Impotence is a consistent inability to sustain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse. Impotence can be a total inability to achieve erection, an inconsistent ability to do so, or a tendency to sustain only brief erections. Incidence rises with age: about 5 percent of men at the age of 40 and between 15 and 25 percent of men at the age of 65 experience impotence. Yet, it is not an inevitable part of aging.
During an erection, blood flows quickly into the penis, which increases its length, width, and firmness. If the "in" vessels (arteries) are too narrow or if blood drains too quickly through the "out" vessels (veins), men may have trouble achieving or maintaining an erection, says Arnold Aigen, MD, a urologist with Camino Medical Group in Sunnyvale, Calif. Viagra, which increases inflow, may not be strong enough to work its magic if the arteries are too narrow.
Drug interactions. Some medications can change how long the effects of Viagra last. This includes medications like the antibiotic ‘rifampicin’ (used to treat tuberculosis). When you’re getting assessed for treatment with Viagra, always give as much information as you can about your medications so the doctor can make sure it’s safe for you, this includes any treatments that were not prescribed by a doctor
A 2011 study of 160 men with moderate or severe erectile dysfunction divided the group in two—80 men were given niacin supplements, and 80 a placebo. The group given niacin reported improved ability to “maintain an erection versus the control group.” It’s not exhaustive research, but still promising. The best part about niacin is that it’s naturally found in foods like turkey, avocado, and peanuts (yum). If you’re not a turkey sandwich fan, you can supplement with a vitamin B complex.
Despite the proven long-term efficacy of PDE5i, it has been suggested that tachyphylaxis to this therapy may develop. Long-term treatment with PDE5i and excessive cGMP accumulation may up-regulate PDE5 (El-Galley et al 2001). Such hypothesis however, has not been proven in the existing clinical trials with chronic PDE5i therapy (Behr-Roussel et al 2005; Musicki et al 2005). Currently, there are no evidence-based data to support tachyphylaxis in patients treated with sildenafil or any other PDE5i.
Along with promoting overall health, a sufficient daily magnesium intake can help significantly if you take zinc to promote healthy erectile function or to help alleviate ED. Zinc is often recommended as a natural ED remedy, particularly for men who have a zinc deficiency, according to MayoClinic.com. Magnesium helps regulate zinc levels in the body to support healthy erectile function. Herbs, vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, haven’t been widely studied in terms of their true benefits for men with ED or other erectile problems, but maintaining adequate levels of essential vitamins and minerals may help a doctor narrow down the cause of such problems.
A variety of personal habits and lifestyle choices have been linked to ED. In some ways, this is a good thing, since habits can be broken and choices reconsidered. What's more, many of the lifestyle factors that contribute to sexual problems are ones that affect overall health and well-being, both physical and mental. Addressing these factors, therefore, can have benefits beyond improving erectile dysfunction.
In a study with human subjects, Kruger et al. have reported that acute changes in the normal physiological levels of PRL led to a significantly prolonged ejaculatory latency, but minor reductions of sexual drive and function. Although zinc induced elevation of PRL was not an acute effect, findings similar to the human study (prolongation of ejaculation and mild reduction of libido index with medium dose of zinc) were observed in this study. However, the prolongation of ejaculatory latency may not be merely due to effects of elevated PRL because elevated PRL levels are known to be associated with the negative aspects of sexual activities (decreased sexual desire and frequency of sexual intercourse).
If you have symptoms of ED, it’s important to check with your doctor before trying any treatments on your own. This is because ED can be a sign of other health problems. For instance, heart disease or high cholesterol could cause ED symptoms. With a diagnosis, your doctor could recommend a number of steps that would likely improve both your heart health and your ED. These steps include lowering your cholesterol, reducing your weight, or taking medications to unclog your blood vessels.