If the drugs lead to an erection, the problem is solved.


It’s not an unreasonable expectation that if ED medication leads to an erection, the problem is solved. But sex is complex and getting an erection is just the start. There is keeping the erection throughout the act of sexual intimacy and then there is actually having an orgasm. It is interesting that PDE5I’s (phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors) can lead to an erection but some men still cannot maintain it while having intercourse. That is why sex can be a two person issue needing two people to resolve.

For some men, the friction of intercourse doesn’t provide the stimulation they need. For other men, having sex again may be anxiety producing so they can’t maintain an erection. Some men worry that they will have a heart attack during sex. Other couples discover that having sex was never the problem and their relationship was more in need of repair than anything else.

In a paradox that can be confounding for patients, the phosphodiesterases have been found to delay orgasm even for men without Erectile Dysfunction (ED) and are used to treat premature ejaculation. And in what can seem a cruel twist, once having sex again, some men develop premature ejaculation and feel as if they leaped out of the frying pan into the fire.

As has been found in study after study, simply getting a prescription and taking one of the medications does not solve the problem for everyone, especially if you include the perspective of men’s partners. Education, dialogue, and a cooperative approach in addition creates the best chance of success.