Erection problems

Posted by Peter Baker

Men's health consultant, Peter Baker, looks at Erection: The User's Guide and dispels some of the myths around erectile dysfunction.

erection problemsMen are too often unwilling to discuss their health problems and they can be particularly reluctant to see their doctor if they have a difficulty ‘down below’. On average, men in the UK wait 2.5 years before seeking help from a doctor with an erection problem.

“Social taboos force men to keep their worries to themselves, even when they experience serious problems, such as being unable to achieve an erection,” says Dr Ronald Virag, one of the world’s leading experts on men’s sexual health. But Dr Virag believes not only that all cases of ‘erectile dysfunction’ (or ‘ED’ for short) can be treated but also that ignoring the problem affects men’s self-esteem and relationships and, crucially, can put their health at serious risk.

To help men find out what they need to know about every aspect of erections, Dr Virag has written the world’s first eBook on the subject. Erection: The User’s Guide provides straightforward information for all men on how erections work, what can go wrong with them, and how any problems can be effectively treated.

The book has been published in a digital format so it can be read on a computer, iPad, Kindle, Kobo and other devices. It is cheaper than a paper version and, importantly for men, can more easily be read in private. One click and the content disappears from view.

Erection problems are very common - about 40% of men over 40 are frequently or occasionally unable to achieve an erection good enough for sexual intercourse and over half of men in their 70s are affected. Most cases are caused by heart disease, diabetes, hormonal or neurological problems and urological surgery (on the prostate, for example). Sometimes ED is the first symptom of an underlying physical issue.

Cases can also be caused by depression, anxiety or stress. Too much alcohol can also be to blame. If a man can get an erection in some circumstances (such as during sleep or when waking in the morning) but not during sex then the causes may be psychological rather than physical.

Doctors now know that ED can provide an important early-warning sign of heart disease. Men with ED have a 30-60% greater risk of experiencing a ‘cardiovascular event’, such as a heart attack, within 10 years than men without ED. Heart disease often produces symptoms in the penis first because its blood vessels are much narrower and get blocked with fatty deposits before larger vessels elsewhere. The link between ED and heart disease makes it essential that men see a doctor about any problems sooner rather than later.

Drugs like Viagra, Cialis and Levitra have proved effective for millions of men over the past 15 years and there are several other options, including self-administered injections and vacuum pumps, for those men for whom the drugs do not work. But the vital first step is for men to see their doctor. That might feel embarrassing but living with ED, and whatever is causing it, is surely worse.

10 things you didn’t know about erections:

  1. Humans are the only mammal whose male reproductive organ contains no bone.
  2. Only two-thirds of the penis is externally visible; the remaining third is hidden and attached to the pubic arch.
  3. There are three main erection shapes: the “straight on” (where the penile trunk is tubular), the “Eiffel Tower” (shaft wider at the base than the top), and the “baseball bat” (narrower where it joins the abdomen than at the tip). All these shapes are normal.
  4. The average length of an erect penis is 15 cms.
  5. The average girth of an erect penis is 14 cms.
  6. The penis requires about 130 ml of blood to become stiff.
  7. Nocturnal erections occur to oxygenate the penis and maintain the quality of erectile tissue.
  8. Erection problems can provide early warning of heart disease.
  9. The effectiveness of oral drug treatments for erectile dysfunction has been overestimated by the pharmaceutical industry – oral drug treatments are effective in just one case in three and only partially effective in another third.
  10. Every man can recover his erections, whatever the cause of the problem.


Erection: The User's Guide

Erection: The Users Guide is available on Amazon. Ronald Virag He is a pioneer in sexual medicine research and specially in the field of erectile dysfunction. His discovery of the effect of medications injected in the penis is a milestone which helped million of patients and has open the road to the modern treatment of the disease (in 1996, Viagra©). With this publication accessible to everyone, his large experience, recognized all over the world, is now available to the public. He is a permanent member of the French National Academy of Surgery. 

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