The last thing we need is yet another erection pill with the same risks as the old ones -- but that's just what the FDA is giving us.

It's called Stendra, but don't bother remembering the name. You'll be hearing it in commercials soon enough now that the feds have signed off on it.

Like Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra, the new med is a PDE5 inhibitor. The only real difference is that this new drug promises to work faster than the old ones -- supposedly getting things going in as little as 15 minutes, compared to an hour or more for the drugs already on the market.

That might sound great -- but the side effects of PDE5 inhibitors are decidedly UN-sexy.

They can cause headaches, forcing you to say "not now" just when you're ready. They can also give you back pain, which will really limit your bedroom activities, and even cause cold-like symptoms.

Not exactly Harlequin romance material.

These drugs have even caused men to go blind and deaf, which would really make it a challenge to use that drug-induced erection. And by the way, the famous "four-hour erections" mentioned in the commercials for these meds is a dangerous condition where blood can't leave the penis.

It's called priapism -- and it requires an immediate trip to the emergency room, where the fastest way to relieve that pressure is to drain the blood with a needle, apply an ice pack, or inject a medication.


But forget all the side effects (if you can -- I'm not sure it's possible to forget that last one). There's another reason to skip the meds when it comes to sexual health, and that's because the problems themselves are almost always a sign of another problem in the body.

For example, the most common cause of erectile dysfunction is atherosclerosis. That's when your arteries get stiff from too much plaque -- and when your arteries get stiff, you can't get stiff in other places.

Since atherosclerosis is also the leading cause of heart attacks, stroke, and more, it's something that needs to be fixed urgently. But if your only warning is erectile dysfunction and you can "fix" it with a sex med, you can ignore it... until the day your wife has to call the ambulance.

In other cases, erection problems are caused by diabetes, poor nutrition, hormonal imbalances (especially low testosterone levels), stress, and even many prescription medications.

A holistic doctor can help find the real cause of erection problems and correct it without the drugs or the risks.