ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION DRUGS
ED CONDITION, SYMPTOMS, TREATMENT & MEDICATION
To understand how to compare the medications, including Sildenafil (Viagra) and Tadalafil (Cialis), and see which one might be right for you to discuss with your doctor, an understanding of how they work is helpful. To do that requires understanding how someone gets an erection in the first place. Let’s get to it.
HOW DOES AN ERECTION ACTUALLY HAPPEN?
An erection occurs when someone is stimulated by an erotic thought or contact that is sexual. The brain then produces nitric oxide. That leads to a series of chemical reactions in the blood vessels of the penis that results in 6 times the blood flow getting trapped in the penis.
An erection might last indefinitely if it weren’t for chemicals in the body called phosphodiesterases. They work at reversing the process trying to return the penis to being soft (i.e., flaccid). Usually there is a balance between the chemicals that result in an erection lasting for as long as it is needed, which allows the phosphodiesterases to do their job when they should and no sooner. You wouldn’t want an erection forever so it is a good thing that phosphodiesterases exist.
However, in someone who experiences a softer erection, the balance of the chemicals that make the penis hard and the chemicals that return it to being soft is off. The scale is tilted.
Men with erectile dysfunction would benefit from having the chemicals leading to the erection outweigh the actions of the chemicals that cause the penis to lose its firmness, to have the systems that cause the INFLOW outweigh the chemicals that cause the OUTFLOW.
The chemicals that cause the OUTFLOW are called phosphodiesterases.
To give you a stronger erection, the medications block or inhibit the phosphodiesterases, which enables the blood vessels in the penis to stay open and receive more blood, creating a firmer and longer lasting erection.