Is Viagra an Effective Cure for Impotence ?

Impotence is a condition which can feel embarrassing and be incredibly isolating, but more than half of all men will suffer from it at some point during their life.

It may be a transient condition, connection to either an illness or a period of anxiety, or it can be a more troublesome problem, requiring treatment on either a short or long term basis.

Surgery is rarely suggested as a cure for impotence and whilst there are other treatments such as vacuum pumps, the preferred option for most doctors and men affected by the condition is medication.

Viagra has become well-known as a treatment for impotence, and there’s now a thriving online market selling the pills.

But is Viagra as effective as the makers suggest? We take a closer look at some of the facts.

What causes impotence?

There are many different causes of impotence, and it’s not a condition which is related to how attractive a man finds his partner.

The body produces an erection as a result of a complex chain of events, which includes stimulation of the penis, messages from the brain conveyed by the nervous system, and an increase in blood flow delivered by the circulatory system.

This means there are many parts of the process which could potentially fail, resulting in the same end effect: impotence.

There are many natural alternatives to Viagra on sale, but buy cautiously

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And it’s not just physical causes which can lead to impotence; psychological disorders such as anxiety and depression can also have the same result. Where there is a psychological condition, the message sent to the brain is not as strong which in turn means the command to increase blood flow is far weaker. Therefore, although the underlying cause may be psychological, the effect on the body is still the same.

Illness, injury, disease, general fitness, medications and lifestyle factors can all contribute to impotence; the causes of the condition are many and varied.

Treating impotence

There are a range of different treatments for impotence, with Viagra being arguably the best known of them all. While it may be possible to purchase the pills from an online pharmacy, it’s never a good idea to start treatment without being checked out first.

Impotence happens even in the plant world!

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Before prescribing Viagra, a doctor will carry out an assessment and look for the cause of the condition. Impotence can be a warning sign that there is something else wrong, such as undiagnosed cardiovascular disease or diabetes, so it has to be taken seriously.

The treatment prescribed will depend on the underlying condition. For example, if impotence is being caused by a medication, the first step should be to switch treatments and try a different drug (where possible). In many cases there are alternative medications which can be used which don’t have the same side-effects.

In others, simple lifestyle changes such as stopping smoking, cutting back on alcohol and losing weight can be enough to treat the impotence.

However, resolving impotence isn’t always that easy, or there may be an underlying health problem which can’t be cured. In those cases drug treatment can be an incredibly effective way to deal with impotence.

What is Viagra and how does it work?

Viagra is another name for the drug Siledenafil, part of the group of medications known as Phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE-5) inhibitors.

Taken approximately an hour before an erection is required, Viagra works by allowing more blood to flow into the penis. It achieves this by maintaining the levels of a certain chemical in the smooth muscle cells, which in turn allows the arteries to widen and blood flow to increase.

Simple and proven to be very effective, the Viagra impotence tablet

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However, in order for the chemicals to be released in the first instance, the man must be sexually stimulated and feel aroused. It’s only once the process starts that the effects of Viagra are seen. This is an important distinction to make as it prevents a man from having an uncontrolled erection simply from taking the medication.

Is Viagra effective?

Clinical studies have shown that Viagra is an effective medication for many men who take it, although it may take a few attempts at first to find the right dosage.

Studies suggest that at least two thirds of men who take a PDE-5 inhibitor such as Viagra are successfully able to sustain an erection.

Proven to be effective even in placebo trials, Viagra has repeatedly shown to offer a rapid solution when the underlying cause can’t be immediately eradicated.

For the minority of men who don’t achieve a satisfactory result with Viagra, there are other medications which can be tried as an alternative. However, medical advice suggests trying Viagra on at least eight separate occasions first.

Viagra is currently available in three different levels of dosage: 25mg, 50mg and 100mg. The lower dose may work perfectly well for some men whilst others might need their doctor to increase the amount prescribed before they get the desired effect.

It’s always preferable to start with a lower dose and move higher until an erection can be sustained; this ensures the drug is not being ‘over prescribed’ and minimises the chances of side effects occurring.

Your doctor will decide on the right level of Viagra for your condition, and will base their decision on any other medications you are taking, whether you have tried the treatment before, your age and the severity of your erectile problems.

When deciding on the right level of treatment for you, your doctor will consider your general health and any concurrent medications you are taking.

There are some types of drug and treatments which are not compatible and can rule out Viagra straight away. However, there are other drugs which will interact with Viagra but can be taken if an adjustment is made to the dosage. These are:

erythromycin

cimetidine

itraconazole

ketoconazole

HIV protease inhibitors

All of the above drugs increase the levels of Viagra in the blood stream which means that a lower dosage should be prescribed.

Viagra has become so famous there is even a Viagra Computer Mouse

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Summary

It’s impossible to guarantee that Viagra will be an effective cure for everyone as there are no assurances how the drug will react on a personal level, and it also depends on the nature and severity of the underlying disease. However, out of those who have tried it, Viagra remains a drug which is very effective for the majority, offering a much-wanted solution for an age-old problem.

Image Credits: Levork, Jenny Downing, Felixe and Matsuyuki