health

Surge in men plagued by erectile dysfunction during pandemic – the 5 ways to combat it


STRESS and anxiety caused by the coronavirus pandemic has led to a surge in men plagued by erectile dysfunction (ED), data has revealed.

Pharmacies up and down the country have seen a spike in sales for ED treatments as well as an increase in searches for the condition.

Across the country men are being plagued by erectile dysfunction due to stress caused by Covid

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Across the country men are being plagued by erectile dysfunction due to stress caused by CovidCredit: Getty – Contributor

Data from Superdrug revealed that June saw the largest daily orders of ED products and services since September 2020.

The experts said that this equated to a 30 per cent year on year increase, as Brits get used to having to perform under the sheets once more, after months of being locked down due to Covid restrictions.

They also found that online searches for ED are at their highest levels in 12 months.

Dr Sara Kayat, Superdrug Ambassador, highlighted that ED is actually a common condition and affects up to one in five men in the UK.

She explained: “Its effects are not just physical, but can also play a role in poor self-esteem, confidence, and depression.”

The research from Superdrug found that more than half of people report that ED reduces their desire to touch each other and 68 per cent report that anxious thoughts could influence their partner’s self esteem.

ED can also impact your relationship, but not for the reasons you might think.

Around 42 per cent of people found that a partner of a person with ED worries that the lack of sex is due to their partner having an affair. 

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Men feel they are unable to talk about the issue and 35 per cent said they struggle when it comes to opening up about it.

Despite this around 80 per cent of those surveyed said they would like to be able to talk to their partner about the issues that have arisen due to ED.

Dr Sarah added that it’s important to both seek help and look into the underlying cause of ED.

She added: “Reassuringly, there are many effective treatments for ED, and successful treatment can have a significantly positive effect on the quality of life.”

If you want to get help, experts say there are things you can try to combat ED.

1. Medication

In order to receive medication for ED you have to have a consultation with a GMC registered doctor and if they think it’s necessary they will write you a prescription.

Dr Sarah explained what the medications are: “Sildenafil, the generic version of Viagra which works in the same way at a lower cost, can be taken by men aged 18 and over.

“This medication works by relaxing blood vessels and increasing blood flow to the penis to help men get an erection.

“Sildenafil is effective for 74 per cent of men who try it and starts working within an hour of taking it – lasting for up to 6 hours.”

If you think you might need medication for your ED then you should speak to your GP

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If you think you might need medication for your ED then you should speak to your GPCredit: Getty – Contributor

2. Penis pump

Dr Sarah said that this is something that can be used alongside medication.

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She explained: “The penis pump is a device that is used to treat ED. It doesn’t increase your maximum erection size, but it can help alongside or instead of ED medications”.

3. Creams

Again, like medication, you would need to speak to a medical profession before being given a cream for ED.

“The ED cream contains an active ingredient which is a vasodilator. 

“This means that it increases the blood flow to the penis, helping it get erect and stay erect for longer”, Dr Sarah said.

4. Talk to your partner

LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor, Dr Sameer Sanghvi said while talking to your partner can be difficult, it could help address the issues you are facing.

By letting your partner know what works for you, and what doesn’t, you will be able to have a more comfortable, open sexual relationship.

Keeping things relaxed will reduce you change of premature ejaculation.

5. Exercise

For many people exercise was a luxury during the pandemic, home work outs, long walks and runs became most people’s exercise of choice.

As restrictions eased and pubs and bars have reopened, exercise might have been pushed to the back burner.

But Dr Sameer says exercising is a great tool to help you perform better in the bedroom.

He said: “Exercise before sex can also help relieve performance stress by releasing endorphins, which can improve your mood and reduce stress.

“Exercise can also make all your muscles perform better too which can help during sex.”

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