erection facts

7 Interesting Facts About Erections You Probably Didn’t Know

It would seem that every adult man knows everything about an erection, this topic is considered to have been explored back in adolescence. But there are amazing facts that you will probably be interested in.

1. First Erection Happens in the Womb

Surprisingly, often newborns are born with an erection. It is not very noticeable due to the small size of the penis in the baby, however, it may be present. Moreover, a 1991 study showed that an erection can occur even in the womb, and its frequency can reach several times per hour. This is most often observed during REM sleep.

2. Terminal Erection – Last Time Not in Life, but After Death

According to some reports, a complete or incomplete erection, excretion of urine or mucus is observed in about 30 percent of deaths from hanging. These unusual phenomena are explained by the pressure of the loop on the cerebellum. Post-death priapism may also be a sign of a fatal gunshot wound to the brain or violent death due to poisoning.

3. It Is Impossible to Simulate an Erection

If a man has an erection, then he is really sexually excited. Not a single talented actor can fake this physiological process. Some stimulant medications can facilitate the process of facilitating an erection, but natural sexual arousal is usually required before they begin to act. We are talking about Viagra, Cialis and Levitra.

4. There Is No Connection Between Shoe Size and Penis Length

It used to be that the size of the shoe could partially show the length of the penis and vice versa, that is, as if there was a correlation between these values. However, in 2002, scientists J. Shah and N. Christopher published an extensive study ‘Can shoe size predict penile length?’, in which they stated the opposite – there is no adequate scientific evidence for that statement. Therefore, women should not judge the size of the penis by the size of the shoes, such observations may be wrong, big sneakers or shoes do not mean at all that their owner has a large penis in an erect state.

5. There Are 3 Types of Erections

In different cases, different reactions occur on the part of the genital organ. Reflexogenic erections result from actual contact, psychogenic erections from audiovisual stimulation or fantasy, and nocturnal erections from involuntarily during sleep. The last two types of erections often occur unintentionally and can occur at the most inopportune times.

6. Several Erections per Night – This is a Normal Phenomenon

In men, from 3 to 5 erections usually happen during the night (as in the case with the fetus described above, they usually appear during the REM phase). In addition, the so-called ‘swelling’ of the penis arises at night, the nature of which is still completely unclear. There is a theory that this is intended to inhibit urination, the urge for which can interrupt a pleasant night’s sleep.

7. Nocturnal Erection May Help with the Right Diagnosis

By analyzing the presence of erections at night, the nature of erectile dysfunction can be determined. If an ED sufferer experiences an erection during sleep, but the hardness of the penis is not observed during sexual contact with a partner, then this is most likely a psychological problem, not a physiological one.

at what age does ed start

At What Age Does ED Start? Epidemiology Statistics and Prevention

The risk of erectile dysfunction is known to increase with age. Therefore, many men sooner or later begin to wonder – when can this happen? And is it possible to prevent the development of impotence?

What Do Doctors Say?

Dr. Newton at UnityPoint Health says that according to his experience, about half of men after reaching the age of forty have problems with erection. Therefore, he believes a man shouldn’t be ashamed of seeking medical help because the urologist will certainly not see a patient with erection problems for the first time. There is nothing shameful in this, especially considering the statistics.

The doctor has also identified several main causes of erectile disorders: decreased testosterone (which also leads to a decrease in libido), diabetes, vascular diseases, obesity, psychosocial stress and smoking.

erectile dysfunction statistics

Official Statistics

American scientists at the Welch Center for Prevention revealed that the overall prevalence of the condition in male persons aged >/=20 was 18.4%. It was also shown that diabetes was a huge risk factor for ED, men with this disease also had erectile dysfunction in about 50% of cases.

As reported by Turkish scientists at Mersin University School of Medicine, the median prevalence of impotence was about 33% among all males aged ≥40.

According to the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey prevalence of erectile dysfunction is 77.5% in males aged ≥75.

Can Erectile Dysfunction be Prevented?

Lifestyle change helps prevent impotence. Men after reaching 40-50 years old and in the presence of any predisposing risks need to monitor the state of the cardiovascular system and timely treat diseases that affect the function of the genital organs.

ed prevention

The main methods of prevention are as follows:

  • refusal of alcohol, cigarettes and drugs
  • normalization of body weight
  • change in diet
  • regular physical activity (at least long walks or regular visits to the swimming pool)
  • elimination of anxiety and stress
  • ongoing diabetes mellitus therapy to maintain normal blood glucose levels

A related article: Causes of ED in 40s and How to Keep Safe

The Bottom Line

Thus, incidence of ED ruthlessly increases with age. However, this does not mean that after reaching 40-50 you are doomed. Proper nutrition, exercise and a generally healthy lifestyle will help maintain potency for as long as possible. In addition, even with a serious age-related ED, help is possible, since there are a number of highly effective pills (Viagra, Cialis) that can provide the desired effect with almost any diagnosis (however, if sex is contraindicated for a man due to the possibility of cardiovascular events, he cannot take such pills). There are also other contraindications to taking Viagra, for example, taking nitrates. Then you need to look for other ways to treat impotence. However, in most cases, erectile dysfunction is effectively treated and can even be cured.

viagra and marijuana

Viagra and Marijuana: Dangers, Risks and Possible Benefits

A huge percentage of Viagra henchmen at the age of about 30-40 use it for entertainment purposes, for example, before visiting a club. They can combine it with alcoholic drinks and marijuana. A logical question appears: can you use ‘the blue pill’ and cannabis at the same time? Would this lead to increased risk of side effects?

Combining Marijuana and Viagra – Dangers and Risks

According to the official guidelines on Viagra use, there are no contraindications like ‘don’t combine Viagra with cannabis’. So it can be assumed, that moderate doses of marijuana may be combined with the sildenafil-based pill. However, we have found some important information to consider.

According to the study by Marie L. Eloi-Stiven (The Journal of Family Practice, 2007), illegal use of the weed is a strong predictor of recreational Viagra use. Smokers buy the erectile dysfunction pills from street vendors more often than non-smokers.

Besides health risks (associated, for example, with Viagra overdose), there is danger connected with the possibility of buying counterfeited tablets. They can contain harmful ingredients. Selling Viagra is a prerogative of pharmacies, individual street sellers (natural persons) cannot do that.

British clinicians A. L. McLeod and others (Clinical Cardiology, 2002) reported about severe case of myocardial infarction (MI) following the combined recreational use of sildenafil and cannabis. A 41-year-old male had no previous history of impotence, no increased blood pressure, and no family history of coronary arterial disease. Despite this he suffered from heart attack, which began to develop after smoking cannabis and consuming Viagra (recreationally).

As reported by Mayo Clinic experts, marijuana may inhibit an enzyme which is responsible for proper utilization of drugs in the body. Therefore, its consumption may lead to elevated concentrations of sildenafil in the blood, which is associated with increased incidence of adverse events, including severe ones.

Another disadvantage of using cannabis by ED suffers is that some studies suggest that it may contribute to the development of impotence.

cannabis and viagra

Are There Any Benefits?

Marijuana is licit in many countries. Therefore, every adult can try it. There is an opinion that cannabis is less harmful than alcohol. Ruben Baler, a scientist at National Institute on Drug Abus  says that it is possible to fatally overdose with alcoholic drinks, but an individual cannot do that with marijuana.

According to Charles W Webb and Sandra M Webb, medicinal use of marijuana has several health benefits. It helps to alleviate pain, treat insomnia and anxiety (Hawai’i Journal of Medicine & Public Health, 2014).

In addition, healthcare professionals from a research facility in Detroit have conducted a series of experiments on several hundred male volunteers who periodically smoke marijuana. As the results of the research have showed, about 70% of males who use weed in small quantities before intimacy experience more vivid feelings during sexual intercourse. Studying the sexual context, the scientists have revealed that cannabis influences nervous system, helping to cope with fear and nervousness. Along with these effects, the plant sharpens and heightens tactile sensations. In more than half of cases, male experienced a slight increase in sex desire, which positively influenced sexual intercourse.

However, due to the concerns described above, we wouldn’t recommend combining Viagra and cannabis. If you’ve decided to do that, take lower dose of sildenafil than usual. And keep in mind that serious side effects are possible anyway. So, this is at your peril.

viagra marijuana interactions

Moderation is the Key

As you’ve seen marijuana might be beneficial for the state of health. However, if you abuse this drug, this will do bad.

The same applies to Viagra. Don’t use this medicine ‘for fun’, if you actually don’t have erectile dysfunction. At the beginning of the article, we mentioned clubbers who can use the blue pill for such purposes. However, such misuse, especially in combination with narcotic substances may ruin the health and even lead to the deterioration of erection.

A related article: Viagra Abuse and Recreational Use: Risks & Dangers

causes of erectile dysfunction in 40s

Causes of Erectile Dysfunction in 40s and How to Keep Safe

According to statistics, sexual problems in males often begin in their forties. These problems may be associated with aging, but most often there is some underlying cause, other condition, which leads to deterioration of erection. According to the 2001-2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, prevalence of erectile dysfunction (ED) was 8.2% in men aged 40–49. Contemporary statistics might be even more disheartening. So, what are causes of erectile dysfunction in 40s?

obesity ed

Overweight and Obesity

The sexual motor can fail with overweight and obesity in men. The presence of excess body fat is associated with various health conditions, such as elevated blood triglycerides. This leads to clogged arteries and poor blood flow, not to mention a deterioration in overall well-being.

A related article: Can Viagra (Sildenafil) Be Used As a Weight-Loss Drug?

Diabetes

Diabetes often leads to erectile dysfunction. The mechanism of the negative effect is that diabetes negatively affects blood vessels and capillaries.

According to epidemiological studies (Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity, 2014), both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are linked to an increased risk of erectile dysfunction. It was reported that ED occurs in ≥50% of males with diabetes.

blood pressure and ed

Hypertension

Hypertensive men often have erectile problems. The precise mechanism of this phenomenon is to be more carefully studied, but as for now there is enough data to make a statement: high BP might cause impotence in males.

According to Valter Javaroni and Mario Fritsch Neves (International Journal of Hypertension, 2012), ED is a common complaint in men with hypertension, which can be caused by an antihypertensive medication or a systemic vascular disorder.

Depression

Sometimes, midlife crisis may transform into depression, which might be extremely severe. According to Dan Jones, a scientist at Appalachian State University, the crisis might occur anywhere from age 37 to 50s. Midlife transition is considered a normal stage in life, but in some cases, it might be accompanied by serious depression, which, in turn, may lead to erectile dysfunction.

testosterone and erectile dysfunction

Testosterone Deficiency

Libido is a testosterone-driven phenomenon, which is highly important for erectile function in men. Unfortunately, after the age of 35 (approximately), rates of the hormone begin do decrease. This diminishing negatively affects libido which provide an indirect effect on erectile function. Some males may resort to testosterone therapy, but this is not the best solution in many cases (due to potential side effects). Moreover, some patients prefer natural alternatives to the pharmaceutical treatment.

Psychological Causes

As for psychogenic causes of ED, their incidence is low in this age category. Scores of young guys may have psychological problems when it comes to achieving and maintaining an erection, but men in 40s are sexually experienced and is unlikely to develop such a condition. However, a scenario with mixed (organic-psychogenic causes) may happen. This means

Other Causes

The list of other possible causes of ED includes (but not limited to):

  • penis injury (due to major trauma, less dangerous physical injury or surgery)
  • neurological disorders
  • high cholesterol in the blood
  • atherosclerosis
  • kidney diseases
  • heart disease
  • lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) induced by benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH)

As you see, the list is quite extensive, so you need to treat any health condition once you’ve noticed it. There is another common truth: any disease is easier to prevent than to cure, therefore, due attention should be paid to a healthy lifestyle and preventive measures.

healthy lifestyle ed

Tips on How to Prevent ED in 40s

The tips are very simple and you probably heard them from your doctor or read in health magazines.

  • Maintain a healthy weight, get slim if you are overweight. Being toned and fit will improve your overall health condition.
  • Be physically active. This will help to improve blood flow throughout the body, including the genital area. Moderate physical activity is needed for health as well.
  • Try to fight stress. Sleeping enough is also important for successful dealing with stressful situations.
  • Visit a psychologist and/or sexologist (if you start to experience severe depression and/or have problems in personal relationships with your sexual partner). The specialist will help you to handle the problem much faster.

In fact, a few lifestyle changes can overcome the problem. Of course, serious erectile dysfunction should be treated with medications, but a healthy lifestyle will help you reduce the degree of frustration.

can high cholesterol medications cause ed

Can High Cholesterol Medications Cause Erectile Dysfunction (ED)?

Healthcare experts are adamant high cholesterol levels are harmful for the health. There are many causes of elevation, but anyway patients who have faced such a problem need an appropriate treatment. Mercifully, there are many medications that really work by decreasing chol levels through different mechanism. There is one awkward moment: some of them might cause problems with male potency.

Side Effects of Medicines and Erectile Dysfunction

ED might be induced by organic and psychogenic factors. Some medicines belong to possible organic causes. The list of potential offenders is extensive, so we will name only some groups with examples:

statins side effects
  • diuretics and high arterial pressure medications (Vasotec, Capoten, Tenormin)
  • anti-anxiety drugs and antidepressants (Zoloft, Prozac, Serax)
  • antihistamines (Antivert, Vistaril)
  • antiarrythmic drugs (Norpace)
  • medications for Parkinson’s disease treatment (Biperiden)
  • NSAIDs (Naproxen)
  • remedies for treating elevated cholesterol rates (Lipitor)

By the way, ED may be caused by diabetes. Read our comprehensive article:

Diabetes-Induced Erectile Dysfunction: Prevention and Treatment

A Short Overview of High-Chol Medications

Before taking any medication, first and foremost, you need to have a medical consultation and determine rates of cholesterol in the body. Well, how to quantify level of cholesterol in the blood? There are special blood tests, which are available in many clinics. It is recommended to regularly undergo them, because people with high cholesterol levels may have absolutely no symptoms.

high cholesterol and erectile dysfunction

Statins are the most prescribed medications for treating the condition. This subgroup of anti-chol pharmaceuticals includes Lipitor, Fluvastatin, Pravastatin, and Lovastatin. They inhibit cholesterol synthesis by the liver. This leads to a decrease in amount of the so-called “bad cholesterol” in the blood. However, statin drugs cannot destroy already formed plaques in vessels.

There are also other types of high-chol medications, however, we will pay more attention to statins, as they have been associated with unpleasant side effects for men’s health.

Can High Cholesterol Medications (Statins) Lead to ED in Men?

Erectile dysfunction is not a widespread effect, and it is even not indicated in many medical articles describing statins. However, links to ED were found in several scientific studies.

Let’s analyze some of them. Xiang Cai, Ye Tian et al., Chinese researchers, reported in 2014 that treatment with statins might decrease testosterone and aggravate impotence symptoms. Testosterone is an essential hormone for healthy sex drive and its reduction might be fatal for sexual life of males who already suffer from ED.

However, as they say, nothing is bad without being good for something. Other studies show statins might actually treat ED. For example, John B. Kostis and Jeanne M. Dobrzynski at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (2019) studied a large array of data and stated: small improvement in erectile function is observed with statins. Impotence may be partially caused by high cholesterol, so statin meds can help to eliminate an underlying cause. Hence, it is not a good idea to abandon the medication intake, check your healthcare provider first.

viagra and grapefruit

Viagra, Cialis, Levitra and Grapefruit Incompatibility: Mystery Revealed

You’ve probably heard that you should not combine grapefruit (grapefruit juices and smoothies) with ED tablets. But on the Internet, it’s hard to find an easy-to-understand and detailed article devoted to this issue. Our team have decided to fill the gap. No mysteries, just scientific facts.

Grapefruit and Medications

This fruit may alter pharmacokinetics of medicines by different ways. First, it causes irreversible inactivation of P450 (CYP) 3A4 enzyme in the intestine, which is responsible for oxidation of small foreign organic substances. As a result, metabolism is decreased and bioavailability of some orally taken pills increases. Secondly, it inhibits activity of P-glycoprotein which pumps a multitude of external substances out of cells. Due to complex mechanisms, this also elevated bioavailability of medicinal substances.

Healthcare professionals aren’t sure which chemicals in grapefruit are responsible for potentially dangerous interactions. Main candidates are furanocoumarins.

This doesn’t mean that grapefruits are harmful by themselves. They contain a lot of healthy substances, including vitamin C, Vitamin A, pantothenic acid, copper, dietary fiber, potassium, and others. However, if you take cardiovascular (and many other) types of medications, you should be careful.

A 2020 German Study

In 2001-2002 German researchers organized a study in Köln. There were 24 healthy and HIV negative participants involved with the average age 29 years. According to the experiment men were given one glass of fresh grapefruit juice, which they had to drink before the main meal. In 60 minutes, another one glass of the juice, accompanied with one more component – Viagra 50mg, was consumed. Over the next day scientists collected blood samples. The experiment was held again in a one week. Instead of grapefruit juice, males drunk ordinary water.

Results

It was revealed that Viagra’s absorption increased by 23 per cent when consumed with juice. With water the digestibility of the pharmaceutical is worse (which is considered normal). Grapefruit juice is also responsible for delaying of Viagra’s absorption. It’s important fact, since Viagra directly before sex may show no results if it is taken with this juice. Instead, it should be taken in advance.

The juice, involved in the research, was produced by Döhler company. Juices, supplied by other manufacturers, types, doses of them may show another effect. The scientists suggested that the combo of the “blue pill” and grapefruit juice is unwanted.

Patients, who take protease inhibitors (PIs), antiviral medications that are used to treat HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C, are recommended to take much lower dosage of Viagra, than the normal one. It’s because PIs are prone to raise Viagra’s level in many times. It’s dangerous for severe adverse events. That’s why, such individuals are also prohibited to combine grapefruit juice and Viagra.

cialis grapefruit

What About Cialis and Levitra?

These two medications may also be incompatible with grapefruit. There is a comprehensive study by D.G. Bailey and G.K. Dresser (London Health Sciences Centre, Ontario, 2004). The scientists investigated interactions between grapefruit juice and medications used to treat cardiovascular problems, including erectile dysfunction. They revealed that tadalafil and vardenafil (active components of Cialis and Levitra, respectively) may lead to severe systemic vasodilation, especially when ED pills are co-administered with nitrates. By the way, nitrate-based medicinal drugs are contraindicated if a patient takes ED pharmaceuticals.

A closely-related article: Alternatives to Nitrates When Treating with Viagra and Cialis

Conclusions

If you take an ED medication (PDE5 inhibitor group), stay away from grapefruit. Such a combination can make the action of a pill unpredictable and lead to undesirable consequences. When it comes to other dietary restrictions, it is recommended not to eat heavy meals while taking Viagra, Cialis or Levitra.

erectile dysfunction and depression

Erectile Dysfunction and Depression: Often Coexist but Can be Overcome

Depression and erectile dysfunction are widespread conditions nowadays. Moreover, they often coexist. A patient then faces a doubled formidable problem which seems to be hard for overcoming. But one shouldn’t fall into desperation, there is a way out.

Depression – a Modern-Day Scourge

According to the study by Jinghui Wang, Xiaohang Wu et al. (BMJ Open. 2017), the prevalence of depression and depressive symptoms amongst outpatients in different specialties was in a range of between 17 and 50%. Their presence is more widespread in developing countries than in developed ones. Along with anxiety disorders depression is one of the most dominant mental illnesses. It may lead to disability, worsening of personal and social relationship. When it coexists with other diseases, it may complicate the treatment process.

The most common psychical manifestations and physical symptoms of the condition include:

  • persistent sadness
  • impaired self-esteem
  • hopelessness
  • pessimistic outlook
  • no desire to do everyday activities
  • appetite changes
  • apathy
  • problems with falling asleep and/or sleeping
  • fatigue

Depression should be diagnosed by psychotherapists. There are no reliable medical tests (like blood testing or X-rays) which can precisely indicate its presence. There are two widely accepted ways of combating depression: using medications and  talk therapy. However, some pharmaceuticals may lead to ED or worsen it, so be careful in choosing the right remedy.

Erectile Dysfunction (ED) and Its Causes

The erect penile organ has always been a symbol of sexual prowess, so any problems with achieving and/or maintaining an erection may be perceived as a personal tragedy.

Erectile dysfunction is a multidimensional disorder which may have different causes (organic, psychogenic, and mixed). Organic causes, in their turn, are divided into endocrine and nonendocrine (Faysal A. Yafi et al., Nat Rev Dis Primers, 2017). Nonendocrine ones are the most common, they include abnormalities of blood flow, medical treatment, and physical damage caused by surgery. Endocrine causes are associated with decreased testosterone levels; however, the exact mechanisms have not been completely revealed.

depression and ed

It should be borne in mind that ED might be a predictor of cardiovascular events. That’s why it is important to conduct a completed diagnosis once a patient notices first warning symptoms.

An interesting tidbit: too frequent watching of adult entertainment videos (pornography) may cause symptoms of ED when it comes to real sex with a partner. Studies have shown that some males over 40 need to watch more and more extreme videos with time to achieve successful erection. Along with this, they experience erection troubles with their partners. Thankfully, the problem can be easily eliminated, a man just needs to refuse to watch porn for several weeks in order to put the normal sexual performance back the way it was meant to be.

Correlation Between ED and Depression

Males suffering from erectile dysfunction often feel anger, sadness, lowered self-esteem, etc. If the condition is left untreated (or treatment doesn’t provide desired help), depression may develop. Vice versa, a depressive disorder may develop first, and ED accompanies it some time after. This may be associated with declining in testosterone production caused by the so-called “bad stress” (while “good stress” boosts synthesis of “T hormone”). According to estimates by some researchers, about 13-20% of men with ED also have anxiety or depression.

Read a closely related topic by Canadian Health Care Mall specialists: Viagra and Antidepressant-Associated Erection Problems

How to Deal with these Problems Simultaneously?

The most important thing is that antidepressants may worsen erection problems. It has been proven that anti-depression pharmaceuticals are often a cause of impotence or its deterioration.

treat depression and ed

There are two possible scenarios.

  • The first one: a male had depression and was prescribed antidepressants which led to ED. Probable solutions: (1) cancel antidepressants’ administration under a doctor’s guidance, apply for a psychotherapy or use another alternative method of therapy; (2) continue therapy with antidepressants in the same or decreased dosages and receive an anti-ED treatment like Viagra (less preferred option), cancel their intake if possible or switch to another medicine for treating depression (preferable options). Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are a group of antidepressants that are linked to sexual problems.
  • The second one: a man developed erection disorder. Amidst it, a depressive condition appeared. In this case, prescription of meds for treating depression might lead to exacerbation of ED. The solution is to treat impotence ASAP and consult a sexologist or psychotherapist.

Remember: both depression and ED are treatable. If you encounter one of these problems or both, don’t despair. There are many options that can help you with both mental issues and ED.

how to take levitra

How to Take Levitra: 3 Useful Recommendations

Levitra is a drug for treating impotence in men. This is one of the most proven and effective sexual enhancers that can overcome the problem of impotence from the very first dose. The original version of the drug was developed by German specialists, but nowadays generic versions of Levitra (Canadian, Indian) are produced by many pharmaceutical companies.

Often it is not enough to just take a drug, if you want it to act properly, you should follow some rules. Males who suffer from ED may wonder: how to take Levitra to achieve maximum possible effectiveness?

Why Might You Prefer Levitra?

The most popular ED medication in the world is Viagra. It is known as a preeminent brand, so its sales are still high despite the existence of many competitors on the market. Cialis is probably the most known competitor of the “blue pill” which acts remarkably longer than Viagra. Its duration of effect is 36 hours, while Viagra feature only 4-6 hours. Well, Levitra acts for 4-5 hours. But nevertheless it has decent popularity (especially in some European countries). We believe that there are two reasons for this.

  • The first one: Levitra is more efficient in patients suffering from diabetes mellitus which often coexists with impotence because it is one of causative factors of sexual weakness (due to diabetes-caused deterioration of the blood circulation).
  • The second reason: Levitra might be effective in males who haven’t experience proper effect. According to some reviews, patients have tried different ED meds and herbal supplies but only Levitra brought the expected effect.
how to take levitra tips

How to Take Levitra Tablet: Must-Know Tips

erectile dysfunction online consultation
  1. It is recommended to take Levitra swallowing the pill down with water. Using other fluids isn’t advised because it is not clearly known how they may interact with the pill’s covering and internal ingredients. There are no reports about dangerous interactions, for example, with milk, but better follow instructions. (Recently we analyzed how to take Viagra: with water or milk.)Moreover, scientists have proven than grapefruit juice may lead to unsafe interactions, as this fruit contains a substance which inhibits an enzyme ensuring proper removal of toxins and pharmaceutical substances from the body. As a result, a concentration of vardenafil in the blood may become iffy.
  2. The medication can be taken with food (while you eat), but don’t combine it with high-fat or heavy meal, as this may slow down absorption of the drug, and the onset of effect will be observed later than expected (the medicament usually starts to act 25-60 minutes after ingestion). Levitra works best when taken on an empty stomach, which has been confirmed by patients’ reviews.
  3. Wait about an hour before having sex. If you take Levitra, it may be better to plan your sex in advance, as the peak concentration of vardenafil (the key active substance), and, subsequently, the maximum effectiveness is shown 1-2 hours after using. Then the efficiency of the medical remedy begins to decrease, slowly but surely.

Safety Precautions

  • If you take any medications, herbal/dietary supplements, let your doctor know about that. The medication may dangerously interact with some other drugs (for instance, nitrates, erythromycin, ketoconazole) and supplies (like L-Arginine). Better safe than sorry. Healthcare professionals also recommend to avoid St John’s Wort, a natural remedy for depressions, if a patient takes Levitra or other PDE5 inhibitors.
  • Discuss your medical history (anamnesis) with a healthcare professional. While general conditions like cold, flu, mild gastritis etc. usually don’t matter, cardiovascular diseases may be factors that prevent Levitra administering. For instance, it is contraindicated to take the tablet if you’ve recently had stroke or another cardiovascular event. The same goes for situations when a patient and/or someone from his family has a history of degenerative ophthalmic diseases.
  • The maximally allowed dosage of Levitra is 1 pill per day. Don’t take more than 2 pills within a 24-hour period, this may be associated with elevated odds of side effects occurrence.
  • Don’t combine the medicament with other drugs from the family of PDE5 inhibitors (Cialis, Levitra, Stendra, etc.). Chances to receive a boosted (synergetic) effect are improbable, but the risk of side effects definitely increases.
  • It is desirable to avoid alcohol or at least minimize its consumption when you are treated with the pill. Alcoholic drinks in huge quantities tend to decrease Levitra effectiveness, moreover, the cumulative action of ethyl alcohol and vardenafil may lead to arterial pressure drop resulting in headaches, weakness and even reluctance to have sex. Several glasses of whiskey in combination with Levitra can cause the opposite effect, not the one that you’ve expected.

Last but not least, you may use Levitra over a long period of time. This pharmaceutical product is not addictive, so prolonged usage pose no danger to your health (in terms of addictiveness). Some males may build up a tolerance to the medication, but such incidents are really rare.

Diabetes-Induced Erectile Dysfunction: Prevention and Treatment

Erectile dysfunction is a common problem for male persons with diabetes. However, it is neither inevitable and nor untreatable. If you are faced with this condition or are at risk, our article may be useful for you. Read preventing and treating strategies below.

The Essence of Diabetes and Its Consequences for the Body

Diabetes mellitus (DM) stands for a class of metabolic disorders manifested by elevated glucose rates in the bloodstream.

There are two types of diabetes:

  • type 1 diabetes,
  • type 2 diabetes.

According to the World Health Organization, the majority of people with diabetes suffer from type 2 diabetes, which, according to representatives of this specialized UN agency, is largely the result of overweight and physical inertia.

There is also gestational diabetes, but in this article its consideration is irrelevant, since this form is found only in women.

If left untreated, both types of DM may cause severe complications.

Common symptoms of diabetes include:

  • excessive thirst and hunger;
  • frequent urination;
  • constant drowsiness or fatigue;
  • dry skin, itching;
  • gradual deterioration of vision, up to diabetic retinopathy, which causes blindness;
  • deterioration of the regeneration function;
  • impairment of other organs and systems.

How Is Erectile Dysfunction Linked to Diabetes?

In the process of erection emergence and maintenance, the condition of both the vegetative nervous system and blood vessels (their patency and elasticity) plays an important role. These two systems can be deteriorated by diabetes.

According to findings obtained by Rozhivanov RV, Suntsov YI. (2005), Nisen HO, Larsen A, Lindström BL et al. (1993), erectile dysfunction is the most common sexual disorder in men with diabetes. Unfortunately, sexual impotence occurs in ≥50% of men suffering from this disease (Thorve VS, Kshirsagar AD, Vyawahare NS et al., 2011, Indian AISSMS College of Pharmacy). At the same time, the risk of ED in diabetes patients is 3 times higher than in healthy population.

ED and diabetes

One of the main causative factors in the development of diabetes-induced erectile dysfunction is neuropathy. This term refers to the nervous system disorders associated with the impairment of small blood vessels. Back in 1980, scientists proved at the morphological level damage to autonomic nerve fibers in the tissues of the cavernous bodies, which developed in men as a result of diabetes.

Thus, diabetes leads to a decrease in the nervous sensitivity of the penis and the deterioration of blood circulation in it. As a result, it becomes harder for a man to achieve erection and maintain it for a proper time period, which falls under the diagnosis of erectile dysfunction. The more severe stage of diabetes, the more severe disorders of the reproductive system.

How to Prevent/Treat Diabetes-Induced ED?

If a man suffers from type 1 diabetes, which seems to be a gene disease, he should know that this condition cannot be cured, but it can be treated preventing possible complications such as impotence. It is necessary to periodically go to the doctor for check-ups and adjust the treatment, if necessary.

Type 2 diabetes is also incurable, however, it can go into remission. Life with diabetes can be fulfilling. Moreover, this illness and consequently, possible sexual dysfunction can be prevented. The main methods of preventing diabetes include dietary correction, weight control, sports (or at least regular walking), as well as a routine physical examination in case of risk factors. These factors include age over 45, diabetes in relatives, excess weight, low physical activity, elevated glucose levels during examination, high blood pressure, problems with cholesterol levels.

If a man with diabetes experiences developing ED, he should properly treat diabetes and take action to combat erectile dysfunction (from special exercises for the pelvic area to medical treatment). PDE5 inhibitors, such as Viagra and Cialis, are first-line drugs for the effective treatment of impotence. They have a symptomatic effect and act precisely when needed. These drugs selectively inhibit PDE-5 enzyme (which suppresses the natural processes of erection), without having a direct effect on the smooth muscle cells of the penis.

Once again we draw your attention to the fact that diabetes cannot be neglected, because if it seriously damages the mechanisms of erectile function, and the consequences can be almost irreparable. According to doctors, the ineffectiveness of the PDE5i group of drugs was observed in patients with severe impotence and the most severe course of diabetes with long decompensation periods.

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Natural Alternatives to Viagra – Do They Really Work?

Viagra, a well-known medicine for treating erectile dysfunction (ED), has already helped a great number of men in their struggle for improving their sexual performance. However, there are male persons who prefer natural supplements (natural Viagra alternatives) to chemically synthetized drugs. Today the pharmaceutical market offers a great variety of herbal remedies. Are they really effective in eliminating ED symptoms? Below we will provide reviews of the most popular alternatives to “blue pills”.

What Makes Some Males Opt for Natural Supplements?

As Canadian Viagra is contraindicated to those ED patients who have recently come through a stroke or heart attack, they start searching for herbal remedies. In addition, Viagra can interact with other medicines taken by a man, which also provides grounds for looking for its natural counterparts. The third reason for resorting to herbal ED remedies is some men’s negative attitude to chemical medication resulting in giving preference to natural ones.

When considering natural alternatives to Viagra one should be aware of the fact that prior to being granted a license for sales, prescription drugs must undergo rigorous testing. This requirement does not apply to over-the-counter remedies, which casts doubt on safety and effectiveness of some of them.

Ginkgo Biloba (Maidenhair tree)

The unique properties of this plant are associated with a large number of elements that make up its chemical composition. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that some substances useful to humans can be found only in this ancient plant. To date, scientists have recognized the healing properties of only leaves. Various flavonoids, bioflavonoids, nonakosane, sterols, different aminos, essential oils, a complex of vitamins, a complex of macro-elements and microelements and many other biologically active substances have been isolated in the chemical composition of the leaves of the plant.

Ginkgo has been used in folk Chinese medicine as a plant stimulating blood flow in the penile area contributing to a better erection.

Causion. Ginkgo biloba, which has anticoagulant properties, is contraindicated to men with circulatory system disorders, and seizure or stroke history, as well as to those who are currently taking aspirin or other anticoagulant medications. Ginkgo may also react with some drugs, in particular, antidepressant medications. Therefore, before taking this natural remedy, a man needs to consult his health care provider.

Asian Red Ginseng

This powerful plant, also called panax ginseng, is considered to be a kind of Chinese Viagra. The Chinese have been using it for about five thousand years as a natural remedy. The plant is popular with athletes who take different Ginseng-containing food supplements to enhance their performance legally. Stimulating the nervous system Ginseng increases energy and strength. This action was proved by research findings. One of them, published in the press, referred to a clinical trial in the course of which 45 male persons took the plant and reported their health condition. According to them, they experienced reduced stress levels, enhanced sexual desire and more effective & firm erections.

Patients suffering from diabetes should take ginseng with caution, as the plant may lead to blood glucose content decrease.

Peruvian Maca

Maca is an adaptogenic remedy that naturally speeds up metabolism and stimulates energy production. It helps to lose weight, but it’s worth understanding that the remedy will not help burn fat if you just lie on the couch. The root of the plant will help burn fats and turn them into energy that you need to use by increasing your physical activity. By the way, reducing excess weight will also positively affect sexual function.

According to research findings, maca can boost sexual desire, enhance fertility by increasing seminal volume, sperm quantity, and sperm motility. In addition, the root can help depressed individuals enhance sexual function.

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T. Zenico et al. (2009) performed a double-blind study including 50 male persons experiencing mild ED. 25 men took maca root (2,400 mg), while the others were given a placebo. After 3 months, the first group of participants reported substantially increased erectile function compared to their placebo counterparts. The researchers draw a conclusion that maca-containing supplements have a small but tangible effect on sexual function in mild ED patients.

L-Arginine

Using high levels of L-arginine amino acid is considered a commonly accepted method of ED treatment. This amino acid can be found in a number of food products. It owes its efficacy to the ability to affect blood vessels passing through tissues in the penile area. However, in case of a heart disease history this Viagra alternative should be avoided or taken after a doctor’s approval, as it can widen blood vessels in the whole circulatory system.

Caution. Viagra and L-arginine should not be combined, as it can lead to a sharp decrease in blood pressure.

Pomegranates

If a man has many medical conditions, it is more difficult to fight erectile dysfunction. Taking pomegranates will help to experience many additional health advantages. Besides, you will not face any side effects or interaction with other remedies. Juice consumption is the most common way of taking this Viagra alternative. Although there are no scientific proves of the efficiency of this fruit, it will definitely not damage your health.

According to the research held by J. Rajfer in 2008, pomegranate juice is rich in antioxidants, which contribute to maintaining nitric oxide levels. This in turn leads to increased erection.

Caution. If you take Viagra, it is best to stay away from pomegranate juice. It can make the effect of sildenafil (the main component of Viagra) less predictable.

Yohimbe

This drug is gaining popularity very fast due to the fact that it is a completely natural remedy, whose effect is almost identic to Viagra. The only one disadvantage that consumers face is that American doctors are not eager to prescribe this supplement. The access to it is rather limited. Of course, you may purchase thus drug over-the-counter, but side effects, especially in case of overdosing, may occur. Taking this herb, which is considered a powerful stimulant, is like taking a huge dose of caffeine. That is why uncontrolled consuming can cause headache, panic and jitter. Besides, men who have problems with heart are not recommended to take it because this supplement increases blood pressure.

There was study held by Lahey Clinical Center for Sexual Function, where men with ED aged from 40 to 80 participated. They had to take Yohimbine three times a day. The dose increased gradually: from 5.4 mg at first intake to 10.8 mg at third one. More than a half of men who participated in that research experienced positive results. The study’s confirmation was formal testing and checking penile tumescence and rigidity of the penis. Participants did not face any side effects or other discomfort.

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One of safe products based on yohimbine is Yohimbe-1200*. It improves both male and female libido. If you take it according to the instructions, the risk of side effects is very low.

Tongkat Ali

Its second name is eurycoma longifolia. In Asia, it is called Malaysian ginseng. This therapeutic herb originates from Malaysian rain forests. Traditional medicine promotes using this medication very much. It is appreciated by its ability to increase libido in a healthy way as well as to avert various sexual medical condition, which appear because of ageing. Placebo-based study held in 2012 showed that those participants who took tongkat ali daily experienced dramatic improvement of their erectile function.

Cordyceps

This is a mushroom extract, which has Chinese and Tibet origin. It is famous for boosting the testosterone rate and increasing the flow of blood, which consequently positively influences sexual activity. According to the expert from University College London’s Medical School Dr John Briffa, one of the substance’s component is a type of sugar called fucose. It prevents ageing process & encourages the increasing of blood circulation in sexual organs.

With the help of the study conducted on rats researches have concluded that there is a connection between the dose and effectiveness of the drug. The bigger dose provides better results.

Besides, the power of Cordyceps as supporter and enhancer of testicular function has been proved. Moreover, scientists have discovered that Cordyceps can increase the level of testosterone in the body, which positively affects sexual function.

We can compare Cordyceps with some superfood, which has only positive impact on our body. It has a number of advantages: there are no difficulties to get it, this substance is easily digestible, moreover it is very efficient in maintaining your sexual fitness. However, you will have to wait till its efficiency is achieved.

Complex Natural Supplements

Powerful plant components are often combined in a single supplement. One of the well-known examples is Yagara** (natural Viagra). It contains several powerful plant components that affect the body multilaterally by increasing sexual desire and erectile function. In particular, this supplement includes:

Tribulus Terrestris;

Mucuna Pruriens;

Lata Karanja and other ayurvedic plant extracts.

This drug is useful for both sexes. Women in case of decreased libido can also use this herbal Viagra, as its components have a positive effect on the female body.

Do Viagra Alternatives Really Work?

Definitely, natural alternatives to Viagra work. As you could see above, many of them are science-backed.

However, they have a drawback: their effect is not immediate. Natural supplements show their useful effect gradually. To get the maximum effect, you need to take a natural supplement for a few weeks. However, the first improvements will be visible within a few days of supplementation.

Conclusion

If you want to increase the libido & enhance the sexual function naturally, you can choose any natural supplement. But if you want a very fast effect in half an hour you should choose Viagra tablets.

In addition, you should follow a balanced diet and lead a healthy lifestyle, in particular do some exercises on a daily basis. Proper diet will fit any Viagra form you take.

Taking “natural Viagra substitutes” as well as herbal remedies in case of suffering from erectile dysfunctions of any severity will be efficient and safe if you consult a licensed specialist before starting treatment.

It is worth remembering that a man should not try to deal with his problem alone. His beloved one has to ensure care, love and attention. In this way, a man will be able to cope with his problem whatever Viagra alternative he chooses.