With Valentine’s Day almost upon us, we want to raise awareness of the difficulties of living with erectile dysfunction (ED) during this romantic season. There can be a lot of pressure at this time of the year on men living with this condition, causing further anxiety and issues with self-esteem.
ED, sometimes referred to as impotence, is when a man fails to get or keep an erection consistently. It’s more common in men over 40 but it can affect men of any age and can be caused by underlying health issues such as diabetes or mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety.
The condition can also be exacerbated due to stress and anxiety. With the pressure for many men to perform during Valentine’s Day, this heightened sense of worrying can make the symptoms of the condition worse.
ED is at the forefront of many men’s minds during this time of the year; Google searches for “erectile dysfunction” reach their highest during the run up to Valentine’s weekend, with searches for “erectile dysfunction” seeing a 270% increase compared to January.
Dr John Connell, Chief Scientific Officer at MAC Clinical Research, said: “Erectile dysfunction remains one of the most serious conditions affecting males of all ages in mental health and this search data is testament to how widespread the problem is in the UK.
“Significant times in the year such as Valentine’s Day, are often the trigger for celebration and intimacy. The pressure to perform may trigger problems and the notable increase in searches leading up to Valentine’s weekend.”
For men living with ED, a range of medical treatments can be obtained through local chemists. These treatments work well for large numbers of people and can make a significant difference to men’s sexual performance. However, they do not work adequately in around 40% of men, particularly where the impotence is secondary to other medical conditions such as nerve damage or diabetes, so there is a need for further work and research.
MAC Clinical Research are currently undertaking a ground-breaking clinical trial developing a potential new treatment for ED, which works on the brain and erectile tissue in the penis. Unlike drugs such as Viagra (which increases blood flow to the penis) this investigational medication enhances the effects of substances in the body such as dopamine to help stimulate an erection (helps sexual desire) and relaxes smooth muscle in the penis to help maintain and sustain an erection. MAC are dedicated to improving the lives of men with ED for whom lifestyle changes or other over the counter medicine hasn’t worked, and hope that this new study medication will help. If you’re interested in finding out more about this ED research and the £1,496 reimbursement eligible volunteers will receive, visit MAC’s ED Research webpage.