Friday, August 31, 2007

Viagra and other oral medications

Until the late 1990s, there were no truly effective oral medications for erectile dysfunction — the inability to achieve or sustain an adequate erection for sexual activity. The useful drugs that were available had to be injected into the penis or inserted into the urethra.

Treatment of erectile dysfunction is much easier now, thanks to a class of drugs called phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) inhibitors. The medications — sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra) and tadalafil (Cialis) — all improve erectile function in the same basic way, but they differ in how quickly they take effect and how long their effects last.

Viagra, Levitra and Cialis: How they work

Viagra, Levitra and Cialis prevent the breakdown of nitric oxide, a chemical messenger that promotes relaxation and opening of the blood vessels that supply erectile tissue in the penis. Under the influence of nitric oxide, these vessels expand and stay dilated. Increased blood flow makes erectile tissue swell and compress the veins that carry blood out of the penis, resulting in a full erection.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Historical Highlights of Erectile and Sexual Dysfunction An Illustrated Chronology


This short introductory chapter is to give very selected impressions on some historical milestones from the field of erectile and sexual function and dysfunction. These highlights are arranged in chronological order and are not including the developments of the most recent years.

The idea for this article was born by the author and Prof. Alain Jardin - both members of the Historical Committee of the European Association of Urology (EAU) - during the 2nd International Consultation held in Paris. The concept was immediately supported by the board of the consultation.

Every reader who is familiar with the history of sexual medicine will realize that many dates and names have not been mentioned in this brief overview. So hopefully, the 3rd International Consultation will come up with an extended and complete research of all fields and aspects of the history of sexual medicine and not only a collection of selected spotlights.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Erectile Dysfunction Causes

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is one of the most common sexual problems and affects nearly 50% of all men over the age of 40 at some stage. This problem becomes even more common and more severe as men grow older. There are many causes of ED and it is thought that 70% of cases have physical causes and 30% psychological causes although often there are both physical and psychological reasons for the condition.

The shaft of the penis has two chambers that fill up with blood during sexual arousal. Sexual thoughts are transmitted though the nerves to the genitals. These nerves cause the relaxing of the muscle cells in the walls of the blood vessels entering the penis. The increased blood flow fills up the two chambers in the shaft of the penis forming an erection. Therefore any condition or disease which affects either the blood flow to the penis or the nerves to the genital area can cause erectile dysfunction.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Erectile Dysfunction Hits 18 Million

More than 18 million American hands suffer from erectile dysfunction, but help may not require a little pill.

A new study from Johns Hopkins' Bloomberg School of Public Health shows nearly one in five men experience erectile dysfunction, just simple lifestyle changes may be enough to ward off the problem.

Erectile dysfunction was much more rough-cut among men with diabetes or other risk factors for heart disease and those who were physically inactive, the researchers base.

"The associations of erectile dysfunction with diabetes and cardiovascular risk factors may serve as powerful motivators for men who need to make changes in their diet and lifestyle," says researcher Elizabeth Selvin, PhD, MPH, of the department of epidemiology at the Bloomberg School of Public Wellness, in Baltimore, in a news release.

About Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED or (male) impotence) is a sexual dysfunction characterized by the inability to develop or maintain an erection of the penis. There are various underlying causes, such as cardiovascular leakage and diabetes, many of which are medically treatable.

The causes of erectile dysfunction may be physiological or psychological. Physiologically, erection is a hydraulic mechanism based upon blood entering and being retained in the penis, and there are various ways in which this can be impeded, most of which are amenable to treatment. Psychological impotence is where erection or penetration fails due to thoughts or feelings (psychological reasons) rather than physical impossibility; this can often be helped. Notably in psychological impotence there is a very strong placebo effect.

Erectile dysfunction, tied closely as it is to cultural notions of potency, success and masculinity, can have devastating psychological consequences including feelings of shame, loss or inadequacy; often unnecessary since in most cases the matter can be helped. There is a strong culture of silence and inability to discuss the matter. In fact around 1 in 10 men will experience recurring impotence problems at some point in their lives.