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Erectile Dysfunction

Dr Hilary Jones discusses erectile dysfunction and the treatments available at HealthExpress
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Approximately 2.3 million men in the UK suffer from erectile dysfunction, and more than one in ten men will experience it at some point in their life. If you’re worried about your problem and want to get it treated, complete our free online consultation today, where a UK registered doctor will provide an impartial diagnosis and recommend you the treatment most suited to your needs.

We guarantee a service that is completely discreet and tailored to your lifestyle. Every stage of our process is confidential, from consultation to delivery, so you can be sure the details you provide us are fully protected at all times.

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What is erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection to complete satisfactory sexual intercourse. This could mean that you are unable to get an erection when aroused, or it could mean that you lose your erection before or after penetration. If you experience this problem several times in a short period of time, then you should speak to a doctor or take an online consultation to discover the nature of your problem and to find an appropriate treatment.

How does an erection work?

Getting an erection is a complicated process. When you're aroused, more blood flows towards twin chambers in your penis known as the corpus cavernosa. A molecule in your penis called cGMP is released which instructs the walls of the corpus cavernosa to relax. This allows the increased blood flow to enter, engorging the penis to create an erection. While this is happening, an enzyme called PDE-5 naturally breaks down the cGMP.

Erectile dysfunction occurs when any part of this process is disrupted. This is either caused by a low production of the molecule cGMP, or because too much PDE-5 is preventing it from working. The narrowing of blood vessels, caused by smoking, is another common cause.

What causes erectile dysfunction?

The first step to finding treatment is to determine the causes of your condition. Erectile dysfunction can be caused by both psychological and physical reasons. Short term causes tend be psychological, such as depression, stress or anxiety. Those experiencing recurrent problems are more likely to have a physical problem, which could be a medical condition, or the result of an unhealthy lifestyle.

The best way to discover if you have a long term impotence problem is to see whether you have an erection when you awake in the morning. If you are erect, your problem is not physical. Similarly, if you achieve an erection when masturbating, your symptoms are psychological.

Psychological causes include: Physical causes include:
Guilt Depression Diabetes Smoking
Anxiety Stress Alcoholism Deterioration of the arteries
Exhaustion Conflict with your partner Being overweight Medications
Unresolved sexual orientation Sexual boredom Cerebral or spinal cord injuries Abdominal or prostate surgery

Psychological causes of erectile dysfunction are more common in younger men under the age of 40 whereas physical factors are more likely to affect sexual health in older men.

Is erectile dysfunction common?

Yes. There are many circumstances that can affect your capability of getting and sustaining an erection. These include tiredness, feeling stressed, being preoccupied and consuming excessive amounts of alcohol. Although erectile difficulties are usually temporary, men who experience frequent problems should speak to a doctor or take an online consultation for guidance and to find the best treatment.

Is erectile dysfunction linked to other health conditions?

Depression has also been linked to erectile dysfunction in some men. This is mainly because the science behind the erection process is reliant on a delicate balance of hormones and nerve impulses, which can sometimes be disrupted by depression.

What are the long-term complications?

Although erectile dysfunction may not damage your health physically, it can affect you emotionally. Suffering with erectile dysfunction could lead to issues such as stress, anxiety, low self-esteem, embarrassment, an unsatisfactory sex life and relationship problems.

How can I treat erectile dysfunction?

Oral medication is the most popular form of erectile dysfunction treatment, which can provide either a long or short term solution. Treatments such as Viagra, Cialis, Cialis daily, Levitra and Levitra Orodispersible work by restricting the action of the PDE-5 enzyme, allowing more blood to flow to your penis. This enables you to achieve a firmer and longer lasting erection during sexual intercourse. For more information on treatment options, please visit our treatment page.


Dr Hilary Jones, HealthExpress Medical Advisor

What should I do if I experience persistent erectile dysfunction?

If you are experiencing persistent symptoms of ED, the worst thing you can do is suffer in silence. The first thing to do is to discuss your condition with your partner and a doctor for emotional and professional support. Talking to someone can also help you to find out the underlying cause for your erection problems. If you feel too uncomfortable speaking to your doctor, our discreet and confidential consultation service can help. Our service means you can avoid a face-to-face consultation with the doctor and get your treatment delivered to your door. Just complete our short, no-obligation online consultation, where our registered doctors can help to find the most effective impotence treatment for you.

Click here to find the right treatment for you
How our service works
You will be asked a few brief questions about your condition, which will help our doctor recommend the correct treatment for you. 1
Within minutes our team of doctors will review your details. They will let you know via email or SMS what treatment is suitable for you. 2
After receiving reply from our doctors you can purchase your treatment. If you live in London, you may qualify for free same day delivery. 3
Fast Delivery
We offer free next day delivery on all orders as standard. If you live in London, you may qualify for free same day delivery, meaning we can get your medication to you in as little as 2 hours
Discreet Packaging
We understand the importance of discretion, which is why we send all medications in plain, tamper-proof polyethylene courier bags. There will be no mention of HealthExpress on the outside of the bag.