Erectile Dysfunction

Erections aren’t always easy for millions of men in the UK. It’s no big deal. Choose from highly effective, clinically proven solutions here.
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Viagra (Sildenafil)

The little blue pill
It’s the generic (unbranded) form of Viagra. Highly effective in helping you get and keep an erection. Clinically proven and used by millions of men worldwide. Easier erections, happy days.
Best for

When you need it

Effective in

8 out of 10 men


50mg, 100mg

Cialis (Tadalafil)

The weekend pill
Known as the “weekend pill” because it is effective for up to 36 hours, Tadalafil is the generic, unbranded version of Cialis. Clinically proven to help you get an erection when you need it.
Best for

Weekend use

Effective in

8 out of 10 men


2.5mg, 10mg, 20mg

Viagra Connect

The over the counter classic
The branded over-the-counter option from the original manufacturers of Viagra, Viagra Connect only comes in 50mg tablets.

Recommended alternative: Viagra (Sildenafil)
Best for

When you need it

Effective in

8 out of 10 men




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We’ll ask you a couple of quick medical questions. Tick the boxes and a clinician will review your answers and issue you a prescription.

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Your selected treatments will be delivered for free in discreet packaging. There’ll be some helpful info included to make sure you get the best out of it.

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Chat with a medical expert whenever you need. On the phone or via email. With support throughout your treatment.

Frequently asked

Most men will have a time in their life when they can’t get it up. But if it starts to happen time after time, you may wonder what’s happening down there. Erectile dysfunction (ED) is caused by a range of physiological and psychological conditions. Yet the mechanical problem is often the same: insufficient blood flow or nervous stimulation, which is required to enable enough blood into the penis to achieve a full and sustained erection.

ED is more common than you think. At the age of 40, 40% of men have experienced it at least once. As we age, it gets more and more likely. Yet, the belief that it is an issue for old gents only has been discredited. According to a recent study, half of men in their 30s struggle to get it up every time. With 35% of men under 30 reporting similar problems, you can be sure that you are not alone.

ED is easily treated. The best ED treatments are PDE5 inhibitors, such as Sildenafil (Viagra) and Tadalafil (Cialis). These tackle the enzyme responsible for smooth muscle contraction in the blood vessels in your penis – improving blood flow and making it easier to get, and keep, an erection. Alongside these easy pills, lifestyle changes – cutting down on cigarettes, alcohol, and saturated fats – can work long term.

Viagra is the world’s most famous medical treatment for ED. But Cialis is giving it a run for its money. Both are PDE5 inhibitors, more accurately known by their active ingredients, Sildenafil and Tadalafil respectively. These are the most effective, and best tolerated, PDE5 inhibitors around. The difference between them? Whereas Sildenafil is usually effective for 4-5 hours, Tadalafil can last for 36 hours.

There are other treatment options for erectile dysfunction. Yet, they are not as reliable as the famous two – and they can be a bit more invasive. Other PDE5 inhibitors exist, such as Vardenafil (Levitra) and Avanafil (Stendra), and vasodilating injections such as Alprostadil can help erection problems. Vacuum devices, including the vacuum pump, are options – and penile implants too.

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Earim Chaudry, MD
Medical Director
Ryan Benbow
Pharmacist, Ind. Prescriber
Noor Alsati
Pharmacist, Ind. Prescriber
Soheb Ganchi
Pharmacist, Ind. Prescriber
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Erectile Dysfunction: Everything You Need to Know
Curated by Dr. Earim Chaudry, Manual Medical Director
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to achieve and sustain an erection long enough to have sex. You may achieve an erection, but not be able to sustain long enough to reach ejaculation. You may develop an erection that isn’t firm enough for sexual activity. Or you may just not be able to get it up at all.
While it’s a hugely frustrating condition, you’re not the only person to have erections affect their sex life. As many as 4.3 million men across the UK experience this common sexual dysfunction. Luckily, there is a range of treatments available to combat ED.
What causes erectile dysfunction?
There are many potential causes of erectile dysfunction – from underlying medical conditions to unhealthy lifestyle habits, from psychological causes to hormonal changes. Alcohol abuse and smoking affect your erections, too. Erections are the result of complex internal processes – and your sensitive parts are not immune to any wider health problems that you may have.
The most common causes of ED are in your vascular system. When blood can’t flow easily around the body – due to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, or heart disease – enough of it won’t get to where it’s needed. As a result, you won’t be able to achieve a fully firm erection.
However, other causes originate elsewhere. Diabetes, for example, can cause ED, with rates among diabetics potentially as high as 75%. It is thought to be caused by nerve and blood vessel damage, the result of chronic issues with high blood sugar levels.
Meanwhile, men who watch a lot of porn are at risk, too. It’s known as porn-induced erectile dysfunction. It’s thought that pornography can give men unrealistic expectations of what sex is – influencing their ideas of intimacy, sexual performance, and their partners’ bodies. As a result, those who habitually satisfy themselves through porn can struggle to get aroused in real sexual encounters.
ED can also be caused by low testosterone, prostate cancer, kidney disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Peyronie’s disease. Meanwhile, relationship problems, abuse of recreational drugs, and mental health problems including low self esteem can also contribute.
Is erectile dysfunction permanent?
There’s no reason to believe that your erectile dysfunction will become permanent – unless a serious health problem is the cause. In the majority of cases, ED can be stopped using a combination of immediate fixes (e.g. Viagra or Cialis), and long-term psychological and/or physical health improvements.
Studies have shown that if you stop smoking and reduce alcohol intake, the symptoms of ED can improve. If you’re overweight – a risk factor for ED – losing it can help you to regain erectile function. In the meantime, ED medications will usually help.
Can erectile dysfunction be treated?
ED can be treated in the short-term effectively, safely, and easily – in most cases, just by popping a pill. Treatments like Sildenafil and Tadalafil – the active ingredients in Viagra and Cialis respectively – have been shown to be effective in over 80% of cases, and side effects of these drugs are very uncommon.
Both drugs are PDE5 inhibitors. They target the enzyme, phosphodiesterase 5, which is responsible for smooth muscle contraction in the blood vessels supplying your penis. By inhibiting this enzyme, blood flow is improved – increasing the chances of achieving and maintaining a full erection.
Improving your lifestyle – through exercise, a healthy diet, and a reduction in your intake of alcohol and cigarettes – can be a longer-term cure for ED too. Psychological causes can be treated through counselling (CBT), self-talking therapies, and psychosexual counselling. It might also help to engage in mindfulness and relaxation therapies.
Which erectile dysfunction drug is best?
Sildenafil and Tadalafil – known by their common brand names, Viagra and Cialis – are the most effective erectile dysfunction drugs on the market. They work in over 80% of men, and studies have shown that they are less likely than Vardenafil and other PDE5 inhibitors to cause side effects.
So, both are effective. However, which is best for your specific needs is a different question. Whilst Sildenafil can take up to 30 minutes to an hour to take effect and lasts for 4-5 hours, Tadalafil can be effective within 30 minutes – and can last up to 36 hours.
Erectile dysfunction throughout your life
Erectile dysfunction is not something just for older men. Men as young as twenty can experience it, too.
That is in part because they are more likely to smoke, more likely to binge drink, and are less likely to be able to manage stress. That’s a cocktail of psychological and physical causes present in your early adulthood that can potentially cause ED – and that’s before we mention things like performance anxiety.
Studies show that over a third of men under 30 have experienced some degree of ED in their lives. That said, ED in your 20s or 30s shouldn’t be seen as “normal”. It may be a warning sign for an unhealthy lifestyle, and this should be addressed as soon as possible. There’s no shame in using Viagra or Cialis, though, if you need help to achieve and maintain an erection.
ED is not thought to be a natural part of ageing – even though it is a condition usually associated with older men. Rather, it is more likely to be the sign of an underlying health condition that would benefit from your attention. This includes general health and fitness, as well as diet.
About 50% of men in their 50s experience erectile dysfunction. As you age, it is more likely that ED is the result of atherosclerosis, or the narrowing of your arteries. It’s usually the sign of poor cardiovascular health, but could also indicate something more serious. In these instances, we recommend you see your GP for a health check to exclude underlying causes.
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Further reading

Erections 101

A comprehensive guide to how erections work and what you can do when they don’t. Testosterone, stress, psychology and more.

The doctor’s view

Hear what our experts have to say and their knowledge on E.D. Invaluable advice from medical professionals who’ve seen it all before.