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A third of men with erectile dysfunction (ED), who are unable to perform after their first tablet, are giving up on sex, according to research presented at the 10th Congress of the European Society of Sexual Medicine.

Dr David Edwards, a research author and Oxfordshire GP commented: “We know that oral treatments usually work well for men with ED, except in the most severe cases. However this research has shown that 1 in 3 men with ED are not able to have satisfactory sex the first time they take a tablet and consequently a third of them do not return to their doctor. These men could still be successfully treated by simply switching to a different tablet or increasing the dose. This study shows just how important success with the first tablet is for some patients.”

PDE5 inhibitors, such as Levitra, Cialis and Viagra, have revolutionised the treatment of men with erection problems and are now widely prescribed as a first option for treatment. The finding that 1 in 3 men do not return to the surgery after a failed first attempt is a concern for doctors. ED can be a signal that a man might be developing conditions such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease, so it is important that men with ED visit their doctor regularly.

In depth analysis of the research, which was supported by a grant from Bayer Schering Pharma, further demonstrated that first dose failure impacted on men’s overall confidence (58%), relationships with their partner (47%) and anxiety that ED was permanent (77%); 32% of men reported feelings of being depressed.

Dr Catherine Hood, an expert in sexual medicine and a research author, added: “The emotional burden of living with ED can be devastating for both partners. Men still wait an average of 2 years before speaking to their doctor about erection problems. As a result, men place a lot of hope on having successful intercourse when taking their first tablet. Yet men are generally given low doses to start, and not always adequately followed up by their GP. The medical profession needs to be aware how best to support men with ED, and men need to be reassured that there are other options available if their first treatment has not worked for them.”

Men in the study ranked ‘high success rate with first tablet’ alongside “works quickly” as the most desirable attributes that a treatment can have. Other desirable qualities included having few side effects. Authors concluded that patient desired attributes should be discussed and taken into consideration when a treatment is prescribed.

The SortED in 10 campaign, famously launched by Sir Stirling Moss, supported the research and stressed that erection problems are very common, with half of all men over 40 affected. Given the range of oral treatments now available men should waste no time in asking their GP or nurse about what help is available. For further information and an opportunity to ask qualified experts about ED visit

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Notes to Editors:

About ED

• ED is defined as the inability of a man to achieve or maintain an erection that is sufficient for sexual performance. It is also sometimes referred to as ‘erection difficulties’ or ‘impotence’.

• In the over 40 age group, more than 50% of men will experience some form of ED

• Despite its prevalence, it is estimated that only 10% of ED sufferers are being treated

• For further information about ED, please visit:

About SortED in 10

SortED in 10 is a national men’s health campaign launched by Sir Stirling Moss in 2005 and sponsored by Bayer Schering Pharma. The campaign aims to challenge the taboo of erectile dysfunction (ED) and encourage men, and their partners, to seek medical advice. There is a wide range of treatments available so men shouldn’t be afraid of consulting their GP or nurse to discuss the different options and ultimately find the treatment that best suits them.

For more information, please contact Red Door Communications:

Elie Newton
Tel: 020 8392 8051

Lizzie Lockett
Tel: 020 8392 8063


This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Red Door Communications in the following categories: Medical & Pharmaceutical, for more information visit