Viagra was originally intended to treat angina, but the research found that the drug was not as effective as other drugs that were already on the market. Instead, it was found to have the unfortunate side effect of causing erections. Thus, the drug was then researched and subsequently marketed for use in men with erectile dysfunction – with great success.
The main symptom of erectile dysfunction, also known as impotence, is the inability to get an erection. Other symptoms include the inability to obtain a hard erection, or the inability to sustain a firm erection during sexual activity.
Occasional occurrences of erectile dysfunction in men are common and do not normally result in a diagnosis or the use of medications. The condition is considered to be a problem only when it occurs on a persistent basis over time. When this occurs, men should consult their physician to rule out underlying medical conditions that may be causing their erectile dysfunction.
Causes of erectile dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction is caused by insufficient blood flow to the penis. In order to obtain an erection, the muscles relax and allow blood to flow into the penis chambers. This increases the pressure in the organ and causes an erection. Valves hold that pressure in the veins of the penis until ejaculation occurs or sexual stimulation stops.
Medical or psychological problems, or a combination of those issues, as well as certain drugs, can cause erectile dysfunction. Medical conditions that can cause this conduction are generally those that affect blood flow to the penis including diabetes and heart disease. Psychological problems that may have a bearing on this condition include depression, stress, and relationship problems. Other contributors include smoking, drugs (both prescribed and recreational), and alcohol.
Diabetes is a disease that may damage the nerves and blood vessels that are necessary to obtain an erection. In general, a large percentage of men with diabetes suffer from mild to severe erectile dysfunction. Because this diabetes does affect nerves and blood vessels, heart problems may also occur. Men who take heart medications may not be good candidates for the use of Viagra. Heart disease and high blood pressure, like diabetes, can impair blood flow throughout the body and result in erectile dysfunction.
Atherosclerosis occurs when the artery walls thicken causing a narrowing of the artery and a restriction of the blood flow throughout the body. Penis arteries are generally the first that are affected by atherosclerosis because that condition prevents the dilation necessary for the penis to fill with blood and become erect. This condition should be treated by a physician in an attempt to prevent future heart problems.
Other conditions that can result in erectile dysfunction include obesity, high cholesterol, Parkinson’s disease, and hormonal problems. Before taking any medication, it is important that men see their doctor to determine whether there is an underlying medical condition that, when successfully treated, will improve the condition. Once the doctor has made a diagnosis, he or she can make a decision on whether Viagra may help treat the erectile dysfunction.
Psychological problems including depression and severe anxiety can cause temporary erectile dysfunction by suppressing triggers that are normally stimulated by touch or other types of stimulus. Many men become anxious when they experience a problem obtaining or maintaining an erection. He may worry and avoid intimacy with his partner due to his failure to perform sexually to the extent that he actually prevents himself from obtaining an erection. Once those issues are resolved, the erectile dysfunction generally disappears.
There are numerous medications that can cause erectile dysfunction. Some of those drugs include high blood pressure and heart medications, antidepressants, and painkillers.
Viagra helps most men with erectile dysfunction obtain an erection so that they can participate in sexual activity. This helps men become more confident, eliminates stress, and improves sexual relationships.
Viagra may also boost the heart’s performance when used correctly. Because, again, of its ability to widen the arteries, it has the potential to save the lives of those that have some types of heart issues and improve their overall health.
Auburn University researchers think that Viagra has the potential to help with memory improvement and even be used in Alzheimer’s disease therapy in the future. Their theory is based on studies that have suggested a boost in memory and learning skills while taking Viagra.
Researchers have reported in the Journal of Applied Psychology that research trials performed on cyclists showed an improvement in cardiovascular and exercise stamina and performance at high altitude. Another study was conducted by German researchers on climbers of the Himalayan peaks. The results showed that those climbers had a better toleration of the lack of oxygen at that height. While the trials were conducted on sportsmen, the results show that it could help people with the energy and stamina to conduct everyday activities.
Viagra also has the potential to benefit men in other ways. Because of its ability to widen the arteries, it has the potential to promote recovery in stroke patients. The Detroit Neuroscience Institute has expressed the belief that if men and women are given Viagra within three days of a stroke, it could help them regain and improve their movement, thinking and speaking abilities.
Viagra and women
The American Sher Institute for Reproductive Medicine conducted research that indicated women who took Viagra increased their chances of becoming pregnant. Many women have trouble becoming pregnant because the lining of their uterus is too thin. The Institute suggested that the reason Viagra helped them may be due to the ability of the drug to help increase blood flow to the uterus with the result of promoting growth of the uterine lining.
Facts about Viagra
Viagra belongs to the drug family known as phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors. Those types of drugs, when taken as directed, increases the blood flow to the penis and, in turn, allows him to obtain an erection when sexually stimulated.
Viagra does not prevent sexually transmitted diseases from occurring. Safe sex should be practiced when men are sexually active with more than one partner or not in a monogamous relationship. Safe sex includes the use of condoms and other protective layers, such as plastic wrap and gloves, to avoid direct contact with vaginal fluids, semen, and blood.
Viagra should not be used as a recreational drug. Some men that do not have an erectile dysfunction have used the drug to help them maintain an erection longer. The danger in misusing Viagra and other phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors is the potential for increased cardiovascular risks if there is an underlying condition such as heart disease or low blood pressure or if he is taking medications for chest pains or high blood pressure. Taking Viagra in combination with other recreational drugs can be fatal. Some men that have used Viagra for recreational purposes have found that they became dependent on the drug and could not obtain an erection without them.
Because Viagra widens arteries, men who are already taking nitrate medications should consult their physician.
Viagra side effects
The most common side effects from taking Viagra have been reported as headaches, flushing, stuffy or runny nose, back and/or muscle pain, nausea, dizziness, and rashes. Abnormal vision is another common side effect. For example, in a minority of the cases, men may see a blue tinge in their vision and their perception of green and blue colors may be different for hours after taking Viagra. These types of symptoms gradually fade away as the body becomes used to the drug.
More serious side effects, although rare, include an erection that lasts more than four hours, vision loss, and a decrease or loss or hearing. These symptoms require immediate medical attention.
Viagra dosage facts
- Viagra should be taken a minimum of 30 minutes and a maximum of four hours before you plan to be sexually active.
- The drug should not be taken more than once per day.
- The dosage will depend on your medical condition and any other medications, including prescription and nonprescription, that you may be taking.
- Eating a high-fat meal may cause a delay in the amount of time that it takes the drug to become active.
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