Is Cialis Not Working for Your Erectile Dysfunction?

If you watch any television you're bound to see an ad for Cialis with the omnipresent warning "If you have an erection that lasts more than four hours call your doctor." For most men with erectile dysfunction that would be a welcome side effect but in reality it is a dangerous condition known as priapism which we will not discuss on this page. And while Cialis (along with the other ED medications Viagra and Levitra) is effective in restoring erections in about 60% of men with ED, the remaining 40% aren't so lucky. There's also a significant number of men in which the medication worked well for a while and then not. What is that all about? 

The issue is with the condition of ED itself. The main causes of ED are the same conditions that lead to heart and blood vessel disease: smoking, obesity, diabetes and various lifestyle factors. Side effects of prostate cancer treatment including surgery and radiation therapy as well as low testosterone are also offending causes. But the main reason why the medications don't work is the lack of sufficient blood flow to the penis no matter what the cause. For the most part, erections are all about having enough blood getting to the penis to result in an erection.  Anything that interferes with this will result in ED to various degrees depending on how severe the blood vessel problem is. Consequently, the ED medications only work if there is sufficient blood flow available to get to the penis. They cannot reverse blood vessel damage i.e. atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries.

The same mechanism is at play if the medications were working and then lose their effectiveness. It's not a matter of becoming "immune" to the medication. It's essentially a progression or worsening of the condition of the ED, a worsening of blood vessel disease such that less blood flow is available for the medications to work.

So what now?  First, there are other effective options for treating ED - that's the job of a urologist who specializes in ED. He or she can discuss all the available options with you. Second, and just as important,  is to undertake lifestyle changes that can stop and in some cases reverse some of the damage that has been done to your body. This can result in the ED medications starting to work again and  improve the quality of erections in general.

If you are struggling with erectile dysfunction and are looking for the right solution for you, contact us at Philadelphia Urology Associates to set up an appointment.

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