42 per cent of men do not seek treatment for erectile dysfunction, but there is no need to suffer in silence. Learn about the condition and how to manage it safely and effectively.
What is erectile dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is when a man is unable to attain and/or maintain an erection hard enough for satisfactory sexual intercourse. When a man becomes sexually excited, the arteries in his penis relax allowing increased blood flow, and the penis becomes hard. When suffering from erectile dysfunction, there is something in this process that is not working. It is more common than you might think and it can happen to any man at any age.
Erectile problems can be caused by many different reasons. ED can have a psychological basis, as the brain plays a key part in triggering the series of physical events that cause an erection, which create the feeling of sexual excitement. Stress, depression, anxiety or other mental health problems can cause or worsen ED. Not being able to perform sexually can affect a male’s self-esteem and, when experiencing difficulties, it can be devastating for relationships as it can lead to increased pressure and anxiety between partners. Partners may begin to blame themselves or even fear that the true cause of the problem is infidelity, resulting in a lack of trust.
ED: A warning sign of other health conditions
ED can also be one of the first warning signs of other health conditions. ED can be linked to diabetes, as well as other health problems, such as atherosclerosis and high blood pressure, which increase the risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Therefore, it is important that those experiencing erectile problems do visit their GP to check they are fit and healthy.
The prevalence of ED sufferers
It is estimated that over 4.3 million men in the UK suffer from ED. Until earlier this year, the condition could only be treated through an NHS GP or private doctors, where the patient was issued a prescription for Viagra.
Access to treatment
Nearly half of men (42 percent) with ED suffer in silence and do not seek treatment, and those who do seek treatment often wait years before reaching out to a healthcare professional. Even more concerning, millions of men are bypassing the healthcare system to access medicines from illegal sources. However, from April 2018, Viagra Connect was made available to purchase over the counter without a prescription, in pharmacies throughout the UK. This was a significant and important change that has increased accessibility of ED treatment.
After concluding from their research that stigma surrounding ED and inconvenience were the two main barriers to treatment, the concept of ‘Eddie’ was born. Eddie is the UK’s first Viagra Connect digital subscription service, offering a hassle-free, discreet, online service for men with ED. By offering this service it opens another route for men to get the medication they need, giving the customer even more choice.
Safety was the number one priority when developing Eddie. A large black market currently exists supplying counterfeit, ineffective and sometimes dangerous medicines. Eddie has been developed in very close collaboration with expert pharmacists to ensure that all safety guidelines and necessary checks are adhered to, enabling men to access Viagra Connect with absolute confidence, at the click of a button.
The service works in three simple stages:
Tell Eddie about yourself – a conversational chat-bot was created by the Eddie team. On average, it takes 60 seconds to do an initial assessment that will let you know if Viagra Connect is safe for you to use.
Buy online – with no prescription needed you can buy packs of four for £19.99 or eight for £34.99, with a maximum order of two packs of eight tablets per month, through the geteddie.co.uk website.
Free, discreet delivery – delivered to you within two-three days in an unmarked box, so no-one will know you are receiving a package from Eddie.
Viagra Connect works for around 74 percent of men, and the effect of the medication can be life-changing.
Keep your eyes peeled for Eddie featured in Dr Chris Steele’s Dear Doctor magazine.