Viagra

Viagra

I have been having significant coughing fits for almost a year. When I have a coughing fit during intercourse, it is difficult to maintain an erection. I find this very embarrassing. Do you think that Viagra could help me maintain an erection?

An erection is the result of a complex process involving physiological and psychological phenomena. On the physiological level, erections occur as a result of an accumulation of blood in the corpus cavernosum (erectile tissues) of the penis. This involves vascular activity (blood is transported through the contraction and dilatation of blood vessels), hormones (mostly testosterone, the male hormone, but other hormones also) and neurological activity (the spinal cord and peripheral nerves transmit electrical stimulation to the blood vessels). Psychological factors also play an important part in triggering and maintaining erections, although the mechanisms are not as well known. These factors include libido (sexual desire), fatigue, stress, depression and performance anxiety.

In young men with cystic fibrosis, the vascular, neurological and endocrine mechanisms are usually intact. Regarding the situation you described in your question, deteriorating health caused by severe respiratory infection could be the cause, but psychological factors are certainly also involved. Coughing would be an embarrassing, annoying distraction that could trigger performance anxiety. One of the solutions would be to control your coughing through better treatment of your lung condition. Also, you might benefit from counselling by a psychologist or sexologist. If the problem persists despite these interventions, you might find phosphodiesterase inhibitors (Viagra, Cialis, Levitra) helpful. These drugs work by producing smooth muscle relaxation in the corpus cavernosum of the penis and allowing inflow of blood to produce an erection.

The main contraindication for these drugs is concomitant use of nitroglycerin, a drug used in treating arteriosclerosis.

To learn more about sexuality and CF, you can read this text: Sexuality and Cystic Fibrosis.

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