Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability of a man to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for his sexual needs or the needs of his partner. Sexual dysfunction is common among males and females.
It has been found that many of the patients have had ED before the onset of medical ailments. However, in Asia, most patients do not vocalise their problems because of embarrassment or shyness. Therefore, early recognition of ED may help identify treatable medical conditions.
Although ED is caused by a variety of diseases, most of the time the problem can be managed. In addition, there are effective oral medicines such as sildenafil citrate for treating men with ED. Sildenafil citrate has been proved to be a safe and effective medication for the treatment of ED. A study of more than 5,600 men conducted by the American College of Cardiology in 1998 to 1999 found that the rates of heart attack and related heart problems were no higher among sildenafil citrate users than the general population.
Sildenafil citrate may also be an effective medication for some women with a condition known as female sexual arousal disorder. However, further studies are needed among women to test its effectiveness.
Persons taking sildenafil citrate should be cautioned not to take nitrates and nitroglycerines concomitantly as the combined use may lower blood pressure to very low levels. It is advisable to consult a doctor before using such medicines.
There are also several other medicines that have been shown to be efficacious in treating patients with ED. Ask your doctor about them. Apart from medication, physicians should also try to encourage discussions of sexual dysfunction among their patients. This can be done during cardiovascular rehabilitation and preventive cardiology programmes, or at risk factor modification clinics.
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