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The Sun reports on a new survey that found 56% of men would like to see more supportive platforms where they feel safe discussing sexual health issues such as erectile dysfunction (ED). The survey also found that 39% of men wanted better access to information and resources where they could find reliable guidance.

Despite the fact that ED is a very common problem that affects about half of all men over the age of 50, over a third of men still feel that there is shame and stigma associated with the issue and they find it difficult to discuss. This can mean that they miss out on the best treatment, and it can even lead to the break up of a relationship. 

The survey of 2,000 men was commissioned by Cialis, which is the trade name for the ED treatment tadalafil. It may also be prescribed to treat an enlarged prostate, which is another very common health problem for older men. When taken for ED, it takes between 30 and 60 minutes to work, and will remain effective for a window of 36 hours.

Cialis works by temporarily relaxing the blood vessels in the penis to increase blood flow. However, it is still necessary to be sexually stimulated to achieve an erection, and it will subside just as it normally would after a sexual experience. 

Kristie Sourial, of Sanofi, which makes Cialis Together, told The Sun: “Many men who experience erection difficulties may delay seeking treatment due to embarrassment and fear of the impact on their sex lives or relationships.”

She added: “We’re committed to opening the conversation around ED and supporting men and their partners to feel more confident to talk about the condition.”

The survey also found that significant percentages of men reported feeling embarrassed, disappointed, and ‘less of a man’ due to ED problems. When asked about what they thought the main causes of ED were, the most frequent answer was stress, followed by getting older and excessive consumption of alcohol. 

For men under the age of 40, stress is considered to be the most likely risk factor for ED. This is because the brain needs to send messages to the body to trigger the extra blood flow to the penis, and this process can be disrupted if you are feeling stressed and anxious. 

The first step to tackling stress-related ED is to pinpoint the source of stress. Common worries for men in their twenties and thirties include career stress or the threat of redundancy, financial problems, the strain of supporting a new family, relationship problems, or performance anxiety and poor body image. 

Stress can also increase the risk of developing other problems that can lead to ED, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, and misuse of drugs or alcohol. Middle-aged men are more likely to have an underlying physical cause of ED, which may be addressed through lifestyle changes or medication.