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What is Erectile Dysfunction?
What is Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction, also known as “impotence,” is the inability to get or keep an erection firm enough for satisfying sexual intercourse.
It’s not uncommon to have occasional ED. If it's happening more frequently, however, it can be a sign of a more serious issue.
Anything from stress to lifestyle changes can trigger difficulty with erections. ED may be caused by an underlying condition, like diabetes, heart disease, clogged arteries, or high blood pressure. Some medications, like antidepressants or high blood pressure medications, can also contribute to ED. Psychological issues like stress and anxiety can also play a role, along with lifestyle factors such as lack of sleep, drinking, and smoking.
The main symptoms of erectile dysfunction is the inability to get or maintain an erection firm enough for sex. Occasional issues aren't usually cause for concern. But if erectile problems become a routine occurrence that disrupt your sex life, this can be a sign of erectile dysfunction.
In addition to impacting sexual performance, ED can lead to other problems. If you have ED, you might experience:
• Low self-esteem
• Reduced sex drive
Erectile dysfunction doesn’t just take a toll on men’s sexual health. It can also have a profound emotional impact — disrupting relationships and creating feelings of sadness and low self-esteem.
If ED is affecting your life, well-being, and relationships, seeking diagnosis and treatment is the first step toward finding relief. Treating an underlying condition or finding the right ED medicine may put you on the path to relieving your ED and improving the quality of your sex life.
Who It Affects
Erectile dysfunction is a common disorder, affecting about 52% or more than one-half of men over age 40 in the United States.¹ The older you get, the more likely you are to develop some form of ED. One study found that the prevalence increases by about 10% for each decade. For example, that means 50% of men in their 50s are affected by ED, and 70% of men in their 70s.³
Most men with ED are over the age of 40, but ED can also affect younger people. 25% of men seeking their first ED treatment are younger than 40 years old.² While the risk of ED increases with age, it’s not caused by age. It’s possible for men to achieve an erection and enjoy satisfying sex — no matter their age.
What Treatment Looks Like
Treatment options for ED can include everything from penile injections to sex therapy. The treatment you may be most familiar with is Viagra (sildenafil) — the first FDA-approved prescription erectile dysfunction pill. There are now several different FDA-approved ED pills on the market. All of them work to improve blood flow and restore sexual function when aroused. Research shows that, when used properly, they can have great results. Studies have shown that men taking FDA-approved ED pills were twice as likely to report improved erections or better sex than men who didn't.⁴
Most men who use erectile dysfunction medications have no issues with side effects. It’s important to know that ED medications can affect how other medications work, and other medications can interact with ED pills. Men who take nitrates, often prescribed for chest pain, or guanylate cyclase stimulators like Adempas (riociguat) for pulmonary hypertension, should not take ED medications. When taken with ED medicine, these and some other medications that affect your blood pressure can lead to a sudden, and potentially dangerous, drop in blood pressure.
Other serious side effects are rare, but they can occur:
• Prolonged, painful erection
• Vision changes
• Hearing loss
Discuss your medical history and the risks and benefits of treatment with your healthcare provider before taking treatments for ED. These treatments are only available for men 18 years and older.
Our at-home tests and test kits, telehealth services, and prescription delivery provide you with accessible treatment options to get fast, convenient care. However, medication may only address the direct symptoms of erectile dysfunction. You should talk to your healthcare provider if you’re experiencing other concerning symptoms or if your ED may be linked to other conditions, like heart disease or high blood pressure.
How Cue Can Help You Find Relief
If you’re experiencing erection problems, know you’re not alone. It isn’t easy to manage the impact erectile dysfunction can have on your health, life, and relationships.
Fortunately, there are ways to help you overcome the effects of ED, with treatment options that help you get back to a healthy, fulfilling sex life.
We make it easy to get ED treatment, if medically appropriate, all from the comfort of home. Consult with a licensed healthcare professional in the Cue Health App. If prescribed treatment, you can get relief sent straight to your doorstep discreetly. We handle everything from evaluation to delivery, so you can get a personalized treatment plan without ever leaving home. With Cue, it’s quick, simple, and discreet.