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Erectile Dysfunction

What is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erection starts in the brain. When a man is sexually excited, the brain sends chemical messages to the muscles in the penis; this provides increased blood flow to the penis, filling two chambers inside. As blood fills these chambers, veins in the penis close up, allowing the penis to expand and become ‘hard’.

The erection ends when the muscles begin to contract, pushing the blood out through the penile veins.

Erectile dysfunction (ED) or ‘impotence’ is a health condition affecting men. It is characterised by a difficulty in achieving or maintaining an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse.

Occasional erectile dysfunction is common, especially during times of stress. Frequent ED, however, may suggest some underlying health problems that need to be addressed. Erectile problems can also be a sign of relationship or emotional problems.

Erectile dysfunction is not the same as premature ejaculation. The latter occurs when a man can sustain an erection but frequently reaches orgasm in as little as two minutes during sexual intercourse.

Unresolved erectile problems can cause stress, lower your self-esteem, and affect your relationship with your spouse or partner. However, luckily, us here at Express Pharmacy are on hand to help - we have a range of specialised erectile dysfunction treatments that can be delivered to your door.

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 symptoms 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% of men over 70 experience impotence, whilst around 50% of men over 40 experience erectile dysfunction on a regular basis. Yet, although 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 cases involve both physical and mental factors, or sometimes a combination of the two. In younger men, the underlying cause is often psychological.

Physical erectile dysfunction causes can include:

  • Diabetes (75% of men with diabetes aged 60-64 are affected by impotence, whilst 25% of male diabetes sufferers aged 30-34 are affected)
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Hypertension
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Kidney disease
  • Hormone imbalances or low testosterone levels
  • Alcohol (consumption of alcohol can damage the nerves leading to the penis, reducing testosterone levels and increasing oestrogen levels)
  • Age
  • Sleep disorders
  • Tobacco/drug use
  • Damage to the pelvic area due to injury
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Peyronie's disease (scar tissues inside the penis)
  • Enlarged prostate

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

Complications from erectile problems can include:

  • Stress
  • Low self-esteem, embarrassment
  • Problems with your partner/spouse
  • Unsatisfactory sex life
  • Can’t get your partner pregnant

How Do You Treat Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction treatment 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.

Express Pharmacy stocks several erectile dysfunction treatments that can treat ED problems swiftly. Check out your options below:


Viagra is one of the common erectile dysfunction treatments available. Developed in the UK and brought to the market by Pfizer, Viagra is a brand name of sildenafil citrate - an active ingredient used to treat ED.

Viagra works by relaxing the muscles in the walls of blood vessels. It increases the blood flow to the penis so you can get an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. When used in moderation, Viagra is completely safe. It can be taken orally and may take up to two hours to work.

Viagra’s effect depends on your dosage, level of sexual stimulation, and metabolism. Usually, it lasts up to 3 hours. But it can be longer.

Common side effects of Viagra include:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Indigestion
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Headaches

Purchase Viagra treatment.


Sildenafil is another popular ED treatment. It’s the main active ingredient in popular brands like Viagra and Revatio. Sildenafil can come as an oral tablet, liquid suspension, or as an injection which can only be given by doctors.

This erectile dysfunction treatment helps to increase blood flow to the penis so you can have an erection firm enough for intercourse. But it only works when you are already sexually aroused.

For best effects, Sildenafil must be taken 1 hour before any sexual activity. Your dosage will depend on several factors (your medical conditions, other medications you are taking, response to treatment, etc) and must be determined by your doctor.

Known side effects of Sildenafil include:

  • Headaches
  • Fever
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Bronchitis
  • Flushing (reddening of the face)
  • Upset stomach
  • Nosebleeds

These side effects are often mild and should go away within a few days or weeks. Contact your doctor if they persist.

You can buy Sildenafil here.


Cialis is a brand on par with Viagra. Its active ingredient, tadalafil, works by increasing blood flow to the penis so you can achieve an erection. Cialis comes in yellow, film-coated tablets of varying doses (5, 10 and 20 mg). It can be taken as needed but not more than once every 24 hours. Like most erectile dysfunction drugs, you must be sexually aroused for Cialis to work.

Portions of Cialis remain in the body for at least 24 hours. That’s why a daily dose of 10 to 20 mg is highly discouraged. If you are sexually active, a daily dose of 5 mg (which can be reduced by 2.5 mg depending on your body’s response) is recommended.

Some side effects of Cialis include:

  • Headache
  • Dyspepsia
  • Back pain
  • Cough
  • Upper respiratory tract infection
  • Nasal congestion

Browse our Cialis treatment here.


Spedra is the brand name for Avanafil - another drug used to treat erectile dysfunction problems. It works by helping blood vessels in the penis relax, facilitating an increased blood flow which leads to an erection.

Like other treatments mentioned above, Spedra only works when you are sexually aroused. This means you and your partner need to use foreplay - just as you would without taking the medicine.

The recommended dose for Spedra is a 100mg tablet taken once every 24 hours, as needed. Your doctor may adjust your dosage higher or lower, depending on your condition. Spedra must be taken 15 to 30 minutes before sexual intercourse.

Possible side effects of Spedra includes:

  • Headache
  • Nasal congestion
  • Flushing

Order your Spedra here.

Talk to Our Experts

Erectile dysfunction can be very damaging to a man’s self-confidence. But that should not be the case. Express Pharmacy stocks high-quality erectile dysfunction treatments that are proven effective and safe if taken according to specific requirements.

Enjoy a healthier sex life today by browsing our erectile dysfunction treatments above or by talking to one of our experts on 0208 123 0703.

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.

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