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Erectile Dysfunction

Although it is rarely talked about, erectile dysfunction effects many men in the UK, most of whom suffer in silence.

Prescription Doctor offers a variety of medications specially formulated to treat erectile dysfunction to ensure the confidence that comes from being sure of a hard, long-lasting erection.

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Vitaros alprostadil 3mg/g cream for erectile dysfunction

Vitaros cream

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Perrigo Sildenafil

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Aronix (Sildenafil)

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What is Erectile Dysfunction?

An American study found that 40% of men below the age of 40 experienced Erectile Dysfunction at some point. It is a common medical condition, especially for men over the age of 40, according to the NHS. Understanding the condition, what causes erectile dysfunction, and the treatment options available are important for dealing with ED effectively.

Erectile dysfunction (impotence) happens when a man is unable to achieve or sustain an erection long enough to complete sexual intercourse. The condition can affect men at any time in their lives, but is far more common in older men.

Whilst it is common for men to experience occasional problems with getting or keeping an erection, often due to periods of stress, tiredness, or alcohol or drug use, erectile dysfunction (ED) is used to describe a frequent problem with erections.

Erectile dysfunction may indicate an undiagnosed, underlying health condition, such as heart disease.

If you experience constant difficulty with getting or keeping erections, you should speak to your doctor.

There is no need to be embarrassed about an erectile dysfunction problem. It is a common medical condition, much like diabetes or asthma.

Once diagnosed by a doctor, an appropriate treatment can be provided. All it takes is an initial discussion with your GP.

Don't just do it for yourself; do it for your partner.


The symptoms of erectile dysfunction are as follows:

  • Trouble getting en erection, even with repeated stimulation
  • Difficulty keeping an erection throughout sexual intercourse

Other male sexual dysfunction conditions are often confused with erectile dysfunction.

  • Premature ejaculation is when a man ejaculates sooner than he'd like. This may be before or soon after penetration.
  • Delayed ejaculation is when a man takes a prolonged period to reach orgasm, despite constant stimulation.
  • Inability to orgasm occurs when a man experiences difficulty reaching climax, either by masturbation or intercourse. While it can be difficult for someone with ED to reach climax, the two conditions can present themselves independently of one another.

All the above medical conditions require help from a healthcare professional. If you have any question about which condition you have, speak with your doctor or healthcare professional.


There are a number of physiological and psychological conditions which can cause erectile dysfunction. It is possible that a combination of different conditions can contribute to erectile dysfunction.

Physiological causes

Medical conditions which can cause erectile dysfunction include:

While some medical conditions that cause erectile dysfunction can be reversed, others can only be managed. Knowing what physical conditions are present will help your doctor to determine an appropriate course of treatment.

Psychological causes

Some mental health conditions can trigger erectile dysfunction including:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Relationship problems
  • Stress

Treating the mental condition behind erectile dysfunction may require cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), counselling or the use of certain medications, such as anti-depressants.

Substances (side effect)

It is possible for certain substances to cause erectile dysfunction. These can include, but are not limited to:

  • Alcohol
  • Nicotine
  • Codeine
  • Barbiturates
  • Antidepressants
  • Antihistamines
  • Diuretics (used for high blood pressure)
  • Sumatriptan
  • Finasteride (Propecia)

Illicit drugs, such as cocaine, and abuse of prescription drugs, such as barbiturates, can have an adverse effect in your ability to achieve or sustain an erection.


Getting a diagnosis for erectile dysfunction requires a visit to your GP. Here is what you can expect:

  • The doctor will ask about the symptoms you are experiencing, as well as general questions about your health history.
  • The doctor will perform a full physical examination, including an examination of your penis and testicles.
  • The doctor may recommend a prostate exam.
  • The doctor will take blood and urine samples to verify hormones and other factors are within normal range.
  • The doctor may have you undergo a nocturnal penile tumescence test, which involves wearing a device that monitors your nocturnal erections.

These tests help the doctor identify the underlying cause of your condition and offer appropriate treatment.


Depending on the underlying cause of your condition, as well as the symptoms you are experiencing, there are a selection of ways your erectile dysfunction may be treated. This may include altering your lifestyle, going through therapy, or taking a medicine for an underlying condition, rather than for the symptoms of erectile dysfunction itself.


There are a number of medicines which have been approved in the UK to treat erectile dysfunction including:

These medications are known as phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors.

Upon sexual arousal, the tissue within the penis secretes a chemical message called cyclic guanosine mono-phosphate (cGMP) which causes vasodilation (the dilation of blood vessels) to occur. This increases blood flow to the two cylindrical chambers (corpora cavernosa) of the penis causes an erection.

PDE5 inhibitors, such as those listed above, prevent an enzyme from destroying cGMP. In turn, the blood vessels remain dilated, resulting in a longer lasting erection.

It is important to follow the doctor's instructions carefully when taking any medication. While these medications all have a similar method of action, the time it takes for them to take effect varies, as does the length of time in which they are effective. This can range from a few hours to a few days.

Is there a cream for erectile dysfunction?

There is a topical cream available for erectile dysfunction called Vitaros.

Vitaros cream contains the active ingredient alprostadil. When applied to the tip of the penis, it causes blood to rush to the penis and facilitate an erection.

If you struggle taking pills, or if Viagra, Cialis and other ED tablets are not suitable for you, Vitaros cream may be suitable for you.

Some men may find one treatment more effective than another for their symptoms. Over time, the doctor may change (titrate) the dosage if the underlying problems worsens or if the treatment becomes less effective.

You can discuss with our doctor which ED treatment is right for you.


Stress, anxiety and relationship problems can cause psychological issues leading to erectile dysfunction. The best treatment for these issues may be talk therapy. Speaking with a licensed therapist could help you resolve underlying issues which may be causing your erectile problems.

Talk therapy will require a number of sessions to divulge into the issues affecting you and persistent, dedicated work to resolve them in a healthy way.

For those having problems with a spouse or significant other, working with a relationship counsellor may be necessary. It can help to reconnect with your partner on an emotional level which, in turn, may help your erectile dysfunction.

Lifestyle changes

A healthy lifestyle is key for long-term sexual health. Making changes to your lifestyle can reverse some ED issues. Such changes include:

As mentioned above, a medicine that you are currently taking could be the underlying cause of your erectile dysfunction. You will need to work with your GP in regard to changing your dosage to improve your ED issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is erectile dysfunction related to ageing?

ED is more common among older men, particularly in men over the age of 40. However, it is not a natural part of the ageing process. Instead, it is commonly caused by medical conditions that are more common in older men.

How common is erectile dysfunction?

About one out of every five men will experience ED at some point in life, though the condition is more common in older men. It is widely believed that 50% of men between the ages of 40 and 70 have erectile dysfunction each year.

Is Erectile Dysfunction a physical or psychological problem?

Three out of every four men dealing with ED have an underlying physical problem. The rest are dealing with psychological issues, though both may be present in some cases.

Does Erectile Dysfunction mean a man is infertile?

Infertility is a separate issue from erectile dysfunction. A man can perform sexually with no problems, yet not have the ability to father a child. Or a man cannot get or keep an erection, yet have plenty of healthy sperm ready to father a child.

How does diabetes relate to Erectile Dysfunction?

Uncontrolled diabetes can cause damage to the small blood vessels that feed blood to the penis. It can also damage the nerves helping to control blood flow. This type of damage can easily lead to the symptoms of erectile dysfunction.

Discreet service

From start to finish, you’ll find your purchase of erectile dysfunction treatment simple and as private as possible. Once you’ve placed your order, and it has been approved by our EU registered prescriber, you can relax knowing it will be delivered in completely discreet packaging the very next day. This discretion helps many men find the immediate erectile dysfunction treatment they need online easily and without any mental pain.

Table of contents

What is Erectile Dysfunction?






Talk Therapy

Lifestyle Changes

Frequently Asked Questions

Additional resources

What is the best erectile dysfunction treatment for me?

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