Erectile Dysfunction: Everything you need to know

Erectile Dysfunction: Everything you need to know

Published: 20th July, 2020 in: Health Sexual Health

What is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile Dysfunction is a common condition which affects men of different ages. It is defined as the inability to, or difficulty getting an erection that is firm enough for sex. There are various reasons why this could happen, and therefore there are a wide array of helpful ways to prevent ED for many men. 

Who does Erectile Dysfunction Effect?

ED affects many men and is often experienced at least once within a man’s lifetime. Often, erection problems are caused by stress, anxiety, tiredness, and even alcohol. It is generally nothing to worry about, but if it happens on a regular basis, it can have an impact on your sexual health and wellbeing. It is important to discuss any concerns with your doctor, they will help to address these concerns and help you feel better about ED. Some men may be embarrassed to discuss these intimate worries with doctors, but they are used to this and will be professional. ED is not something new to doctors;they won’t even think twice about it! 

Men over the age of 40 have been found to experience ED more often than others. People taking medication could also experience ED as a side effect of their medicine. Another potential cause of ED includes depression or anxiety disorders, sometimes stress and low mood can have an impact on your enjoyment in certain activities you liked before, this includes sexual activity for some which can lead to low sexual desires and ED. 

What is the Main Cause of Erectile Dysfunction?

This is a question that many ask, but there is simply not one main cause. ED affects many men of different ages, from young men to older people. Generally, ED will only  happen occasionally to men. This may occur when they are stressed or have drank too much alcohol,however, if it is happening on a regular basis or if you are worried,  a GP or sexual health clinic can discuss this with you. They will be able to help find out what could be specifically causing ED in your case. 

How can Sexual Health Clinics Help?

Sexual Health Clinics offer an alternative and confidential way for people to take care of their sexual and genital health. They can provide the same treatments as your GP and even offer STD (sexualy transmitted disease) testing. Many sexual health clinics also allow walk-ins saving you the time of needing to book an appointment, however due to Covid-19, it is important to check with your local sexual health clinic before visiting the building.

Trained nurses can also talk with you about your symptoms and when your ED started to help identify the possible underlying causes, as well as the best course of treatment for your ED. 

Seeing a GP for ED

The doctor or a nurse will talk to you about your problem, lifestyle and relationships. This will help them understand more about the issue. They most likely will also carry out basic health checks to make sure you are generally well, such as checking your blood pressure. They may also find it necessary to examine your genitals to check for any more obvious physical causes for erectile dysfunction. 

Depending on your symptoms, your doctor may also need to examine your prostate. Rectal examinations may seem intimidating, but your doctor will guide you and reassure you by answering any questions you may have beforehand. Read more about rectal examinations on the NHS website. 

Erectile Dysfunction Treatments

  • Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction will depend on the cause. 
  • Narrowing of penis blood vessels, high blood pressure, high cholesterol - Medication to lower blood pressure or cholesterol
  • Hormone problems - Hormone replacement treatment 
  • Depression or emotional issues - If it is believed that stress, anxiety, or depression are the cause of your ED or disruptions to your sex life, you may be referred to a therapist for support or prescribed medication to help alleviate your symptoms. 
  • Side effect of prescribed medication - If your ED is believed to be a side effect of your current medication, a doctor may discuss alternatives with you. 

How to Help Yourself with Erectile Dysfunction

There are measures you can take which can sometimes help with ED.

  • Maintain a healthy weight - If you are overweight, it is important to ensure you adapt more healthy eating habits as losing weight could help improve your ED. There are many benefits to eating a balanced diet as it can keep your body functioning well and healthy. Clean eating is also ideal for positive thinking as sometimes eating well can make you feel more confident about yourself as you are taking good care of your body. Obesity can have an impact on numerous areas of your health, so it is always a good idea to take steps to a healthier weight. If you need support with a diet plan or exercise, talk to your GP as they can support you and may even make a referral to a nutritionist. 
  • Stop smoking - there are many health benefits to stopping smoking, and ED improvement can be one of these. Smoking can cause health problems and financial implications. Our Stoptober smoking statistics and effects showcase just how much smoking can impact your health and wallet! 
  • Daily exercise - Exercise is a normal part of life which is needed to keep you physical and mental wellbeing healthy. Daily exercise can be achieved in different ways from daily walks to sports. Picking a sport that you enjoy will help you get that exercise into your lifestyle without it seeming like a chore. 
  • Try to reduce stress and anxiety - Having good and healthy coping strategies will also help with ED for some people. People can suffer from ED when they are stressed or their mind is occupied somewhere else, they are not relaxed and this can cause issues in your sexual health. If you feel your anxiety is causing you issues, you should speak to your GP as they can offer guidance and support to help you. Samaritans also offer a great service where you can speak to someone in a safe and free manner about whatever may be on your mind.

Viagra for Erectile Dysfunction

There are products available for ED treatment which you may want to explore to find which is right for your needs. It is recommended to see a GP before use to discuss the best course of action for ED from a professional who can help identify the cause of the issue. 

The use of Viagra for the treatment of Erectile Dysfunction is widely discussed. Feel free to discuss Viagra with your GP and pharmacist as well if this is an option you are looking into. Viagra Connect tablets use a formula that contains sildenafil 50 mg and is used to treat symptoms of erectile dysfunction (ED) in men aged 18 years and over. Viagra connect is clinically proven to treat all three issues of ED:

  • Getting an erection
  • Hardness of an erection
  • Maintaining an erection

Read our guide for more information on Viagra Connect and ED.


Erectile Dysfunction is a condition that men are often embarrassed about due to the fear of stigma and stereotypes. However, ED is a common occurrence and it is important for men to seek support for the condition in order to take care of their sexual health and mental well being. There is nothing to be ashamed of and you should feel reassured to speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Pop into one of Weldricks local pharmacies for further support, or check out our online pharmacy for Erectile Dysfunction Products.