant erectile dysfunction, or DRED. Some men find using the drug every time they want to have sexual relations inconvenient, or they don’t like the occasional headaches and other side effects. What’s worse is when a man tries the drug, it doesn’t work, and he becomes depressed and it affects his marriage and other relationships. That’s the bad news. The good news is that there is a cure for ED, including drug-resistant ED, which works for nearly all men who suffer from the tragedy of the bedroom.
Success of the various treatments varies widely. Although the manufacturer of Viagra claims that it is effective in 82% of cases, studies have documented a high percentage of men who do not respond to the drug. Response seems to be somewhat linked to the underlying cause of ED. For example, men with diabetes are less likely to have a positive response than those with high blood pressure.
This leaves a significant population who require other more invasive options for the treatment of ED. Another group for whom alternative therapies should be considered are those men who are taking nitrates for their angina. For these 6 million men, Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis are strictly contraindicated, since the nitroglycerin and the ED drugs can cause a severe drop in blood pressure.
Other treatment options include pellets of prostaglandin inserted into the urethra, injections of prostaglandin through a tiny needle into the penis, the use of an external vacuum device, and the surgical insertion of a penile prosthesis.
Bottom Line: ED is a common condition and nearly everyone can be helped. No one needs to suffer the tragedy of the bedroom.