Viagra or sildenafil citrate, released in 1998, is considered a ‘miracle drug’ that has worked as an infinite boon to men suffering from ED or erectile dysfunction. Men with genuine cases of ED have shown considerable changes in their sexual health and performance after consuming a doctor approved dose of Viagra that there is no debate as to the efficacy of this drug. ‘Vitamin V’ as it is commonly referred to, however, is being misused these days. Welcome to the gory world of drug abuse.
Recreational use of Viagra is on the rise. Men, even at the age of 20-25, who have never had issues sustaining an erection in order to adequately satisfy their partners during sexual intercourse, are making random use of this tablet. Rumors are abound that Viagra possesses properties that can cause a permanent increase in one’s penis size, that taking of this drug increases sexual performance and libido like a sexual enhancer. These misconceptions are just misconceptions.
Studies show that men who don’t suffer from ED and have still taken a Viagra pill show little or no change in their sexual prowess. The refractory time, which is the time it takes to sustain another erection after successful sexual intercourse, might be slightly reduced. The illegal drug market also seems to be taken by the wondrous nature of this drug. Most illegal drugs like MDMA Street name Ecstasy cause erectile dysfunction when under the effects of the drug. Users have been known to mix Ecstasy with Viagra and create what is known as ‘Sextasy’ so as to combat the erectile dysfunction in this case.
Some of these illegal mixtures available are just plain dangerous and might cause increased heart rate, leading to heart attacks and sudden death due to the illegal drug component. Partying has become a mainstay in the lives of young office goers in today’s day and age. There is no peak that some daredevils refuse to scale to achieve their idea of an ultimate experience. Adventurers who dabble with drugs know nothing about may just end curled up in a ditch.
A new study has found that use of drugs like Viagra, which cure erectile dysfunction, may lead sexually transmitted diseases. These diseases can however be caused more due to the behavior of a person rather than the consumption of ED drugs. However, it is true that the rates of STD are more among ED drug consumers than those who do not take them. This claim has been made after men consuming ED drugs aged above 40 filing a higher number of insurance claims for STD’s. The percentage of ED consumers among the STD victims in the age group of 40 and above was almost 70 percent.
Anupam Jena, MD, PhD, in Massachusetts General Hospital has talked about this fact. Jena has further commented that the use of ED drugs does not have an impact on contracting STDs, but rather what kind of men use such drugs. But, still the connection between a higher presence of these drugs and exposure to STDs can’t be ignored. It’s implied that the availability of such drugs may have made men more vulnerable to exposing themselves to risky sexual relationships. However, as Dr Jena later noted that the data collected so far does not indicate existence of any such correlation. Thus, he has also observed that his findings are going to be medically useful.
He says that when a doctor finds that his middle aged patient is using erectile dysfunction drugs, he can remind them about healthy sexual practices. The same recommendation is also mentioned in an added editorial in the findings composed by Thomas Fekete, MD, who hails from Temple University in Philadelphia. He has written in his editorial that the all the erectile dysfunction prescriptions should now contain an evaluation of the STD risk for any patient and advise for safe sex. The Center for Disease Control has also found that the rates of AIDS in men who are aged above 50 in 2005 were more than those who are just 20 years old. These rates are now increasing in older men, but rates among other groups have been on the low.
Scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University State have recently come up with a new study according to which, the nanoparticles that encapsulate nitric oxide forms a new drug delivery systems that promises treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED). Some animals have already been tested with this new system and it is believed that the treatment can reduce the downside of the oral ED medications for the humans.
Oral ED medications including tadalafil (Cialis) and sildenafil (Viagra) have benefitted people worldwide. However, there are certain limitations of these medications and can result in systemic side effects including facial flushing, headache, nasal congestion, or abnormal vision. These drugs are a strict no for men reporting a heart disease. Einstein scientists have devised a drug delivery system containing nanoparticles and each one smaller than a pollen grain and carrying various drugs; while also releasing them in a controlled manner. So far the effectiveness of the topical formulations of ED drugs has been proved.
This study attempts to check the effectiveness of the nano-particles in permitting the targeted delivery of compounds for treatment of ED. Topical therapy will work wonders for ED patients reporting lower levels of nitric oxide (NO) – molecule primarily responsible for erectile activity. A direct application of NO or the PDE5 inhibitors will be a relief for men for whom oral PDE5 inhibitor drugs are not beneficial. A total of 18 rats, arranged in 3 groups, were used to test the effectiveness of nano-particles.
The first group received nanoparticles encapsulating (NO) second received same along with an experimental ED drug – sialorphin; and third group nano-particles encapsulating (NO) and tadalafil (Cialis). Only the groups that were administered with nanoparticles encapsulated NO or No and Cialis showed improvement. This study revealed that the rats showed response to treatment with the nanoparticles. Also, the response time was just a few minutes as compared to the oral ED medications that take 30 minutes to one hour for showing effectiveness. Now the Einstein team plans to study the effects of nanoparticles on humans and prove its effectiveness for treating ED.
Webster’s dictionary defines ‘Erectile Dysfunction’ aka ‘ED’ as a ‘chronic inability to achieve or maintain an erection satisfactory for sexual intercourse’. Given a few moments to ponder the ramifications of ED on their lives, most sane men would do anything to avoid this problem. It doesn’t help that in today’s fast paced world, more and more men around and above the age of 40 seem to be suffering from erectile dysfunction.
Gender defined roles in society insist that men don’t cry and run for help. They are expected to find their own solutions that sometimes prove to be not just useless but also detrimental to their physical and mental health. First and foremost, it is important for men to understand how to gauge if they are suffering from ED. At some point in time in a man’s life, there is always a chance of not being able to sustain an erection. This could be caused by any number of factors from ingested alcohol to stress.
Doctors define ED as the inability to sustain an erection satisfactorily more than 25 percent of times that one tries. So if it is a rare occurrence, that may have scared a man nonetheless, it need not necessarily translate to ED. Even younger men are at a risk of becoming impotent due to a highly demanding lifestyle, high blood pressure, diseases like diabetes. Thankfully, ED or impotence can be treated once diagnosed. Most often, it has been found that ED is caused due to some deep seated psychological factor or a more widespread problem in life. The first step to combating ED is to visit a doctor and follow the advice given.
Many medications have been released that, when taken under strict guidance, help definitively against ED. Once the underlying cause for ED is defined, there are many methods to deal with it which include but are not limited to, medication, other pharmacological options, counseling and surgical as well as non-surgical ways. Ingesting Viagra, making use of VED’s (Vacuum Erection Device) and use of prosthetics are a few of the available treatment options.
The women have their ‘Vagina Monologues’. What about their male counterparts? Where is the understanding and acceptance of shortcomings that every human being craves for? Gender roles in society are supremely rigid. All over the world, stereotypes have been created that define the role of a man versus a woman. From something immensely basic like ‘pink is a girlie color’ to rigidly ridiculous notions that ‘boys don’t cry’, stereotypes abound around us.
Pressure from the society one lives in leads to an internalization of these stereotypes that ultimately translates into ‘the way things are meant to be’. Women have suffered through the demands of the world for too long, but that doesn’t mean that men got a great deal either. Just like women are expected to shed tears to convey what they feel at every available opportunity, men are expected to ‘tough it out’ and without a grimace. Communication channels are limited for boys while they are growing up. Even as an adolescent, a boy learns that there are things that they must not talk about because they might then be perceived as weak.
Peer pressure instills the eternal fear of being branded a ‘weakling’. Thankfully more and more men have begun to understand the pitfalls of these traditional stereotypes. Communication is no longer a myth. It may take a while but at least the path to be trodden has begun to be hewn. Feelings of inadequacy can now be conveyed to one’s mate as well as the doctor if the need arises. Issues like erectile dysfunction (ED), impotency, and premature ejaculation, no longer point at a flaw in a man. One in every five men is believed to have suffered from ED at least once in their life spans.
Acceptance of the existence of these dysfunctions have led to the understanding that it is not ‘one’s fault’ to have a problem like this and even more important, that it can be treated by delving into its causes. Present generation is accepting it. Free from stigma, a man can now discuss his problems. Maybe it’s time for a ‘Penis Monologues’…