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What is erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is a common health condition affecting men. Also known as “impotence”, erectile dysfunction is diagnosed when a man has difficulty achieving and/or maintaining an erection.

This results in the man being unable to remain sexually active and can lead to broader health and wellbeing concerns, such as anxiety, low self-esteem and relationship issues.

While both can be defined as men’s sexual health concerns, erectile dysfunction is not the same as premature ejaculation. Impotence is defined as an inability to achieve or sustain an erection, whilst premature ejaculation occurs when a man can sustain an erection but reaches orgasm soon after sexual activity and with minimal stimulation.

How common is erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is much more common than most people realise. Around half of men in the UK will experience erectile dysfunction at some point in their lives, and one in ten will experience it for a prolonged or significant period.

The majority of men affected by erectile dysfunction are older adults. 70 per cent of men over 70 experience impotence, whilst around 50 per cent of men over 40 live with the condition. Yet despite the fact that age is a factor in erectile dysfunction, almost a quarter of enquiries made about erectile dysfunction treatment are made by men under the age of 40.

What causes erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction can be caused by an array of factors, as the process of achieving an erection is complicated. These causes involve both physical and mental factors, or sometimes a combination of the two. In younger men, the underlying cause is often psychological.

Physical causes of erectile dysfunction can include:

  • Diabetes: 75 per cent of men with diabetes aged 60-64 are affected by impotence, whilst 25 per cent of male diabetes sufferers aged 30-34 are affected.
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Hypertension
  • Smoking
  • Kidney disease
  • Long periods of cycling
  • Alcohol: consumption of alcohol can damage the nerves leading to the penis, reducing testosterone levels and increasing oestrogen levels.

Psychological causes of erectile dysfunction can include:

  • Depression and other mental health issues
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Anxiety specifically related to sexual performance
  • Relationship issues
  • Confused sexual orientation

How do you treat erectile dysfunction?

Treatment for erectile dysfunction depends largely on the underlying cause of the condition. Psychological causes of impotence such as anxiety and depression may require treatment in the form of sexual therapy, whilst specific performance related anxiety may simply require at-home aphrodisiacs.

If the cause of erectile dysfunction is physical, then treating an underlying condition such as diabetes can improve symptoms. Lifestyle changes such as a reduction in alcohol consumption and improved diet and exercise can also help to improve the condition in conjunction with erectile dysfunction medication.

Pharmacy-approved erectile dysfunction medication is an effective method of treating impotence swiftly. Viagra is the best known impotence treatment on the market, but other options such Sildenafil, Cialis and Spedra are popular alternatives.

Need more advice? Why not try our Live Chat tool now.

Compare Treatments

Cialis Once Daily Cialis As Needed Levitra Viagra (Sildenafil) Spedra (Avanafil)
Strengths available 2.5mg, 5mg 10mg, 20mg 5mg, 10mg, 20mg 25mg, 50mg, 100mg 50mg, 100mg, 200mg
Recommended starting strength 2.5mg 10mg 10mg 50mg 100mg
How long before sex is the tablet to be taken? After the first 5 days effect is continuous At least 30 minutes 25 minutes to 1 hour 1 hour 15 to 30 minutes
Affect of food Not affected by food Not affected by food Any food may slow Levitra action down and reduce effectiveness Any food may slow Viagra action down and high fat meals may reduce effectiveness Any food may slow Spedra action down
How long is it effective for? All day, every day 36 hours 4-5 hours 4-5 hours 4-5 hours
Most common side effects (in more than 10% of men) Headache Headache Headache and flushing Headache Headache and flushing

Our price promise commitment means that as we match prices nationally, prices will go down (and up) accordingly.

If you see or buy a treatment online and find it cheaper with a high street competitor (whether or not they also sell online), as long as their service conditions are comparable, then we’ll match that price for you or refund the difference. The cost of the treatment must include consultation charges for medication without a prior prescription. Comparable service conditions include factors such as delivery charges and timescales (such as Shutl delivery), and consultation charges.

If you’ve already purchased the treatment online, please make sure you report the price match within 28 days of receiving it. If you’d like to buy the product but want us to price match first, please check that you’re providing the most up to date information you can obtain when you submit your claim.

We’ll be asking you for full details of the treatment, the competitor and their prices, so please do check that you have this information to hand before you contact us.

Please note though, that we won’t refund the difference in price paid if you could have bought the product more cheaply with an online-only retailer: examples of this include chemistdirect.co.uk, who sell only through their websites or mail order and not via high street shops. We also don’t match competitors who are in administration or closing down.

UK Delivery Options

Delivery option Cost Details
Royal Mail Signed For™ £2.95 Usually next working day including Saturdays but may take up to 3 working days after dispatch.
Orders placed on weekdays before 2pm will usually be dispatched the same day. Orders placed on weekends/bank holidays will be dispatched the next working day.
Royal Mail Special Delivery™ £5.95 Special delivery before 1.00pm the next working day (not including Saturday) after dispatch.
Orders placed on weekdays before 2pm will usually be dispatched the same day. Orders placed on weekends/bank holidays will be dispatched the next working day.
UPS Express £12.50 Next working day delivery before 10:30am (not including Saturday) after dispatch.
Delivery to some postcodes in Scotland will incur a £10 surcharge. This will be indicated at checkout.
Orders placed on weekdays before 2pm will usually be dispatched the same day. Orders placed on weekends/bank holidays will be dispatched the next working day.

UK Collection Options

Collection option Cost Details
Local Collection FREE Free collection from our London pharmacy. You will be notified by email when your order is ready to collect from Dillons Pharmacy, 17 Church Road, Acton, London, W3 8PU.
UPS Next Day Local Collection £4.00 Collect from a UPS access point location of your choice. You can then collect your medication from your local access point at your convenience. Orders placed on weekdays before 2pm will usually be dispatched the same day to your chosen access point location. Orders placed on weekends/bank holidays will be dispatched the next working day.

We can currently only deliver to UK addresses

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