We’re all adults here so we can speak bluntly, right? Sex makes the whole world go round. Everywhere you look; there is something that has to do with sex. It’s in the newspaper, on the television, out on the streets splattered across billboards and just about everywhere you look. Advertising revolves around it. And now, even the drug companies have gotten involved. Just turn on the tube and count all the commercials about low-T and how to correct it. Ads for sildenafil (the generic name for drugs like Viagra) are through the roof. And the numbers of drugs that treat this “problem” have increased significantly since 1999 when these drugs pretty much first came onto the scene.
And with all these drugs have come a boat load of problems. The side effects are serious to say the least. So, in an effort to possibly keep you from making a decision that could be more serious than not being able to perform, I’m going to give you the lowdown on the low-T problem and what these drugs to treat it can do to you. And then we’ll tackle the sildenafil problem.
What is low-T? Low-T is short for low testosterone levels. These low levels are partially responsible for a man’s inability to perform, though not the only cause. And that’s the problem with the whole treatment thing. Treating one problem may not fix other underlying problems which can range from other physical disorders to emotional problems. Yes, stress can make it so that a man can’t perform. In fact, stress is one of the major factors behind male impotence. But let’s back up a little.
After the age of 30, testosterone levels drop. That’s just the way it is. In some men it drops drastically. This is just nature’s way and normally, there isn’t much that can be done about it. But that’s not the problem. The problem is that men believe that their loss of interest in sex is simply because they’re getting older. It isn’t an age thing. Men with high testosterone levels can be very interested in sex at age 70. Age is not the problem. The testosterone level is. This is a typical case of post hoc ergo propter hoc.
So what modern medicine is doing today is simply putting the testosterone back in these men that have low testosterone levels. The benefits are obvious. What isn’t obvious are the risks associated with the treatment of low-T. And these risks are significant.
How significant? Testosterone treatment can increase a man’s risk for blood clot and stroke. Now, it’s said that this risk can be minimized by occasionally giving blood. But what does one do if they’re not a viable blood donor due to another medical condition like diabetes? So donating blood isn’t always an option.
In addition to this, there is the risk of prostate cancer. Now granted, at the moment this risk hasn’t been totally confirmed but it hasn’t been ruled out either. Studies are still being done.
There is also the risk of sleep apnea, acne and breast enlargement, though these usually subside once treatment is stopped.
However, and this is very important, the creams used for testosterone therapy are extremely dangerous if they come in contact with women and children so it is critical that hands are kept clean and these creams are kept away from anyone at risk.
Okay, let’s move on to non low-T related performance problems. These are the ones treated with drugs like sildenafil. The clinical problems treated by these drugs are erectile dysfunction and pulmonary arterial hypertension. The one you’re probably more than familiar with. The other, maybe not so much.
Now sildenafil is not the only generic drug that fights against erectile dysfunction. There are two others. One is tadalafil (Cialis) and vardenafil (Levitra). You’re probably going to see ads for one of these three on the tube at least 10 times a day. Yeah, it’s a huge market.
And we essentially know what these drugs do. They increase blood flow to the area that needs it. That’s why you hear at the end of the ad, if you have an erection that lasts more than four hours, go see a doctor immediately. Yeah, this could be a serious problem. And that’s what happens when you’re essentially taking an artificial stimulant.
Okay, so what exactly are the risks of taking one of these three drugs?
Well, the list of adverse effects read like a who’s who of ways to wreck your body beyond the good the drug is actually doing for you.
For sildenafil, these adverse effects include headache, flushing, dyspepsia, nasal congestion, impaired vision, cyanopsia (seeing everything in blue), priapism, severe hypotension, heart attack, ventricular arrhythmias, stroke, increased intraocular pressure, and sudden hearing loss.
And we risk all this because we can’t perform in the bedroom.
I’ll spare you the side effects of the other generic brands as they’re pretty similar, though each poison has its own medical hell that comes along with it.
And of course there are the interactions with other drugs, if you’re taking any, that can be potentially life threatening, not that having a heart attack is a walk in the park.
But the worst news in all of this is the casual recreational use of these products over the years. Guy’s a little tired and wants a pick-me-up? No problem. Just get a prescription from your doctor who is more than happy to provide it. I won’t even get into the ethics of this.
If you are going to take these drugs, there are a few contraindications that you should be aware of. In other words, when NOT to take these drugs under ANY circumstance.
Do not take if you are…
- Using nitrates
- Have cardiovascular problems
- Have impaired liver function
- Have impaired renal function
- Have low blood pressure
- Have had a recent stroke or heart attack
I understand that heeding these warnings is easier said than done. Some men would rather die than give up sex.
Sadly, some of them may just get their wish.
Please use responsibly.