THE BLOG
08/12/2014 07:02 am ET Updated Oct 12, 2014

Think You Need Viagra? Get A Physical First

There are many reasons why men suffer erectile dysfunction, but can sexual performance enhancers enhance your performance? High50's Richard Bevan cautions against trying unproven 'cures'

When it comes to the subject of men and sexual performance the onus has usually been on activities that can impose a stranglehold on love-making, such as downing one too many lagers before the occasion. Even Shakespeare made a reference (Macbeth) to the vagaries of alcohol "stimulating the drive, but taking away the performance" so it shouldn't be a surprise that knocking back booze isn't the best way to guarantee behaving like a stud in bed.

A Boost To Sexual Confidence

On the opposite side of the spectrum a range of stimulants, both prescribed and non-prescribed claim both to cure impotence and enhance performance.

In reality, no pill is going to make a man a better lover or an athlete in bed, but proven medication such as Viagra and Cialis can help with physiological and psychological issues and probably more importantly help with confidence.

But as in all things in life there is a murkier aspect to the world of sexual performance stimulants that functions largely on 'hearsay' and men's fears of losing their virility.

There's No Shame In Needing A Little Help

First, it's important to remind male readers that there is nothing unusual or anything to feel ashamed about resorting to a little assistance via proven medical panaceas such as the range of tested medications to tackle erectile dysfunction.

Let's face it, most men over 45 are unlikely to have the sexual responses of a 21-year-old. Combine natural ageing with life's pressures and complications and it is little wonder that many mature men have issues at some stage, or may not feel as confident in the bedroom as they once did.

James, 52, has been using Cialis - one of a range of PDE5 inhibitors including Viagra and Levitra - for a number of years, when he feels it necessary.

"I've nothing wrong with me physiologically but I'm in my fifties now and have had some let-downs in the past, so I take this little pill as a safety back-up.

"I may not really need it but there's no doubting that it really does help enhance erection prowess and that boosts performance ability."

A Dating Aid For Over-50s

James makes a point about men who, because of their circumstances, may no longer be in comfortable long-term relationships and are faced with the trials and tribulations of dating all over again.

"I'm not 20 any more and if you're single and dating someone for the first time, women or men, well, that's pressure. You put pressure on yourself for wanting to be good in the sack. For me, taking Cialis, which I prefer to Viagra, is a double-edged sword I guess. But I don't suffer side effects or terrible headaches which I did with Viagra, so why not?"

Get A Regular Medical Check-up

Before taking any kind of medication or non-prescribed products for sexual performance it is wise to have a physical through your physician to check possible underlying causes such as blood pressure, testosterone and sugar levels. These can all relate to sexual performance.

If it's then found to be issues within a relationship that is causing libido problems, seeking the help of therapists who can be provided through your physician is the best solution.

It's important is to understand that sex is not a competition or a benchmark for manhood. Not everyone has a high sex drive and sexual activity in relationships differs from person to person, couple to couple. The main thing is not to get hung up about not feeling like a rampant bull 24/7.

Recommended Solutions To Erectile Dysfunction

Over the years a range of PDE5 inhibitors, mainly Viagra, Levitra and Cialis, have allowed men of all ages to perform sexually, if not permanently then sporadically or when assistance is needed. In the case of Cialis it is the only medication out of the three to be offered as a once-daily medication, rather than for 'the moment'.

Sildenafil Citrate, marketed as Viagra, and Revatio and Kamagra are primarily used to treat erectile dysfunction and, in the case of the popular and well-known Viagra, also treat a range of blood conditions.

Levitra, the trade name for Vardenafil, works in a similar way to Sildenfil Citrate but also helps with premature ejaculation. Though both are from the family of PDE5 inhibitors developed primarily for erection problems, they could be viewed as performance enhancers simply because they enable the user to perform, therefore reducing feelings of anxiety.

Treat 'Alternatives' To Viagra Or Cialis With Caution

Apart from natural herbs and foods that claim to have aphrodisiacal properties from garlic to beetroot or vitamin supplements such as ginseng to the amusingly named Horny Goat Weed, there is also a small number of so-called herbal variations of Viagra that should be treated with caution.

They are sold at some health food stores, in vending machines or on the internet and there is always the possibility that you are buying a fake version.

Golden Root Complex, a legal sexual performance enhancer obtained without prescription, is one such 'natural' sex enhancer. It's made of around 15 herbs that claim to be safer than the widely used but side-effects prone Viagra. Whether this herbal 'blue pill' works or not is possibly subjective but the issue is that it is sold without any official recommendation from a medical body.

Although no serious issues have been so far reported about the product, its own website states that 'effects' may last up to 18 hours.

The bottom line when it comes to safeguarding your health is that anything that hasn't been through vigorous testing or isn't obtained through controlled gateways should be avoided; if not to protect your health than at least to save your pocket from being ripped off. Always talk to your physician.

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