What's that all that 'Viva Viagra' about?

What's that all that 'Viva Viagra' about?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) has been around a long time. I was taught it was 95% psychological,
just performance anxiety some middle aged guy got. Now we know it's at just the opposite, almost always there is a physical basis.
The penis is basically a massive complex of extremely small blood vessels each connected by nerves to our brain.

When sexually excited, the nerves are activated and cause dilation of the vessels. This increases blood flow which is
trapped in chambers and causes an erection. These blood vessels are very elastic to allow for stretching. Since they are so small, even minuscule
cholesterol deposits can block blood flow and it doesn't take much blockage to reduce the pressure below what is necessary to
achieve and maintain an erection.

We now recognize that ED is usually the very first manifestation of atheroslerosis most men experience. Since cholesterol
is the driving force behind atherosclerosis, reducing it along with treating other conditions like diabetes, hypertension and stopping
smoking are essential to arresting or reversing it.

What do Viagra, Levitra, Cialis do? They are blood vessel dilators but have a curious affinity for the
blood vessels in the pelvis. They cause dilation and normalize function temporarily. Essentially, they turn back the clock 10-20 years.

If I see a man with ED I always check to see if he has high cholesterol, diabetes or smokes. I use the Viagra/Levitra/Cialis meds
as necessary, but often, just treating the underlying cause of ED can make it go away.


Dr. John Launius - Lakepointe Urgent Care - Lewisville

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