The erection pill: sense or nonsense?!

With the arrival of the new health insurance policies at the beginning of 2008, a lot has changed in terms of reimbursement for health care products. Good news for people who need short-term psychological care; this is largely reimbursed by the new healthcare system. Worse news for people with erectile dysfunction who want to claim the erection pill: it has been completely removed from the basic package on the recommendation of the Health Insurance Board.

How does an erection occur?

The man’s penis contains two large erectile tissues , with a smaller erectile tissue at the bottom. When blood flows to the penis via supplying blood vessels, the penis becomes stiff . The erectile tissues contain a spongy substance that absorbs the blood, making the penis stiff. When the penis becomes stiff, the blood vessels that want to drain the blood become closed, temporarily preventing blood from being drained away. This means that the stiffness lasts for some time.

An erection problem?

Men with an erection problem or erectile dysfunction are unable to get or maintain a (full) erection. This often causes problems in terms of sexual satisfaction . In the medical world, an erection problem is referred to when the complaints persist for at least three months and the erection problem has a significant negative impact on you or your partner.

You’re not the only one!

16% of the male population aged 18 years or older indicates that they regularly have problems with their erection.

Physical or mental problem?

The erection problem can have several causes . In many men, the cause appears to be due to physical factors, such as the use of medication . However, in some cases there are mental or psychological underlying causes. Think of too high a need to perform, sharing a bed with a new partner for the first time, insecurity, etc.
It is normal for men to have an erection one or more times a night. You can also wake up with a so-called morning erection . If one appears to be able to achieve and maintain an erection at night or during masturbation , the cause is not physiological because the blood vessels and nerves appear to be in order.

Physical causes of erectile dysfunction

In more than half of men over the age of 50, erection problems appear to be caused by cardiovascular disease. Other physical causes of the inability to obtain and/or maintain an erection are:

  • Increased cholesterol : this can cause arteriosclerosis, which means that the erectile tissues in the penis can no longer relax sufficiently and not enough blood can flow to the erectile tissues.
  • High blood pressure : if you have high blood pressure, damage can occur in the blood vessels, which accelerates the process of arteriosclerosis. The relaxing capacity of the blood vessels is also reduced
  • Diabetes Mellitus : in Diabetes Mellitus, also called diabetes, the blood vessel walls stiffen over time, causing reduced functioning of nerve fibers that control the blood vessels
  • Overweight : being overweight is often accompanied by high blood pressure and high cholesterol
  • Radiation : irradiating certain areas near the penis can damage the nerve pathways
  • Other physical causes : this may include neurological disorders, abnormalities of the penis itself or natural aging processes


The erection pill

Centuries ago, physicians and quacks made concoctions that were supposed to promote and maintain an erection. These concoctions were usually based on natural resources such as bones from various animals. Since 1998, erection pills have been available (with a doctor’s prescription ) which treat erection problems in a relatively simple way.

How the erection pill works

The erection pills ensure that more blood can flow to the penis, making it easier to obtain and maintain an erection. Erection pills contain a substance that inhibits the enzyme phosphodiesterase type 5, making it easier for blood vessels in the penis to relax. The condition is that one has a desire for sex and that psychological factors do not play a negative role. Nitrates
should not be used while using an erection pill. These are often contained in medicines that help prevent heart attacks (the so-called ‘pill under the tongue’ ). Some commonly prescribed medications containing nitrates:

  • Promo card
  • Cedocard
  • Isordil
  • Nitroglycerin Spray
  • Deponit T
  • Minitran
  • Trinipatch
  • Monocedocard


Erection pills

Various erection pills have appeared on the market. Unfortunately, a so-called ‘black market’ is also emerging in illegal and unsafe counterfeit pills . Pay close attention to this when purchasing an erection pill. Real erection pills are only available with a doctor’s prescription .
Some well-known erection pills:

  • Viagra
  • Levitra
  • Cialis
  • Muse


Erection pills: sense or nonsense?

If an erection has not occurred for a long time, the quality of the blood vessels in the penis may have decreased. It may therefore take some time before this quality returns to its previous level, so one should not expect that one will immediately get and maintain a very good erection when taking the first erection pill. There seems to be a certain adjustment time with erection pills, it is recommended to assess the effect on your erection after 4 to 8 pills.

Erection pill from basic insurance

I deeply regret that the erection pill has disappeared from the basic health insurance package. Given the large number of men with erectile dysfunction, I think that the erection pill certainly deserves a place there. I think erectile dysfunction is comparable to other physical conditions, such as diabetes and migraines. The erectile dysfunction was not asked and there is clear medical evidence for the existence of erection problems. I think that this way people with erectile dysfunction are being neglected. However, I do advocate that erection pills should only be provided after medical examination and with a prescription from a GP or specialist. Good information is also very important!

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