Getting an erection is a complicated chain of events. But at the core, erections are all about blood flow. Erectile dysfunction medications work by interfering with the chemical process that lets blood leave an erect penis. Erectile dysfunction meds are part of a family of drugs called PDE-5 inhibitors.
PDE-5: Your Erection “Off Switch”
When a man gets aroused, their brain releases chemicals that relax arteries and constrict veins in the penis. This lets more blood flow into the penis than flow out. The result is an erection. Erections would last forever – and bad things would happen – if your body did not restore normal blood flow to the penis. Phosphodiesterases enzymes return the penis to normal by relaxing veins in the penis, essentially “turning off” the erection and letting blood flow out of the penis.
In healthy men, erections and PDE-5 enzymes are in harmony. Erections last long enough for “satisfactory” sex, then go away so normal blood flow can resume. But when the PDE-5 balance is off, the result is either erectile dysfunction or priapism.
Too much PDE-5 – Can cause soft erections or difficulty getting an erection
Not enough PDE-5 – Can cause erections that last longer than 4 hours
Erectile dysfunction medications work by blocking PDE-5 from bringing your erection to an end. ED drugs tip the chemical balance in favour of your erection. That is why doctors call erectile dysfunction medications PDE-5 inhibitors.
Important Safety Information
PDE-5 inhibitors are not safe for everyone. Talk to your doctor about whether you are healthy enough for sex and the risks and benefits of erectile dysfunction treatment options. ED medication may not be safe for people who take medications to lower their blood pressure or to treat an enlarged prostate, or who consume substantial amounts of alcohol.
If you are suffering from erectile dysfunction, then give us a call on 0330 808 1968 and we can advise you on which treatment is best.