The Changing Attitudes Towards Erectile Dysfunction

By: justarticles
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to sustain or develop an erection that is suitable for sexual intercourse. Once known as impotence, ED has been historically considered a taboo subject, with the only popular references to the condition being made in crude jokes or in home remedies of dubious efficacy. There are two broad categories of ED--physical and psychological.

Psychological ED has been effectively treatable for years, with the prognosis based on the ability of the therapist or other treatment provider to uncover and cure the underlying psychological hang up. Physical ED has always been another story, however, and was until recently considered to be basically incurable. However, the introduction of medications that have been clinically proven to treat physical ED has changed all of that.

This once shameful condition has emerged from its once heavy cloak of invisibility and it is now difficult to turn on the television without encountering some famous politician or sports star shilling for their favorite erectile dysfunction medication or erectile dysfunction remedy.

One little blue erectile dysfunction pill changed the world for millions of men who had previously been suffering from ED in silence. Viagra, the trade name of the drug sildenafil which was first successfully manufactured and distributed by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, is not only an effective medical treatment for ED, it has also become a pop culture icon. Sildenafil was originally created to treat angina, high blood pressure, and similar cardiovascular disorders.

When the drug entered its clinical trial phase, it was discovered that it had very little effect in treating its target disorders, but many of the participants in the trial noticed a rather unmistakable side effect--the drug was inducing rather pronounced penile erections. Correctly sensing that they had stumbled on to a goldmine, Pfizer quickly changed course and released Viagra as the first approved medical treatment for ED in 1996.

Since then, several other companies have released their own ED treatments, most notably Cialis by Eli Lilly and Company and Levitra by Bayer. There have also been numerous herbal and other nontraditional ED treatments that have attempted to ride the coat tails of Viagra.

The first step in treating ED is determining the true cause of the disorder. Typically, when someone first discusses erectile difficulties with their physician, the doctor will endeavor to rule out any undetected diseases that may be triggering the condition. Diabetes is a common culprit of erectile difficulties, as are certain cardiovascular conditions.

If an underlying physical condition can not be found, the physician may either recommend a round of counseling in order to discover whether or not there may be some underlying psychological condition or he or she may go ahead and prescribe an erectile dysfunction drug.
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