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The Science Behind Erectile Dysfunction

Posted Friday 23 November 2018 15:01 by Tim Deakin in Erectile Dysfunction

Despite being one of the most common sexual health concerns for men, many people remain in the dark about what actually causes erectile dysfunction

With the holiday season fast approaching, many men are facing the reality of another festive period with erectile dysfunction. This can put a serious dampener on celebrations, and cause men to lose confidence and feel alone.

Yet, it is important to state that impotence is a widespread problem that can affect many men at some point in their life. One study from the Co-Op Pharmacy found that impotence affects 4.3 million men in the UK, the equivalent of one in five British men. But for such a common condition, many men are still unsure about what is actually at the root of their erectile problems. Understanding the condition is the first step to treating it effectively, which is why we’re here to clarify the science behind erectile dysfunction. Let’s take a look.

What causes erectile dysfunction?

An erection occurs when blood fills the penile chambers. This causes the penis to become enlarged and firm. However, in order to this to happen, a complex series of processes need to take place. An erection requires the release of a chemical called cGMP. This relaxes the blood vessels in the penis and makes it easier for blood to enter the penis and cause an erection.

When orgasm occurs and blood begins to drain from the area, an enzyme called PDE-5 is released to break down the cGMP chemical. However, in some men the PDE-5 enzyme is too active, stopping cGMP from widening the blood vessels before orgasm occurs. This makes it harder for men to reach and sustain a state of erection. This lies at the root of erectile dysfunction.

How does treatment work?

Once you understand the science behind the causes of erectile dysfunction, it becomes easier to understand how effective medication can work to treat the condition. Erectile dysfunction treatments broadly fall under the category of PDE-5 inhibitors. As the name suggests, these treatments inhibit the activity of the PDE-5 enzyme and subdue it, allowing the cGMP chemical to do its job properly. This intervention stops the blood vessels in the penis from contracting and makes it significantly easier to achieve and maintain an erection.

Popular PDE-5 inhibitors include treatments such as Sildenafil, Spedra, Levitra and, of course, Viagra.

Erectile dysfunction and mental health

While the bodily processes behind erectile dysfunction are largely physical, your mental health can play a huge part in increasing your symptoms.

Anxiety and depression can be significant factors in causing erectile dysfunction, and in some cases treating these wider conditions is necessary in order to improve your erectile issues. For most people, erectile dysfunction is the result of a vicious cycle between mental and physical health. Most erectile dysfunction is caused by physical factors, but when it occurs it can significantly increase feelings of performance anxiety, depression and anxiety in general. This can serve to make the condition even worse.

Treating the mental health aspects of erectile dysfunction can consist of something as simple as talking to your partner. Working together to make the bedroom a relaxing, inviting space rather than a pressurised one can be hugely important. Sexual health therapy or couples therapy can also be beneficial.

Certain physical health concerns can also increase your likelihood of suffering from erectile dysfunction, including diabetes. Poor lifestyle choices such as a bad diet, heavy drinking and smoking can also play a part in the condition.

This winter, don’t let erectile dysfunction stop you getting cosy in the bedroom. Explore the range of effective erectile dysfunction medications available from Express Pharmacy. For further guidance and support, get in touch with our team today using our discreet live chat service.

Why Are More and More Young Men Worrying About Erectile Dysfunction?

Posted Tuesday 06 November 2018 11:30 by Tim Deakin in Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is a condition that seems to be affecting an increasing number of men in their 20s and 30s are experiencing. But is there more to the statistics than meets the eye?

Erectile dysfunction has been officially recognised as a male health issue since the 1990s. Since then, reports and diagnoses of the issue have continued to grow. The condition refers to the inability to develop or maintain an erection for satisfactory sexual intercourse and activity. It can the result of an underlying health condition, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, prostate cancer or even depression.

For most people, ED is thought to be an affliction which primarily affects older men. Figures show that around 50% of men over 40 experience ED, while around 70% of men over 70 experience the condition. What’s more, men between the ages of 50 and 59 are three times as likely to experience ED compared to men aged between 18 and 29.

But it seems that more and more men from younger age groups are concerned about ED, with performance anxiety becoming an increasing issue.

All in the mind?

A recent study of 2,000 UK men found that 50% of those in their 30s reported difficulty achieving and maintaining an erection. However, neuroscientist in sexual behaviour Nicole Prause says there is little scientific or statistical evidence to suggest that ED numbers are on the rise. Prause comments:

“When you look representatively, there has not been an increase in erectile dysfunction. I see stats all the time reading: ‘It’s increased 1000% in young men’. But there’s no paper that says that.”

Dr Douglas Savage of the Centre for Men’s Health comments, “I have been treating patients for 30 years, and there’s no doubt that we’re seeing more young men today than we used to. Often, these are men who appear to be super-healthy: they’re slim, they exercise, they’re young, and you think: ‘Why on earth have these people got sexual difficulties.’”

If the problem isn’t physical, recent reports do suggest that the psychological factors behind performance failure are on the rise, leading to more young men experiencing performance anxiety.

Psychotherapist at the Apex Complex, Raymond Francis, believes today’s easily-accessible internet culture may be partly to blame: “If you look at the rise of easily accessible pornography, people have an expectation that men are going to be great performers.”

Francis continues: “I see an increasing number of men under the age of 35 developing performance anxiety. Shortly before the man finds himself in bed with his partner, the anxiety builds. The more he imposes a demand on himself, and the more that demand is not met, the more disturbed he becomes. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

Dated perceptions of masculinity within the male population may also be at fault, suggests Paul Nelson, who founded an online support group for ED sufferers called Frank Talk: “We are raised in a culture where men do not talk authentically about sex.”

Nelson says that for men, ED can feel like a “total humiliation. There’s a profound feeling of being less than anyone else.

“Men are supposed to always want sex and be ready to go. When you don’t live up to that code, you’re excluded from the men’s club.”

Is there a light at the end of the tunnel for ED sufferers?

When ED occurs as the result of emotional pressure and anxiety, open communication is key to overcoming the condition. Whether it’s with a partner, a friend, online communities or through seeking out psychotherapy, acknowledging issues and seeking support is a key step to a full recovery. Seeking treatment for underlying mental health concerns like anxiety and depression can also lead to an improved performance.

Of course, effective erectile dysfunction medication can also provide the assurance needed to enjoy sexual intercourse again. Leading treatments such as Viagra, Spedra and generic sildenafil are all proven to significantly reduce symptoms of ED. These treatments and more are available from Express Pharmacy.

For more information and support regarding erectile dysfunction treatment, contact the team at Express Pharmacy today. You can call us on 0208 123 07 03 or use our discreet online Live Chat.

How Regular Intercourse Can Improve Physical and Mental Health in Over 50s

Posted Monday 20 November 2017 10:43 by Tim Deakin in Erectile Dysfunction

For many it’s still considered a taboo subject, but sexual health in men and women over 50 should never be overlooked as an important aspect of overall wellbeing.

Sex is good for your health. For some people, discussing what it means to have a healthy sex life seems crude, but research shows that if older men feel they can’t talk about their sexual health, then they don’t get help for treatable issues that could be adversely affecting their wider wellbeing.

Statistics show that, happily, over half of men and women over 50 are having sex twice a month or more. However, a quarter of this age bracket admit to suffering from declining sexual function, and another quarter state that they have a problem with sexual function.

Intercourse for men over 50 isn’t a topic which is often discussed, but with movements like Movember in full swing, it’s time to acknowledge how sex can improve health in men over 50, and well as addressing the issues men often face.

What are the benefits of sexual intercourse for men over 50?

Multiple studies have shown that regular intercourse for men over 50 can lead to improved health overall, including major factors like heart health, reduced blood pressure and the release of feel-good endorphins which can act as natural painkillers.

One study by the former head of psychology at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, Dr David Weeks, even found that older adults who have regular sex look on average five to seven years younger than those who rarely have sex. This may partially be due to the fact that sex acts as a form of regular exercise, burning as many calories as a run or yoga session on average. It’s also been shown to reduce feelings of anxiety and depression, so it’s no wonder that regular intercourse can be so beneficial to health in men over 50.

However, issues like erectile dysfunction can be a cause for concern in terms of sexual health in men over 50

For men, testosterone levels typically drop about one per cent per year from around the age of thirty-five. This can cause tiredness and irritability in men, as well as reduced sleep quality, a diminished libido and, for a lot of men, erectile problems.

Erectile dysfunction is a burden for many men across the UK, and becomes increasingly common as men age. 5 per cent of men aged forty suffer from the condition, and this figure jumps to 15 to 25 per cent by the time men reach the age of 65.

Despite the benefits of intercourse for men over 50, erectile dysfunction can make the process difficult and stressful. The condition can be caused by physical factors such as obesity and diabetes, or by mental health concerns like anxiety and depression. It’s a major concern for health in men over 50, and one which can be treated with medication.

What other issues are affecting sexual intercourse for men over 50?

Other factors can have an impact on intercourse for men over 50, including premature ejaculation. This is a concern which can affect all men and is a condition which should be addressed and can be treated. Whatever your concern, it’s important for older men to seek help, as the benefits of intercourse for men over 50 are clear.

For further information on all aspects of sexual health, contact Express Pharmacy today. You can call us on 0208 123 0703 or get in touch via our discreet Live Chat service.


Abiola ige on Monday 15 January 2018 06:00

I need the right medication for prenature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction


Fake Viagra a Very Real Danger in 2016

Posted Tuesday 31 May 2016 12:15 by Tim Deakin in Erectile Dysfunction

Viagra is, of course, the best known erectile dysfunction treatment on the market. The revolutionary drug, which contains the active ingredient sildenafil, was first released nearly 20 years ago. Now no longer patented, Viagra has been joined on the market by other impotence medications, enabling users to gain and maintain a firm erection during intercourse.

Long established as a remedy for those people wishing to remain sexually active through middle age and into more senior years, Viagra and its fellow erectile dysfunction treatments have nevertheless become popular with younger individuals seeking added reassurance and confidence in the bedroom.

But as the number of people taking impotence drugs increases, so does the trade in illegal and counterfeit medications. Indeed, it has been estimated that between 2015 and 2016 as much as £11 million of fake erectile dysfunction drugs were seized in the UK. This represents the largest haul ever seen.

This is even more concerning when we consider the side effects that have been associated with these unregulated, unreliable and dangerous drugs. Recorded side effects include visual problems, fainting, dangerous reductions in blood pressure and heart problems.

While pharmacists have been quick to warn that Viagra, generic sildenafil or any other impotence medication should not be treated as a recreational drug to be purchased on any street corner, this doesn’t appear to be stemming the tide of fake drugs coming into the UK.

Just a quick search online reveals a huge number of adverts promoting improved sexual performance from sites that are in no way regulated or representative of the medical profession. It is hardly surprising then that seizures of counterfeit Viagra have revealed pills to be comprised of nasties such as chalk, detergent and talcum powder among others.

Needless to say that as a prescription medication Viagra should only be purchased from a registered UK pharmacy and taken only with guidance from a pharmacist or doctor. Never trust the appearance of a medication as this can easily be imitated by those wishing to sell fake products on the black market.

Taking counterfeit pills is dangerous because such pills will not have been through the same strict and thorough safety tests that all licensed medication must go through. And without consulting a medical professional those taking such pills may be putting their health in danger in the event that they have any underlying problems such as pre-existing blood pressure issues or are exceeding recommended dosage.

How to trust your medication

As a fully regulated pharmacy, Express Pharmacy features the mandatory logo released by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in 2015 on each and every page of our website. This logo is designed to provide consumers with peace of mind.

Want to know more about our online pharmacy? Find out about us.


maurizio altini on Sunday 05 June 2016 16:51

As you can see, I have bought medication from expresspharmacy in the past. It was delivered mainly to Italy, but also to my home in Northern Ireland..


Can you still ship to Italy?



Marina Abdalla on Monday 06 June 2016 18:14

Hi Maurizio,

Unfortunately due to legislation we are no longer able to ship to come countries within Europe. You can see by clicking on the following link the countries are still able to send medication to.


paul in spain on Friday 03 June 2016 09:14

why can you not supply my needs in spain, clearly the law has changed? why?

Marina Abdalla on Saturday 18 June 2016 12:10
Reply to paul in spain

Hi Paul,

Unfortunately due to legislation we are no longer able to ship to come countries within Europe. You can see by clicking on the following link the countries are still able to send medication to.


Express Pharmacy Patient Support.


Why You’re Probably Not Having Any Joy in the Bedroom

Posted Wednesday 16 September 2015 22:50 by Tim Deakin in Erectile Dysfunction

erectile dysfunction treatmentGet the lowdown on all the things standing between you and a relaxed, enjoyable and firm experience in the bedroom.

We have covered the problem of erectile dysfunction several times in the Express Pharmacy blog. And by now most people are aware that this issue is not only common, but easily treated using impotence medications.

Whether a growing awareness of the widespread nature of ED inspires confidence in men to go out and seek help is still debatable, but in this article we will look more closely at those lifestyle choices you are making that could be behind the embarrassment, discomfort and… flaccidity.

What’s needed to get a penis going?

This might sound obvious but in actual fact it takes more than just attraction to achieve an erection. In fact, arousal needs to be supported by a properly functioning nervous system and a healthy blood supply; and it is these two factors that contribute towards complications in the bedroom.

Everything from a cold to stress to poor diet can affect your blood and nervous systems, so finding the cause of an individual case of erectile dysfunction can actually be quite difficult. What we do know is that to there are several key lifestyle factors that have a marked effect on cases of impotence.


ED and smoking are thought to be linked through a process called atherosclerosis. The arteries become clogged up with a combination of plaque and fatty deposits, reducing the space for blood to flow and building up pressure. The more an individual smokes the greater the furring of the arteries and the narrower the room for blood to flow freely.

Not only does this process leave a smoker at serious risk of any number of cardiovascular diseases, it also makes them a prime candidate for impotence. If blood can’t reach the penis an erection is virtually impossible.


In contrast to smoking, alcohol works against a man’s sexual organ in a very different fashion. Alcohol impacts on a man’s brain function, perception, coordination and, in fact, his whole nervous system. For a man trying to achieve an erection this is a significant problem.

By inhibiting the signals passing between the brain and the body, alcohol can make it significantly harder for a man to achieve and sustain an erection – no matter how aroused he feels.

Alcohol also causes problems in another way: widening the arteries. Blood vessels that are too wide can be just as problematic as those that are too small because they make it easier for blood to flow out of the penis – resulting in failure to sustain an erection.

Stress and depression

Stress and depression can impact on both the nervous system and cardiovascular system in a number of surprising ways.

High blood pressure is commonly associated with stress. During periods of high blood pressure the arterial lining can become damaged and the flow of blood around the body restricted.

Both stress and depression also cause the body’s hormone levels to become imbalanced and this can have repercussions for the nervous system – a factor we have already seen has close links with ED.

If you suffer from erectile dysfunction and would like to find out more about how changes to lifestyle and appropriate medications can help, get in touch on 0208 123 0703 or head to our Contact Us page.