Today, selective phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors are the top choice for treating erectile dysfunction. These medications are highly effective, well-tolerated, and have a good safety profile.

However, taking erectile dysfunction drugs won’t instantly cause an erection.

These medications enhance a chemical in our bodies called nitric oxide, which relaxes muscles in the penis. This increases blood flow to the penis and helps achieve an erection.

For these medications to work, you need to be sexually aroused. So, take your time and allow yourself to feel aroused. Use all your senses to stimulate yourself.

About erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is defined by the International Society for Sexual Medicine as the inability of a man to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for satisfying sexual intercourse. To understand erectile dysfunction, it’s important to grasp how erections occur.

When a man becomes sexually aroused, nerves and chemicals work together to relax smooth muscle tissue and widen arteries so that the penis can fill with blood. Veins that normally drain blood from the penis constrict to keep the blood inside, resulting in an erection. After ejaculation, blood flows back into the body.

Erectile dysfunction becomes more common as men age. It’s also associated with several medical conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. In fact, it’s estimated that 50% of men with diabetes experience some level of erectile dysfunction.

Risk factors for erectile dysfunction

  1. Smoking
    Smoking increases the risk of artery hardening, which reduces blood flow to the penis. Adequate blood flow is crucial for achieving an erection.
  2. Obesity
    Carrying excess weight increases the risk of vascular diseases, which can lead to erectile dysfunction.
  3. Sedentary lifestyle
    To lower the risk of erectile dysfunction, avoid being sedentary. Regular exercise helps ensure you’re ready when needed.
  4. Uncontrolled diabetes
    Diabetes can affect blood flow to the penis. Maintain a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and take medications as prescribed.
  5. High cholesterol
    High cholesterol can damage blood vessel linings, including those in the penis, affecting arteries to the genitals. Eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, and take medications as directed.
  6. Alcohol consumption
    Drinking more than two alcoholic beverages per day can impair your ability to get an erection. Alcohol restricts blood flow to the penis and can hinder testosterone production, which affects both performance and sexual desire.
  7. Illegal drug use
    Substances like marijuana, cocaine, and other recreational drugs can cause erectile dysfunction by damaging blood vessels and limiting blood flow to the penis.
  8. Stress and anxiety
    These are major temporary causes of erectile dysfunction. When your mind is overwhelmed, it’s difficult to relax enough to become sexually aroused.

Which erectile dysfunction medication is best?

All four oral medications for erectile dysfunction belong to the same class of drugs known as phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors, or PDE-5 inhibitors. The options include sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), avanafil (Stendra), and vardenafil (Levitra).

Research has shown that these PDE-5 inhibitors have similar efficacy and safety profiles, but there are differences in terms of timing of consumption, the impact of diet on drug absorption, duration of effects, and minor side effects.

These factors play a significant role in helping men decide which erectile dysfunction medication is best suited to their needs and lifestyle. Men may also consider their preferences and those of their partners, such as how spontaneous they want to be during sexual activity, as well as cost factors.

In 2011, a meta-analysis compared the use of three erectile dysfunction drugs – sildenafil, tadalafil, and vardenafil – among over 7,700 men. Researchers found that consistently, men preferred tadalafil (Cialis) more (52-65%) compared to the other two drugs (12-20% for vardenafil; 8-30% for sildenafil). Although all three drugs were proven safe and effective, tadalafil offers a 36-hour window for achieving an erection, while the other two drugs provide shorter windows.

However, if you wish, you can compare the general characteristics of erectile dysfunction medications. These facts, along with your personal preferences and lifestyle habits, can help you choose the best erectile dysfunction medication for you.

In conclusion, medications for treating erectile dysfunction such as sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), avanafil (Stendra), and vardenafil (Levitra) all belong to the class of phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE-5) inhibitors and have similar efficacy and safety profiles. However, each drug differs in terms of onset time, duration of effects, and individual response to side effects.

Research indicates that tadalafil offers an advantage with a window of up to 36 hours for achieving an erection, whereas other medications provide shorter durations. The choice of the best erectile dysfunction medication should consider not only its medical characteristics and side effects but also personal preferences and lifestyle to support a well-informed decision in enhancing sexual relationship quality.