Men might soon no longer need a prescription to access medicines for erectile dysfunction (ED).
The data on how many men suffer from erectile dysfunction vary, but the Massachusetts Male Aging Study found 52 percent of men aged 40-70 suffer from some form of ED, and “complete impotence tripled from 5 to 15%” from age 40 to 70.
While more than half of men aged 40 to 70 suffer from ED, a growing number of young men are struggling. Research published 10 years ago in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found more than a quarter of men under 40 face new-onset ED.
In June, the Food and Drug Administration approved a new medication to treat erectile dysfunction for over-the-counter sales in the United States. Produced by the British pharmaceutical company Futura Medical, Eroxon is a topical gel designed “to work within 10 minutes.”
According to the company website, Eroxon works by cooling the skin to stimulate nerve endings. A recovering warming effect continues to catalyze stimulation, increasing blood flow to the male sex organ.
“The gel broadens options for men with erectile dysfunction, adding to the array of prescription drugs, surgical treatments, and devices on the market,” The New York Times reported. “But the gel is still not a cure, said Kenia Pedrosa Nunes, an associate professor at the Florida Institute of Technology who has studied the condition. ‘We are far away from that,’ she said.”
While Eroxon has been approved for marketing in the United States, it remains an open question of when the gel will be available. Data from clinical trials also remains unpublished, and the company website includes just four sentences under possible side effects:
Side-effects are minimal in males and their partners. A very low level of a penile burning sensation was noted in clinical studies. One female noted vaginal irritation; it was not clear whether this was related to the use of Eroxon StimGel. Some other minor side-effects were noted in the clinical studies such as low incidence of headache.
Few, however, seem willing to drill down to how we got to a point where soaring demand for erectile dysfunction medications has led to casual over-the-counter treatments.
Erectile dysfunction is frequently a symptom of poor lifestyle habits ranging from diet, drug and alcohol use, or stress. All of the above can also tank testosterone levels, wherein low testosterone is often a primary driver of erectile dysfunction. Porn consumption has also been associated with ED.
Falling testosterone levels in men are the underlying crisis nobody’s talking about, probably because it has to do with the death of masculinity and the proliferation of confused adolescent males who’ve grown up to believe they’re women. Many featured in Tucker Carlson’s “End of Men” documentary point the finger over falling testosterone levels on endocrine-disrupting chemicals contaminating the environment.
A generation with low testosterone is simultaneously confronted with a crisis in fertility, obesity, and motivation while men fall behind women in the 21st century, as outlined in Richard Reeves’ book, “Of Boys and Men.”
Dr. Keith Nichols, a certified member of the American Academy on Endocrinology and CEO of Tier 1 Health and Wellness in east Tennessee, told The Federalist in January, “[We’re seeing] increased morbidity across the board with low testosterone.”
Testosterone replacement therapy has been shown to be an effective treatment for erectile dysfunction. A new blockbuster study last month is recalibrating what we understand about the risks associated with testosterone supplements.
In a study of more than 5,000 patients, researchers found testosterone replacement therapy did not raise an individual’s risk of experiencing a heart attack. The conclusion contradicts a previous finding from a smaller trial more than 10 years ago that raised concerns over the link between testosterone supplements and cardiac events.