Can Watching Pornography Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

A whole host of different causes for erectile dysfunction (ED) have been purported. Some of these are directly associated with physical conditions, such as hypertension (high blood pressure), high levels of blood sugar and nerve disorders. Others causes are more complex and involve psychological factors- depression and anxiety are both thought to be implicated in the onset of some cases of erectile dysfunction. Evidence has also linked excessive alcohol intake and drug use to ED.

One area that has been overlooked is the question of whether pornography can cause ED. The association between pornography viewing and erectile dysfunction is a taboo area, with many unwilling to openly talk about the two being linked.

However, a 2016 review found that internet pornography’s unique properties may cause arousal declines with real-life partners. This has caused increased scrutiny in the area. Throughout the course of this article, we will look at the evidence surrounding this topic and the ways that erectile dysfunction can be safely treated.

 

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‘Hooked on porn: Prepare for a tsunami of damaged people’. That was the bold title of a news article run by the New Zealand times, also published in 2016. It cites a major study carried out in Sydney, which found that 43% of males that regularly use pornography were first exposed to it between 11-13 years of age. The internet provides an easy, convenient way to access pornography. Linked to this, erectile dysfunction is thought to affect 27-33% of males under 40, whereas this figure was previously thought to be lower at between 2-5%.

Before the internet era, magazines were the main source of pornographic content. Walking into a store to buy magazines would often be inconvenient, and a sense of stigma was attached to purchasing such content in public. On the other hand, internet content can be accessed almost instantly and requires little effort to obtain.

Can watching pornography cause erectile dysfunction?

Despite some evidence linking pornography to erectile dysfunction, questions have to be asked regarding the methodology of these studies. There is a much clearer understanding of the underlying
physical mechanisms behind erectile dysfunction and far more effective treatments are available (which will be discussed later in the article) than there was 20 years ago. As a result, ED sufferers are more likely to consult medical professionals and be treated successfully.

If there is a causal relationship between pornography and ED, then what is the chemical basis for the link? In order to answer this question, we first need to look at the role of a very important chemical in the brain- dopamine. The release of dopamine is largely responsible for producing feelings of pleasure and reward. Levels of dopamine in the brain are dramatically increased when an individual watches porn, and continued stimulation can de-sensitise dopamine receptors.

Consequentially, more porn needs to be watched in the future for the same level of pleasure to be obtained. Real-life sexual activities stop being sufficient enough to provide adequate dopamine bursts. The body becomes more ‘tolerant’ of sexual stimulation, making it increasingly difficult to maintain erections.

The link between pornography viewing and erectile dysfunction is still a topic of ongoing research, and over time more definitive evidence is likely to appear. However, if you are a sufferer of erectile dysfunction, it is important that you find a simple and reliable treatment. Over the next few paragraphs, we will take a look at some of the options available.

Some light nausea and headaches may be apparent when treatment is first initiated, although these side effects are transient and should disappear within a few weeks of taking the medicine. The generic form of Viagra, known as Sildenafil, can also be purchased. There is no difference in effectiveness between the two products.

 

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Product Description

How does Viagra and Sildenafil work?

Viagra (Sildenafil) helps men to get and maintain an erection when sexually stimulated and/or excited. The medicine relaxes the blood vessels in the penis which results in more blood flowing to the penis when you are sexually excited.

How do I take it?

You should take Viagra (Sildenafil) approximately 1 hour before planning to have intercourse. Within a window of between 30 minutes and 4 hours after you take the medicine, it will be easier to keep and maintain an erection when you are sexually excited. If you take this medicine after a meal with a high fat content it may take a little longer to start working. This medicine will only work when you are sexually excited. You won’t get an erection just by taking Viagra (Sildenafil).

Dosage

The standard recommended dose for Viagra (Sildenafil) is 50mg and this will be suitable for most people.  If this dose is not effective, you can try 100mg and if 50mg gives you side effects you can also reduce the dose to 25mg tablets.

You must not take more than 100mg daily of Sildenafil/ Viagra. Clinical trials have been conducted in patients taking up to 200mg sildenafil and it was found that ‘doses of 200mg did not result in increased efficacy but did increase the incidence of adverse reactions (headache, flushing, dizziness, dyspepsia, nasal congestion, and altered vision).’

In addition, in patients taking more than 100mg daily, there have been reports of rhabdomyolysis (a breakdown in skeletal muscle tissue the byproducts of which can lead to kidney failure), visual perception changes, vertebral artery dissection (a tear in the artery supplying blood to the brain), heart attacks and aggressive behaviour.

If the 100mg strength doesn’t work for you, there may be alternatives you can try and we recommend that you call us for a free consultation with our pharmacist or doctor to discuss any underlying conditions you may have. We recommend that all men taking medicine for erectile dysfunction have regular tests for blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and hormone imbalances. For instance, it may be that by fixing a hormone imbalance such as testosterone, your Viagra medication will be even more effective.

In addition, drug manufacturers do not advise patients to split tablets in half to get the correct dosage as they cannot guarantee that the active ingredient will be distributed evenly throughout the tablet.  For instance, if you cut a 100mg tablet in two, you may find that you get 80mg in one half of the tablet and 20mg in the other half leading to either an overdose (increased risk of side effects) or a suboptimal dose (the medication may not work).

It is important that you choose the correct dose for you. If you wish to talk to our pharmacist or doctor about this, please contact us in the pharmacy on 01625 460621 or email [email protected]

Side Effects

Viagra (Sildenafil) is normally well tolerated, however, side effects can include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea

Side effects normally subside after a few hours, however, if you experience a prolonged or painful erection (longer than 4 hours), then you must contact your doctor immediately.

Drug interactions

There are a number of medicines which interact with Sildenafil/ Viagra. For an exhaustive list please see the patient information leaflet (see section below) or call us in the pharmacy to discuss your specific situation. The main drug interactions are listed here:

Recreational drugs such as ‘poppers’ or amyl nitrate
Alpha blockers used for urinary retention or blood pressure problems (eg Flomax or Cardura)
Anti- arrhythmic drugs such as disopyramide
Antibiotics such as erythromycin
Antifungals such as itraconazole
Antivirals such as drugs used to treat HIV
Bosentan
Cobicistat
Calcium channel blockers to treat blood pressure and angina such as amlodipine
Dapoxetine (Priligy – used to treat premature ejaculation)
Grapefruit juice**
Nicorandil
Nitrates
Riociguat
Cimetidine (to treat stomach ulcers)

Please do not take Sildenafil/Viagra if you have taken any of the above drugs within the last 60 days without first consulting with either us in the Pharmacy ([email protected] / 01625 460621) or via email with our doctor [email protected]

**We advise not to take Sildenafil/Viagra with grapefruit juice as the blood concentration of Sildenafil will possibly be increased resulting in side effects.

Patient Information Leaflets

Please click here for the patient information leaflet for Viagra.

For Actavis Sildenafil please see the following leaflets: 100mg, 50mg, 25mg.

Storing Medicines Safely

Please keep your medicine out of the reach of children and store at room temperature.  Unwanted medicine can be disposed of by returning it to any local pharmacy or indeed to us here for us to dispose of it for you.

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Spedra is one of the newest treatments on the market for ED. As the name suggests, this drug is rapid-acting and as a result, one tablet can be taken just 15-30 minutes before sexual intercourse. The usual starting strength is a 100mg tablet.

The final option available here at Assured Pharmacy is Cialis. This is also faster-acting option than Viagra and possesses a longer duration of action. Cialis can either be taken 30 minutes before sexual activity as required, or one tablet can be taken once daily if sexual activity is anticipated at least twice weekly. For Cialis Daily, 5mg strength tablets are recommended, whereas 10mg tablets are recommended if it is being taken as required.

What do all of these medicines have in common, apart from the fact that they can all successfully treat Assured Pharmacy Logoerectile dysfunction? Well, they can all be purchased safely here at Assured Pharmacy. If you are someone who suffers from erectile dysfunction, you can purchase Viagra, Spedra or Cialis safely here at Assured Pharmacy. All three medicines are proven to be safe and effective, so whichever one you choose is down to personal preference.

However, just to ensure the product is suitable for you to take, we require you to do is complete an online health questionnaire. If you are taking any other medicines, we need to check that there are no harmful interactions so that you can have the optimal treatment for your condition. Following this, our GMC regulated doctor will issue a prescription that allows you to acquire either Spedra or Viagra in an efficient, safe and regulated manner. The prescription is sent straight to our pharmacy where it is checked by a qualified pharmacist to ensure the product is suitable. We strive to provide a high-quality service, proven by the fact that customers who have purchased products from Assured Pharmacy have rated their experience as ‘excellent’.

If you would like to speak to someone in confidence or find out more information about the products we offer, please call 01625460621 or e-mail [email protected].

 

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References

  1. http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Erectile-dysfunction/Pages/Causes.aspx
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5039517/
  3. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/pornography/news/article.cfm?c_id=283&objectid=11688567
  4. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317117.php

 

Assured Pharmacy is not liable for the currency or accuracy of the information contained in this blog post. For specific information about your personal medical condition, please contact our doctors or pharmacists for advice on [email protected].