Demystifying Erectile Dysfunction: How We Study It and How It’s Treated

Men are fortunate to be living in a world in which our knowledge of sexual health has increased to the point that it has. Gone are the days when, say, treating syphilis required a man to drink dangerous quantities of mercury – with little effect on the disease itself, and certainly to the detriment of the patient! Much of what is now known about proper penis health strategies has come about through centuries of observation and trial and error, but much nowadays is learned through rigorously-designed clinical trials that look at numerous penis health issues. One of the areas where clinical trials have proven especially beneficial in terms of gathering knowledge is in erectile dysfunction. Knowledge gained from such clinical trials has led to the development of new treatments for the condition, as well as a greater understanding of it.But there is still a great deal to be learned about erectile dysfunction, as well as the need to develop alternative and/or more effective treatments. After all, not everyone responds to current treatments; those that do may develop a resistance to them as years pass. And so clinical trials for erectile dysfunction will continue.TrialsBut what is involved in a clinical trial looking at erectile dysfunction? Every trial is unique and individual, and so each trial will be designed differently. Any person considering participating on a trial should read any available information and then prepare a list of questions to ask during an interview. Following are some of the basics likely to be part of a clinical trial in erectile dysfunction.- Some trials may include a “control group” of men without erectile dysfunction, but most often they are looking for men with the condition. Most studies will want to include men who have had the condition for at least 3 months; some may want it to have been a problem for longer periods of time.- Typically, a man is asked to engage in sexual activity at a minimum rate, e.g. once a week. If the purpose of the trial is to assess a new treatment option, he will likely be asked to stop using any medications he might be on for erectile dysfunction. Often a study of this type will include a “diary” component in which a man will be asked to record specific information. Depending on the trial, this may include information such as the number of erections daily, assessment of firmness of erections, duration of erections., number of sexual engagements, satisfaction with sexual engagements, etc.- In most instances, information about the erections and the sexual encounters will be self-reported by the participant. More rarely, a researcher may physically examine the participant’s erection or observe the sexual encounter in a clinical setting. The latter is not typically done and the expectation that this will occur should be spelled out very clearly with the study participant well in advance. Study participants uncomfortable with such an arrangement should make their discomfort known and withdraw from a trial if their objections are not addressed.- Questionnaires are often a major part of erectile dysfunction studies; sometimes these are meant to be filled out by the participant, but other times a scientists or doctor may ask the questions directly. Since the questions are going to center around the penis and its functioning, participants should be sure they feel comfortable answering such questions.- If a trial involves a treatment, participants should be honest in reporting any reactions or issues and immediately bring any side effects to attention. The participant should be very clear about when and how to interrupt treatment if he thinks it is necessary.Participating in clinical trials for erectile dysfunction helps the medical community gain knowledge. Men can help themselves by regularly using a top ranked penis health creme (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin) to help keep the penis in good health. The best crèmes have a range of vitamins, such as A, B5, C, D and E. It should also contain a potent antioxidant like alpha lipoic acid, which can battle oxidative stress to keep penis skin healthy.

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