Impotence, or erectile dysfunction, was once regarded as a man’s worst nightmare. Given the advances in medicine and nutrition research, however, it is no longer a scary thing. Impotence can be treated — sometimes even without drugs. So, before you invest in costly and potentially dangerous chemical drugs, you may want to consider natural treatments for impotence.
What is impotence?
Impotence was once solely defined as the inability to achieve an erection. Now it is also defined as the inability to maintain an erection or ejaculate.
There are two forms of impotence: primary and secondary. Men with primary impotence have never had sufficient erections for satisfactory intercourse. This form of impotence is rare and often caused by extreme psychological conditions, such as intense fear of intimacy, extreme feelings of guilt and severe anxiety.
Secondary impotence, defined as the loss of erectile function after a period of normal function, is more common. Men with secondary impotence are typically able to engage in intercourse only 25% of the time. This form typically comes on gradually and is usually more easily treatable than primary impotence.
What causes impotence?
Although middle-aged and older men are more likely to be impotent than younger men, impotence can strike at any adult age. It is estimated to affect between 10 million and 15 million men in the United States alone. Here are the main causes of impotence.
It is estimated that over 70% of all serious impotence cases are the result of diabetes, kidney diseases, multiple sclerosis, endocrine disorders, vascular diseases, and high blood pressure, as well as neurological diseases. It is estimated that between 50% and 60% of diabetic men are impotent.
It’s important to realize that impotence may be a symptom of a more serious health problem, so if you’re impotent, seek professional medical help immediately.
Prescribed drugs used to treat high blood pressure, ulcers, depression, and prostate cancer, as well as medications to prevent baldness or aid in dieting, can have side effects that include impotence. In this case, the impotence lasts as long as you are taking the drugs.
Surgery on the spinal cord, prostate, bladder, or pelvis can lead to impotence by damaging essential nerves, tissues, muscles, or arteries.
Cigarette, alcohol and narcotics
One of the most underestimated causes of impotence is cigarette smoking — as if you need yet another reason to quit.
The same goes for alcohol and narcotics, like heroin and cocaine. In fact, almost 100% of men who use cocaine regularly are impotent. If you use these recreational drugs, however, you have bigger health problems than just impotence.
Our discussion of treating impotence without drugs
As testosterone and other male sex hormone levels start to drop after reaching middle age, low testosterone level is often the culprit in most intermittent impotence problems, especially in older men. Furthermore, studies have shown that lack of testosterone leads to a range of other sexual performance problems, including premature ejaculation and low sex drive.
It is estimated that about 10% to 20% of impotence cases are the direct result of various psychological factors, such as low self-esteem, depression, and — especially — stress and anxiety (general and performance anxieties). In these cases, all the plumbing is OK, but the otherwise healthy man is unable to achieve an erection.
The man’s comfort level is also frequently a factor, especially in maintaining an erection. Boredom, marital problems or negative feelings toward your partner may contribute to an impotence problem.
Impotence caused by psychological factors is often temporary; it lasts as long as the underlying factor is still there. If you suspect this may be the cause, you can perform a simple test to see if impotence is just in your mind.
The stamp test
So, how do you distinguish between impotence caused by problems with your body and that caused by psychological factors? A simple stamp can help.
It turns out that a man often gets multiple erections throughout the night. These involuntary erections mean that everything is fine with the nerves, muscles and arteries involved in the erection process, and signals that the cause of impotence is elsewhere.
To determine this, a man can simply wet and affix a small stamp on his flaccid penis before going to bed. If the stamp is no longer in place by morning, it means that a nocturnal erection occurred.
Treat impotence without drugs
A vacuum device composed of a plastic cylinder, pump and elastic ring or band can be used to affect an erection.
It works as follows: The cylinder is placed on the penis and the pump is then used to draw air out of the cylinder. The vacuum forces blood into the penis, which in turn causes an erection. Once an erection is achieved, the man places the elastic ring on the base of his penis, which keeps blood from draining from the penis back into the body. The ring remains on the penis until intercourse is finished.
This device works quite well, although some men complain about the discomfort of the elastic ring in addition to the hassle of, well, pumping up.
Put the drugs away and try this instead…
Although they are often dismissed as ineffective solutions to impotence, more and more clinical research studies have found that herbs can help impotent men.
Some of the most popular herbs available on the market today are Tribulus, yohimbe, ginkgo biloba, and others. Although they are generally safe and free of side effects (unlike chemical drugs), it is important to know that the quality of their extraction and preparation processes varies widely.
One of the most promising herbs is the purified extract of Tribulus terrestris. To date, its effects on treating impotence and other sexual dysfunctions have been extensively studied.
Tribulus had been used as traditional medicine to treat sexual dysfunction and male infertility in Europe and Asia for many decades before improvement in scientific extraction techniques allowed identification of its active ingredient, protodioscin.
More than nine clinical studies performed by six universities and academic hospitals on this purified extract have confirmed the herb’s beneficial effect. These studies showed that Tribulus helps treat impotence caused by low testosterone levels or an imbalance in the body’s level of sex hormones. The active ingredient of Tribulus acts as a natural precursor to these hormones and is converted into its final forms by the body’s own natural enzymes.
Other studies have suggested that Tribulus also acts by increasing the level of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), a naturally occurring substance in the body believed to be important for a healthy sex drive.
In all, these studies proved that Tribulus works very well in curing sexual dysfunctions and maximizing sexual performance when taken regularly. It does not work immediately. as Tribulus shows positive effects only after two to three months. No known side effects are linked with this herb.
A note of caution: Although there are many Tribulus extracts available over the counter today, almost all of these have been found not to contain any significant amount of the active ingredient. Be sure to select a Tribulus extract that contains at least 45% protodioscin.