MayoClinic.com defines erectile dysfunction as the inability to have and maintain an erection hard enough to participate in sex. On-going cases of ED may cause relationship and self-esteem issues. Numerous products have come to market that address the issue, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter supplements and mechanical devices. Some remedies specifically address erectile dysfunction, while others enhance the sexual experience.
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Vasoactive drugs, or sex drugs, are phosphodiesterase type-5, PDE-5, or inhibitors. Biopsychiatry.com states that PDE-5 inhibitors hinder the PDE-5 enzyme and thus inhibit the relaxation of the muscles involved in an erection. These drugs include Viagra, Levitra and Cialis. All three drugs are effective in treating erectile dysfunction and have few side effects.
Many choices exist in the OTC market for male enhancement. Options range from vitamin supplements, such as vitamins C and B-complex, minerals including zinc and L-arginine, Asian ginseng, Ginkgo biloba, as well as creams, patches and oils. NetWellness.org notes that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has no regulatory authority over these products and consumers should be aware that the pharmacological make-up is not enforced. Those interested in OTC supplements should consult a healthcare professional before use.
Penile prosthetics, or implants, have seen significant changes over the years, according to 2003 information from the Boston University School of Medicine. According to a study conducted by the university, the satisfaction rates are 80 percent or higher for a device with two inflatable cylinders implanted along the length of both sides of the penis and a pump implanted within the scrotum. Resulting in an erection-on-demand that lasts as long as is needed, performance confidence remains high in those who have had this implant surgery.
A penis pump is a long cylinder placed over the penis with a pump that removes the air to create a vacuum inside the tube. Blood is pulled into the penis creating an erection. A ring is placed around the penis at the base to help sustain the erection. Columbia University cautions that if used incorrectly, it can pull skin from the penis and cause loss of penile sensation.