Erectile dysfunction affects most men at one time or another in their life and the chance of occurrence only grows with age. A 1999 survey conducted by the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS) reported that 22 out of every 1000 men sought help for ED. That's 2% of the population! And almost 50% of men between the ages of 40 and 70 experience difficulties getting or maintaining an erection.

The first important factor is determining if the dysfunction is caused by physical or emotional issues. The only way to test if the problem is physical or psychological is by excluding physical diseases that may be at fault.

The majority of long-term erection difficulties are caused by some sort of physical ailment. The most common are vascular disease, which is the hardening of arteries, certain kinds of prescription drugs, and fatigue. These are just a few examples though in a long list. In these cases, blood is unable to surge or remain in the penis.

While approximately 70% of ED cases are physiological, the other 30% are caused by psychological factors. These factors include, but are not limited to, stress, depression and loss of self-worth. This sort of dysfunction starts with the brain.

The difficulty may be either long-lasting or temporary. Either way, it's an embarrassing problem that can be easily avoided in the future. There are many different methods to cure erectile dysfunction, both medical and non-medical. It's important to remember that any sort of treatment should be used in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle. Drugs, alcohol and smoking play a part in ED.

Medication prescribed by a doctor is common, either oral or injected directly into the penis. Medications like Viagra, Levitra or Cialis, have helped thousands of men across the country. They must be taken about an hour before sex is possible. Surgery is another method, but is expensive with a long recuperation period. Surgery involves prosthetic implants, or a pump inserted into the genital area that the male would have to pump before sexual intercourse.

Therapy, penis pumps, and herbal supplements are three non-medical methods of curing ED. Therapy, with a registered sex therapist or other mental health professional, is quite effective in cases of psychological-caused ED, but not in physical cases. Therapy tends to be a long process, and some men are embarrassed to talk at length about their sexual problems. Penis pumps are used by inserting the penis into a tube and using a pump until erection is achieved, at which point a ring is rolled onto the base of the penis to keep the erection hard. It works, but the pump must be used each time before intercourse and doesn't address the real problem, only acting as a temporary fix.

A safe and easy method are generics. It is important to talk to your doctor before undergoing any sort of treatment.