ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION

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Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Skip to: Symptoms & Causes - Treatment - Medication

Erectile dysfunction is a condition where men either can’t achieve or maintain an erection. Also sometimes called impotence, it’s very common, especially in older men, and it’s thought more than 50% of those aged between 40 to 70 will experience it at some point.

While a one-off attack of erectile dysfunction isn’t something to worry about unnecessarily, you should see a GP if you experience the condition for more than a couple of weeks.

Since several serious health conditions can cause erectile dysfunction as a side effect, it’s important to get it checked out.

If you’re experiencing erectile dysfunction, don’t suffer in silence. Speak to one of our highly-qualified, UK-based GPs online in complete privacy right now.

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causes of Erectile Dysfunction

What causes erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction can occur by itself or as a side effect of other conditions. It can be caused by psychological issues, as well as physical health issues, with just some of the potential causes including:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Neurogenic conditions like multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease
  • Hormonal conditions
  • Issues with the prostate gland
  • Heart problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes

Similarly, heavy drinking, drugs and other types of substance abuse may lead to erectile dysfunction and it can sometimes occur as a side effect of prescription medication for high blood pressure, peptic ulcers and cancer.

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How is erectile dysfunction treated?

Since erectile dysfunction can be caused by such a wide range of issues, you’ll need to see a doctor to determine the root cause and recommend the best ways to treat it.

If the problem is occurring due to an underlying condition like diabetes or heart disease, this will need to be tackled first and may resolve the issue once it’s under control.

If the problem is found to be psychological, a course of therapy is usually recommended. Some popular options in this area include:

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT): A course of counselling that seeks to change the way you think about sex and sexual situations by altering your mindset.

Sensate focus: A kind of sex therapy that involves you and your partner not having sex for a number of weeks or months before building back up to full penetrative intercourse

Psychosexual counselling: A type of relationship therapy involving you and your partner where you discuss any issues affecting your relationship with a counsellor.

Lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, cutting down on drinking and doing more exercise can often help to improve erectile dysfunction, along with your general health.

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treatment
medication for erectile dysfunction

Medication for erectile dysfunction

There are a range of medications that are sometimes prescribed for erectile dysfunction, including:

  • Sildenafil (Viagra)
  • Tadalafil (Cialis)
  • Avanafil (Spedra)
  • Alprostadil
  • Hormone therapy

However, it’s worth noting some at-risk groups will be advised not to use certain types of erectile dysfunction medication, so it’s always best to speak to a doctor for expert advice on the best options available for your individual circumstances.

In rare cases where all other treatment methods have been unsuccessful, surgery may be considered to remove blockages or insert penile implants.

How we can help

Push Doctor offers unparalleled discretion for those worried about the embarrassment of talking about sexual health problems. We record no footage during the consultation and our state-of-the-art security measures mean no one will be able to access your records without your consent.


If you’re suffering from erectile dysfunction, or any other sexual health issue - don’t delay. Speak to one of our expert GPs in complete privacy through your smartphone, tablet and computer.

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