Frequently asked questions.

Your most common questions, answered.
Guy sitting on sofa

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a condition where a man is unable to get or maintain an erection firm enough to have sexual intercourse.

There are a few factors that can cause a man to suffer from ED, some of them include:

Age: doctors usually consider age from 50 to be a risk factor, however it is not uncommon for men in their 30s and 40s to suffer from symptoms of ED.

Obesity: Obesity is a risk factor for several medical conditions, erectile dysfunction is not an exception. It is advised to always maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle.

Medications: Some medications can cause a man to have ED – such as beta blockers or any medications that have been prescribed to lower blood pressure. These medications can sometimes lower blood pressure in the penis, which in turn affects the ability to get and maintain an erection long enough for sexual intercourse. It is important to always inform your doctor of all medication you currently take – this also includes filling out an online consultation.

Medical conditions: Diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol are some of the medical conditions that can cause ED.

There are a few drugs available to treat ED. They include: Sildenafil, Viagra (branded version of Sildenafil), Tadalafil, Cialis (branded version of Tadalafil), Vardenafil and Levitra (branded version of Vardenafil). These are the most common treatment drug options for ED. Depending on your situation, the prescriber will choose what best suits your needs.

Approximately 70-80% of men will experience some benefit from using these medications. The medications that have been developed to treat ED can be very effective for most patients. Men who suffer mild to moderate ED often experience great benefits from the use of these medications.

They work by temporarily making it easier for blood to fill the penis, thereby causing an erection. Erections happen when the brain is aroused and sends signals to the penis to fill with blood and get erect. These medicines work by making this process easier. The drug achieves this by reducing the chemical called PDE5 in the body. Men with ED have more PDE5 than needed in the body, thereby not allowing for an erection to happen easily. The drug works by reducing the effect of this chemical, which in turn makes it easier for blood to get into the penis when it’s needed.

It takes about 30 minutes to an hour for Sildenafil to start working. On average, its effects last 4 to 6 hours. It varies from person to person how much the drug will last but typically, most people notice the effects wearing off 2 to 3 hours after taking it. If the drug wears off before you want it to, it is NOT advised to take another dose until 24 hours after your last dose.

Typically, people who take Sildenafil do not suffer any side effects. However, if you do experience any side effects, chances are they will be mild. Common side effects associated with Sildenafil include: Nausea, hot flush or facial flushing, dizziness, blurred vision and indigestion. For a detailed list of all possible side effects associated with Sildenafil see here.

ONLY men aged 18 years and older who have erectile dysfunction (ED) are suitable to take sildenafil. If you are under 18 and think you maybe suffering from ED symptoms, speak to a pharmacist or make an appointment to see a doctor who can assist you further.

Sildenafil has not been tested on women so its effects on their health are still unknown. Men who do not suffer from ED who take Sildenafil will not benefit from taking the drug, as it will not enhance your erection, sexual performance or help with other conditions such as premature ejaculation.

Your most recent blood pressure reading (within the last 6 months) is an important factor in determining whether ED treatment is suitable for you.

There can be serious adverse effects if you take certain ED medication with a blood pressure reading that is above or below a certain value.

There are several locations that offer a free blood pressure reading. If you do NOT have a recent reading, please endeavour to get one before completing your online consultation.

Simply put, it is the loss of hair resulting in decreasing coverage of the scalp.

Male pattern baldness (also known as genetic hair loss or alopecia androgenetica) is the most common form of hair loss in men. It usually develops very gradually, typically involving the appearance of a bald spot on the crown of the scalp accompanied by thinning at the temples.

Although this problem can strike any man at any time, many first become aware of it as they approach their 30s.

There are treatment options available that can help stop you from losing hair further – or in some cases, replace your lost hair.

The treatments available include hair loss tablets (eg Finasteride), hair loss shampoos and hair transplant. Most of these treatment options work best at the initial stages of hair loss, compared to when most of the hair on the scalp is gone.

Finasteride tablets work by blocking a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is produced by everyone, but especially by adult men who have male pattern baldness. DHT basically tells hair cells on your head to stop growing and eventually kills them off altogether.

There is no permanent cure for male pattern baldness.

Unfortunately, it is an ongoing slow process to treat this condition. Hair transplants can provide long-term relief from baldness. However, there is still no guarantee that your hair will stay exactly as it is.

The US National Library of Medicine conducted studies which showed Finasteride was very effective in stopping hair loss in 83% of men.

Oral Finasteride promotes hair growth and prevents further hair loss in a significant proportion of men with hair loss.

Typically, it takes 3-4 months of daily use to start seeing any improvements when treating with Finasteride.

Optimum results can be noticed after consistent use for a year. It is important you take your medication as it has been prescribed to you. Patients who take their medication correctly will see the effects from 4 months. If you do not experience any side effects with Finasteride, take consistently for a year before determining if this medication is the right choice for you.

Some side effects associated with Finasteride include impotence, trouble having an orgasm, loss of interest in sex, abnormal ejaculation, swelling in hands and feet, swelling or tenderness in breasts, skin rash, headache, weakness and dizziness.

It is important to note that not everybody will experience these side effects. Effects of medications vary from person to person.

The Betterman advice centre

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What is Finasteride and what is it used for? We explore its benefits, as well as its effects on overall health.
Sildenafil is a treatment for adult men with erectile dysfunction, sometimes known as impotence. Find out how Sidenafil could help.
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