Although studies vary, it has been estimated that anywhere from ten to twenty percent of men in the United States are thought to suffer from erectile dysfunction. That designation includes those who suffer from the inability to achieve or sustain erection for a period of two or more months and of course, only includes those who seek professional help or choose to answer yes on a questionnaire.
Out of a total population of some 300 million, there are roughly 117 million males who are over the age of fourteen. Even at the lower figure of 10%, that is nearly 12 million. The odds of erectile dysfunction go up with age, so it is reasonable to conclude that in a smaller pool of males of say 65 and over, the incidence is much higher.
Prior to the 1990s, erectile dysfunction cures and treatments were fewer and far less effective, and generally came with greater side effects. However, advances in pharmacology along with improved surgical materials and techniques, have greatly expanded and enhanced the options available.
Unquestionably, there are millions who have benefited from taking Viagra, Cialis or Levitra since the approval of the first by the FDA in 1998. Many hundreds of thousands more have successfully received a penile implant or prosthetic.
At the same time as treatment options have expanded, side effects have been reduced although drug interactions, tissue scarring and other issues are still present. Those with liver malfunction, multiple sclerosis and other conditions need to take care to consider carefully the possible downsides of any so called erectile dysfunction cures. Nevertheless, the odds of many of those side effects have been reduced over the years.
Around fifteen percent of men report suffering from headaches as the result of taking Viagra. But the incidence and the odds are lessened when the patient pays careful attention to physician instructions and follows them. Lowering the dosage of Viagra, for example, so that it is still effective but doesn't produce this undesirable side effect is possible.
Antibiotic coatings on penile implants are now common and more effective than in years past. That decreases the odds of post-implantation infection. That also makes it less likely that the device will have to be removed or re-inserted, lessening the odds of scarring.
Even in the area of psychological treatments for erectile dysfunction there have been advances. Psychotherapists are more aware today than in decades past of the subtle interactions between possible physical and mental causes. Depression is largely regarded as resulting possibly from either source. Or, as it is now widely believed, it may exist as an interaction between the two. That change in attitude helps in developing treatments that combine the values of both approaches.
In previous generations, social prejudice had a greater influence on psycho-therapeutic approaches than it does today. For example, Freud thought that women, by nature, did not enjoy sex. He thought only 'lascivious' women reached orgasm. His influence waned and was replaced by more objective approaches.
While challenges remain, ongoing research and clinical practice is continuing to improve the prospects for those who suffer from erectile dysfunction. The shame once associated with impotence has largely been replaced by seeing it as a medical issue, which can be treated. At the same time, those erectile dysfunction cures and treatments are continuing to improve.